SU 2024 electoral dissection: Vice-president (Operations and Finance)

Every year, Gateway is hosting a panel to discuss the Students’ Union (SU) election. This year’s panelists gave their perspectives on the candidates running, student politics and who students should vote for in the 2024 SU election.

The opinions expressed by the panelists do not reflect those of Gateway.

The panel

This year’s panel included:

  • Haruun Ali: Fourth-year political science student at the University of Alberta, former SU Open Studies and Arts Advisor, and presidential candidate in the 2022 and 2023 SU elections.
  • Pia What: Gateway Director of Marketing and Outreach ’19-20, Online Production Editor ’20-21, Managing Editor ’21
  • Jared Gordon: Third-year finance and economics student at U of A, current treasurer of the U of A Conservative Club.

Joachim Bony, a third-year business, economics, and law student, and the 2022-23 vice-president (operations and finance) VPOF of the Association des Universitaires de la Faculté Saint Jean (AUFSJ).

Lily Polenchuk Joachim Bony, Vice Presidential Candidate (Operations and Finance), Myer Horowitz Forum.

Levi Flaman, fifth-year open studies student, and current SU VPOF.

Levi Flaman Myer Horowitz 2024
Lily Polenchuk Levi Flaman, Vice Presidential Candidate (Operations and Finance), Myer Horowitz forum.

Ali began by acknowledging that “several generations of students have seen Flaman run for some sort of student leadership position.” He thought Flaman’s performance as current VPOF was neither good nor bad, just somewhere in between. However, Ali felt that Bony’s campaign was very engaging and “phenomenal”.

“This doesn’t feel like a recycled campaign from last year. It seems like new, fresh ideas are being discussed around the table. I think that’s what students want.

Gordon agreed with Ali and said that “sometimes it’s good to have new people who haven’t been in that position or who are in the position.” Co added to Gordon’s point that VPOF is a role that can benefit from having the same person twice. But she found that Bony had done “a good job positioning himself as a fresh prospect with experience.”

Shifting the conversation, Gordon pointed out that at the Augustana campus forum, both candidates did not specify how they would address broader issues.

“Both seemed disconnected from the issues at Augustana, which is concerning,” Gordon said. “But conversely, Bony seemed very committed to the issues of Campus Saint-Jean (CSJ). »

Co said both candidates want the money to be spent efficiently. But Flaman focused on details such as the single-source cold drink policy and the U-Pass, Co said. She appreciated Bony’s point that the problem is not a lack Services.

“This is how we allocate that money and ensure that students are generally informed about the services available.” I appreciate his ability to talk about it.

Ali said he expected to see unrealistic ideas in Bony’s program given that he was a newcomer. However, Ali discovered that it was the other way around. Flaman’s arguments regarding revising the Student’s Union Building (SUB) master plan and creating a housing commission to review renting or owning a residence were examples of unrealistic goals, explained Ali.

Gordon said Flaman’s idea to hire external auditors to conduct three audits — including a value-for-money audit — made him cringe. He said the benefits of external audits do not always materialize, especially in the short term, and probably not in the long term.

“As he says himself, this could benefit us in the long term. (But) doing all these things is very expensive. I don’t think Flaman understands the costs and benefits of doing that,” Gordon said.

According to Ali, Flaman ran as vice president of a company, while Bony ran as vice president of a union. He cited Bony’s goal of launching an awareness campaign about the League’s services, which Ali said is very important.

Although the VPOF is an internal role, as Flaman mentioned, Ali said it is not limited to internal matters and decisions must involve all students. Co echoed Ali’s view and said students were voting for VPOF.

“Their job is to communicate with students. This is not an inward-facing position,” said Co. “I think it’s an unfortunate perspective to bring into this role, one that actively undermines the impact that VPOF can have. “

Who will win: Three votes for Bony

Who should win: Three votes for Bony

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