Recap: Sustainability a priority for vice-president education candidates

    The St. Thomas University Students’ Union held its first of three executive debates on Feb. 19. The three vice-president education candidates, Tyler Dupuis, Ailish Mackenzie-Foley and Nikita Spencer, talked about their platforms.

    Here’s what you missed:

    The candidates and their platforms

    Nikita Spencer: 

    Spencer said she’s wanted to be vice-president education since her first year. She was a wing representative in Harrington Hall in her first year, president of Harrington Hall in her second year and is the STUSU representative-at-large. She is also co-chair of STU Sustainability.

    Here are her summarized platform points:

    • Transparency of New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA) and the Canadian Association of Student Alliances (CASA)
      • She said she wants to increase transparency of these organizations through social media.
      • She also wants to bring NBSA and CASA board members to campus twice a month for question and answer sessions.
    • She wants to increase student influence in NBSA and CASA policies through surveys and student internships
    • Increased funding for students
      • She wants to increase the number of scholarships and bursaries for students.
      • She wants to increase awareness of current financial assistance available.
    •  Sustainability
      • She wants to hold the university accountable to its current environmental policies and expand upon them.
      • She wants to work with CASA to implement a national environmental policy for universities.

    Ailish Mackenzie-Foley:

    Mackenzie-Foley said she loves STU in her opening statement. She was a first-year representative on the Harrington House committee and was on the first-year STUSU committee. She is a residence advisor in Vanier Hall and is the STUSU activities coordinator.

    Here are her summarized platform points:

    • She wants to build a website for the national Get Out the Vote campaign.
    • She wants to amend and maintain STUSU policies, especially the sexual violence policy, the non-academic misconduct policy and the harassment and discrimination policy.
    • She wants to continue transparency of STUSU and collaborate with students with their ideas.
    • She wants to maintain and grow mental health resources through lobby work with NBSA and CASA and get a student advocate.
    • She wants to ensure programs such as the experiential learning program continue.
    • She wants to create a sustainability policy in partnership with ENACTUS, STU Sustainability and the STU administration.
    • She wants to remove work restrictions for international students and work on other international student initiatives.

    Tyler Dupuis:

    Dupuis said he’s a proud Acadian and comes from a low-income family, which he said made him aware of some of the barriers university students face. He’s Harrington Hall’s vice-president external and was involved with the NBSA Advocacy Week this year.

    Here are his summarized platform points:

    • He said he will work with the Get Out the Vote campaign to encourage student voting in the 2019 federal election
    • He wants to work with the municipal government as well as the provincial and federal governments
    • He wants to increase student grants, bursaries and expand student financial aid services. He also wants to include law students and part-time students in these programs.
    • He wants to address campus sustainability in meetings with CASA and NBSA and make campus more sustainable through student-led initiatives on and off campus
    • He wants to expand mental health services at STU and raise awareness on mental health through a campaign, guest speakers and student-led initiatives


    Check out our live stream of the debate here.

    The debate: