Recap: Vice-president education debate talks transparency, sustainability, accountability

    (Caitlin Dutt/AQ)

    Tonight, the four candidates for the 2020-21 St. Thomas University Students’ Union vice-president education took the stage as they debated on topics from transparency to accessibility. The candidates were Megan Cormier, Tyler Dupuis, Alana Keenan and Dane Rose.

    Here’s what you missed.

    The candidates and their platforms

    Dane Rose

    Dane Rose is a third-year human rights and economics with business major. He has already been active with STUSU through committees. Rose said students’ voices need to be a strong one. He wants to address the concerns of students and find solutions that are “impactful yet practical.”

    The platform
    • Sustainability
      • Rose said he wants to enforce and create new environmental policies and programs.
      • He wants to create an inter-university conference on sustainability, through a collaboration with STU Sustainability.
      • Rose wants to reduce plastic waste on campus.
    • Creation of the Office of the Student Ombudsperson
      • He wants to assist students in advocating for themselves with the creation of the Office of the Student Ombudsperson (OSO).
        • He said the OSO would provide independent, impartial and confidential support for students who require assistance and advice in addressing issues related to their academic careers.
        • Issues may include: wishing to have an appraisal of your final grades and accusation of academic misconduct (cheating, copying and plagiarism)
    • Finding donors
      • Rose will develop a plan, in collaboration with the vice-president administration and other STUSU stakeholders to target and approach potential donors. The donations would “enhance” the experience of students.

    Alana Keenan:

    Keenan is a fourth-year student studying law society and politics with a minor in native studies. She served for three years on a students’ union at the University of Guelph before this. She said she thinks she’s a good voice to advocate for the queer community and students who require accessibility services.

    The platform
    • Keenan intends to create a student advisory committee for academic policies.
    • She will advocate for improved accessibility supports.
    • She wants to challenge current health centre policies, such as wait times, and change them to accommodate the needs of students with chronic health conditions.
    • She will improve STU student access and awareness of UNB Library Services.
    • She wants to lobby local government and the federal government to increase financial aid and Student Living Support.
    • She said she wants to advocate for a tuition freeze for domestic and international students.

    Tyler Dupuis:

    Tyler Dupuis is a second-year student studying political science and environment and society. He has been the vice-president external for Harrington Hall residence for two years. He said he believes in students’ right to quality and affordable education.

    The platform
    • Increasing transparency
      • Dupuis wants to collaborate with student senators and Board of Governors representatives to make academic institutions accountable and transparent.
      • He wants to make STUSU more transparent.
      • Dupuis wants students to be represented better by improving the role of STUSU committees. 
      • He wants to increase NBSA and CASA presence on campus.
    • Supporting students
      • Dupuis said he wants to collaborate with clubs and societies to better support and raise awareness on student issues.
      • He has a “student-first policy.” He wants to make STUSU more accessible on campus to better accommodate students.
      • Dupuis wants to represent all STU communities effectively in his advocacy work.

    Megan Cormier:

    Megan Cormier is double majoring in human rights and philosophy. Strong passion for sustainability. Cormier is currently an off-campus representative on STUSU. She says her platform points are broad because she wants to encompass entirety of student body and their experiences.

    • Accessibility
      • Cormier believes students should have equal access to education. She wants to eliminate mental, economic and physical barriers to education.
    • Sustainability
      • Cormier says she would like to see STU make a long-term climate and energy action plan that allows us to divest from fossil fuels and implement forms of renewable energy.
    • Transparency
      • She wants easy-to-read and understandable STUSU updates
      • She wants to continue educating students on the importance of CASA and the NBSA.


    Watch our live stream of the debate here.  


    The debate