The stage looked empty at the Mon., Oct. 20 Academic Commissioner by-election forum. Of the 12 chairs, only three were filled by candidates.
Officiated by Students' Union Vice-President Events Richard Bergen, the three hopefuls were mainly quizzed by SU members.
One question was how science research will help the University of Calgary's rankings.
"I don't see why science research is worse than liberal arts," answered Shamon Kureshi, a fourth-year English major. "Every university has its niche. Maybe the problem is we haven't had one. Research wins money and grants and makes the university famous."
SU Communication and Culture Faculty representative Laura Schultz asked about the candidates' position on the university's new top-down admission model which will rank students by GPA.
"Overcapacity is affecting students here," said Ashley Martin, a third-year Economics student. "Top-down admission strategy is probably a realistic way of admitting students and admitting based on grades has been done since the university started. Competition doesn't stop when you're admitted."
However, another candidate offered a different opinion.
"Top-down approach is a good approach but not a great approach," said Krishna Ghandi, a third-year Biological Sciences student. "There needs to be a personal essay or resume."
An audience member asked what goals, initiatives or reforms for the university the candidates would pursue if elected.
"My biggest concern is tuition," said Ghandi. "Getting tuition down so people can not work three jobs."
"Humbly suggesting I might win, I want more research opportunities for students," said Kureshi.
"There is a sense of anonymity on campus," said Martin. "It's important we feel like we're not doing this ourselves, so we can be a united front."
Voting ends Fri., Oct. 24.