Candidates present their ideas in preparation for elections

The nominees for the Capilano Students Union (CSU) executive elections got a chance to speak their minds at the September 29 all-candidates meeting. This forum was held in order to give Capilano Students an opportunity to meet the candidates who are running for the coordinating positions on the CSU executive committees, and hear their respective platforms. The 31 students in attendance signified a comparatively successful turnout.
There are 10 executive committees in the CSU, and all but two of the coordinator positions are up for election this week. The positions up for election are the Educational Issues Coordinator, Environmental Issues Coordinator, First Nations Students' Liaison, Queer Students' Liaison, Social Activities Liaison, Students of Colour Liaison, Students with Disabilities Liaison, and the Women's Liaison. Four of these positions are uncontested, meaning there is only one person running – but that one person still needs to be voted in to be able to take office.
During the meeting, the candidates were given the chance to make a statement about why they should be voted into office, as well as answering questions given to them by the audience or other candidates.
Matthew Bakker, a second year Global Stewardship student running for Environmental Issues Coordinator, started off the conversation by stating his past experience with Environmental Issues. ``I not only volunteered on the Environmental Issues committee last year,'' Bakker stated, ``but I also organized the goBeyond conferences which motivated students to do something about climate change.'' One of his opponents, Brandon Yau, thinks his own experience with human rights and the environment will be more beneficial to the Capilano Student body. ``I am really interested in combining human rights issues and sustainability,'' said Yau, ``and it is something I am very good at.''
The candidates for Educational Issues Coordinator all had plenty to say (and promise) about tuition fees, from signing a petition to lower them to completely getting rid of them altogether. Noah Fine, last year's Educational Issues Coordinator who is running for the position again, said that he wants to keep parking fees and tuition fees down, seeing how they have skyrocketed as of late. ``I don't believe in reduction,'' stated Fine. ``Tuition should be free.'' His opponent, Ngaio Schiml, also is dedicated to lowering the tuition fees, but in a slightly less dramatic fashion. ``It is unacceptable to raise the tuition fees by 7% in one year,'' stated Schiml in regards to the proposed HST, ``I will be campaigning to make the MLA's reevaluate this decision.''
The Women's Liaison candidates were both fighting hard for unconventional feminism, stating that neither of them like the negative association that follows feminists around. ``Feminists aren't man-haters,'' said candidate Sarah Vitet, ``they are committed to making a social change in the world around them.'' Her opponent, Camille Noullett, said that her own campaign represented an intersection of passions. ``I am definitely a feminist,'' said Noullett, ``but I am also very involved in student government and planning events.''
The meeting showcased some very strong-opinions, exciting prospects, and heated debate. The candidates were all fighting hard to convince the student audience that they should be the ones voted in. However, the decision remains up to the entire student body, not just the 30-odd students in attendance that day.

// Krissi Bucholtz

For more information on candidates and the election, see our in-depth feature here.

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