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Paige Forsyth (l) and Mohamed El-Rafih (r) wait for a question from the audience.
Ryan May/the Gauntlet

VP Academic: discussing education

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The two candidates for the position of Students' Union Vice-President Academic, Mohamed El-Rafih and Paige Forsyth, went head to head during the debate held on Mon., Feb. 7.

The two candidates were allotted a short period to discuss their platforms and were then each asked a series of questions by moderator Greg Clayton, current SU Vice-President Operations and Finance.

Both candidates equally demonstrated their belief in their ability to succeed in the position, although their platforms differed significantly. A large part of Forsyth's platform rested on the promotion of inquiry-based learning, while El-Rafih focussed more on issues currently facing sessional professors.

El-Rafih cited his academic background, which includes such pursuits as tutoring, SU clubs, and having family members in an academic profession, as a solid foundation that would help ensure success in the VP Academic position.

"This is what I'm made for, this is what I know," stated El-Rafih.

Forsyth chose to concentrate on her experience within the SU and her knowledge of the position.

"I think I would come in quite easily because I've had the experience," said Forsyth.

A highlight of the forum came from a loaded audience question asking candidates to comment on their opponent's track record. El-Rafih called Forsyth's attendance at Student Academic Assembly meetings over the summer into question. Forsyth responded by saying that she could not make a judgement without better knowing her fellow candidate.

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