Cord endorsements

WLUSU President:

Nick Gibson

Rebecca Vasluianu

Last year I believe The Cord made a mistake in endorsing Kyle Walker: the likeable, less knowledgeable candidate. So this year I have made a conscious effort not to let irrelevant criteria affect me and to select the best candidate for the job.

With this in mind, it’s clear that the choice comes down to Nick Gibson and Matt Park. And while Park dominated the all-candidates debate and open forum, his platform falls short in focusing on smaller issues on campus but not making any substantial promises.

Like Park, Gibson has also demonstrated impressive knowledge of policy governance. However, he couples this with a promise to put more onus on the university in terms of providing for students’ needs. He has also impressed me with his strong stance on the contentious issue of the dying business that is the Dining Hall. I also believe he has the knowledge and confidence to allow him not to be used as a puppet to further upper management’s goals.

I would like to end with an anti-endorsement of Aeron Lawrence, whose platform is full of bizarre promises and seems haphazardly thrown together with spelling mistakes. His ideas are extremely vague and indeterminate, and he’s given no indication throughout his campaign of a clear vision or understanding of the Students’ Union.

—Disclaimer: Nick Gibson is an opinion columnist for The Cord

Nick Gibson

Eric Merkley

As one who is admittedly not WLUSU’s biggest fan, I came into the presidential race skeptical to say the least. Instead, I find myself strongly backing Nick Gibson as the next president of the union. I am thoroughly impressed with his desire to flex the union’s muscle to push the university to fix the Dining Hall, which is a sad joke.

Nick gets the fact that one of the primary roles of the union is to advocate on behalf of student interests. He also understands that WLUSU needs to be prudent and business-like in handling its finances — something lost upon successive administrations.

While Matt Park is the most well spoken of the candidates, his platform is thin on both vision and details. I am always skeptical of career student politician types and there are serious questions that arise from his record with the union.
In terms of other candidates, Dan La Cute has put too much focus on the panda bear novelty. While seemingly a likeable guy, he clearly falls behind Gibson and Park in terms of grasp of the issues.

Aeron Lawrence’s platform of video games and cots doesn’t warrant any serious consideration. After watching the debates it is clear that “Aero” hasn’t a clue what is going on. His election would be a tragedy for Laurier students.
The choice is clear on Feb. 3 – 4.

—Disclaimer: Nick Gibson is an opinion columnist for The Cord

Matt Park

Mike Lakusiak

I had this year’s candidates narrowed down to two from the get-go. One, Nick Gibson came out strong as the affable and knowledgeable advocacy candidate, the one with the grasp of how to appeal to both informed and uninformed Laurier voters. The other, Matt Park, while asking voters to “imagine” and a platform riddled with third person references, seemed to bring forward just about the only buzzword to actually resound with those who care: “experience”.

While Park’s tenure with WLUSU as a director and onetime chair of the board built the experience he wields against the others, during that time he was known around this office for refusing to comment or co-operate with The Cord. Not involved at that time, however, I can’t hold that against him now and look at his knowledge and realistic ideas first. Dan La Cute seems willing to learn, but with one-year terms and strong competition, leaning on a monochromatic animal prop — oddly reminiscent of last year’s less-experienced candidate — isn’t enough. Aero is an afterthought in this race, he admitted as much at the close of open forum. Nick Gibson, while he would make a damn good president, seems less self-sufficient than Park and lacks the inside-out WLUSU knowledge.
Log in, close your eyes, and click Matt Park. If you miss and click Gibson it wouldn’t be the end of the world though.

Nick Gibson

Alanna Wallace

Out of the gates, I knew exactly who I wanted to endorse and why. Nick Gibson had the experience and intelligence to win me over right off the bat. His charisma has failed to wane despite Matt Park’s “dark horse” campaign which, much to my surprise, has garnered some of my respect. The WLUSU election has become nothing but a three-ring circus of animal costumes, shit videos and empty promises. And while Gibson did prescribe to some gimmicky methods, behind his tactics was a solid platform of concrete ideas — ideas that, unlike other candidates, he would have the power to make as WLUSU president.

Dan La Cute is kind-hearted and appears to genuinely care about student needs – but that doesn’t necessarily mean he would be the best president. And Aeron Lawrence seems completely out to lunch when it comes to union operations and the relationships therein. Although torn between both Gibson and Park, the latter’s history at the university and union makes me weary. I queston whether he’s apt to take over a union that has undergone drastic changes and is extremely different than the one he left three years ago.

At the end of the day, I hope that for once Laurier students understand that their WLUSU president doesn’t have to be their best friend — they have to run a $13 million corporation.

—Disclaimer: Nick Gibson is an opinion columnist for The Cord

Vote for no one

Linda Givetash

The recurring themes in the campaigns and debates this election season have centered on the students’ union’s lack of communication with the student body and the need to reach out to students beyond the Fred Nichols Campus Centre.
Despite every undergraduate student paying fees to WLUSU, they are generally uninformed and uninterested about the very purpose of the union.

This fact rang clear in last year’s election with only a pitiful 14 per cent of the student body taking the time to cast a ballot.

I suspect little will change with online voting. That minority, rather than having a real voice, will split their voice between Gibson and Park who have a policy backgrounds, La Cute with strong experience in student life and Lawrence who fails to exhibit any comprehension of the union or role of the president.

Rather than endorsing one candidate from a pool that promise similar sentiments as years past to connect with students, I am endorsing an option for the apathetic majority. On Feb. 3 and 4, get online and scrap your ballot.

For those who don’t care, don’t know or don’t support any of the candidates, tell the union just that. Voting for no one tells WLUSU that while you care about where your tuition fees are going, they have failed to engage or represent you.

Get your money’s worth and vote for you.

Board of Directors

The Cord editorial board endorses candidates for the 2011-12 board

Luke Dotto

After an impressive performance at the open forum, Luke Dotto has earned our endorsement for first-year director.

He demonstrated knowledge of the union and its operations and had clearly done his research in preparation for his campaign.

Dotto has plenty of on-campus experience and has worked on campaigns before.

His focus on advocacy and lobbying will be a welcome alternative in the boardroom.

Jon Pryce

Jon Pryce should be re-elected to the board of directors.

He continuously advocates for the needs of students, as was exemplified by his institution of an online live feed of each board meeting.

He consistently reminds fellow board members of ownership linkage and without him, that voice would be a great loss.

His genuine care and concern for students should continue on the board.

-Disclosure: Jon Pryce is a candidate for the WLUSP BOD

Chris Oberle

Throughout his two-year tenure on the board, Oberle has been consistently well-prepared and engaged during meetings. He displays a strong grasp of Robert’s Rules and WLUSU policy.

Oberle is not afraid to speak, particularly when it comes to keeping the president and management of the union honest. He asks tough questions at the right times and knows when to listen and learn from others. We are confident that he could step up next year and take on more of a leadership role.

Chris Oberle should be re-elected to the board in the hopes that he will become chair of the board of directors in 2011-2012.

Voting will open 8 a.m. on Feb. 3 and close Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. To vote, please click here.