Meet the candidates: Vice-president education

Alex Driscoll

Alex Driscoll (Karissa Donkin/AQ)

Year: Second
Major: Political science and human rights
Hometown: Saint John, N.B.
STUSU experience: N/A

Driscoll favours meetings over protests

Alex Driscoll says the position of vice-president education seemed like a natural fit since he is an outgoing, passionate and dedicated person.

As a political science and human rights major, the second-year student is committed to working with other students’ unions and lobbying organizations to lobby the provincial government in a unified way.

Driscoll’s previous experience with student government includes involvement throughout his high school career, and his position as treasurer for Chatham Hall house committee this year.

Known around campus for his vocal opinions, Driscoll believes he would be a good choice for vice-president education because “it’s time to see what I can do myself and find a way to work with the government to meet the needs of students.”

Driscoll first became involved with the students’ union last year during the “What’s your number?” campaign, aimed at bringing attention to student debt.

While the protest sparked that initial interest, Driscoll’s approach to government lobbying would begin with writing letters and meeting with government officials at table discussions first.

“Protesting is a last resort. We write letters first and get together at conferences, respectful ways of meeting with the government. Starting with protests makes us look unprofessional.”

Driscoll wants to keep the STUSU’s membership in Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, an organization which lobbies the federal government, but he believes the New Brunswick Student Alliance is more important for the union.

“I can absolutely try my best to make sure that the NBSA is a shining horse that lobbies the provincial government. We’re stronger if we can go to them and say we don’t think we’re being treated fairly.”

He looks forward to meeting and working with students from other unions in the province.

Elizabeth Strange

Elizabeth Strange (Shane Magee/AQ)

Year: Second
Major: Women’s studies and human rights
Hometown: Medicine Hat, Alta.
STUSU experience: Current vice-president external, Vanier Hall

Strange wants a travel subsidy for out-of-province students

Elizabeth Strange has ideas for change.

She spent two years as president of her high school student council and is now the vice-president external for Vanier Hall on the STUSU.

If elected as vice-president education, she hopes to sit down and talk with the provincial government about what students need.

“If it’s an issue that the government doesn’t want to hear about, protesting can be effective, but in order for it to be effective, we really need to have the student engagement.”

One way to engage students would be to move out of the student union building and up to campus, she said. Strange suggested moving into the old residence life offices in James Dunn Hall.

“I want to be a visible representative for the students’ union, someone that people feel they can approach to talk to about things.”

Strange decided to run for vice-president education this year because she was craving more of a leadership role, something she believes she is suited for because she is “intelligent, persistent, and determined.”

She said she is able to work well with others, an important quality in any elected representative. “I’m not going to freak out if a vote doesn’t go my way. We have a democratic system and different opinions are going to be heard, but that doesn’t have to turn into a personal fight between me and someone else.”

Strange hopes to make it possible for students to charge their books at the bookstore directly to their student account at STU; to lobby the provincial government to create a travel subsidy for out-of-province students; and to make changes to the student loan program and convince the university to change its stance on Access Copyright, a photocopying agreement which expired last year and has not been renewed.

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