Three of twelve candidates bothered appearing at the forum.
Amanda Woo/the Gauntlet

SU Academic forum

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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.





Although only 25% of the candidates showed, do we know why the others did not? I'm not making any excuses for the candidates, but at the same time I'm not going to paint a negative picture.

I will question the investigative skill that was deployed by the writer. Too often the Gauntlet paints a negative picture of the SU and that's what the students read. If infact the Gauntlet is a communication tool, then it might use its ability to reach students with a positive message or one that encourages them to turn ideas into actions.

The Gauntlet tends to imply that it is a more effective communicator than the SU. If that is the case, then I challenge them to explain why that is true. I would hope and think that at least one student would be energized to make a difference after reading about the poor job the SU does in the Gauntlet articles.

Could it be that the Gauntlet has as much difficulty motivating "apathetic" students as the SU does? In the end does this opinion matter? Only if it sparks debate among the student population. Then again....somebody has to read this before any discussion or action occurs.

It's interesting to see that none of the candidates that were at the forum won a position as a commissioner.

Mr. Jaffer,

This news piece reflected fairly what happened at the forum. Only three candidates showed up and they answered questions.

I do not believe the story would be bettered by listing what the other candidates did. I imagine the excuses would be class, tests or prior activities.

Also, news is neither positive nor negative. It reports the facts and the facts were three candidates showed up. I just report what happens.

Perhaps the Gauntlet should promote more positive feelings about students. But that would not happen in the news section. News, in my view, should not promote anyone's agenda. We report what happens and allow students to make their own decisions.

As well, Mr. Jaffer, you have the opportunity in SAA and SLC to question the two new academic commissioners why they were absent.

Also, the Gauntlet is always open to new volunteers and I'm sure you could come in and write articles that promote positive feelings among students.

Natalie Sit,
Gauntlet News Editor