President: Kyle Walker
Selecting a presidential candidate to endorse is difficult as there are two that stand out as capable for the role. Though Kory Preston is perhaps the most knowledgeable about post-secondary student issues and passionate about advocacy, where Preston lacks Kyle Walker comes to the forefront.
Walker comes across as a straightforward approachable guy, in touch with the student population. With his experience in residence life, he has had the opportunity to make personal connections with students on campus, and can identify with them on their level. He doesn’t speak above the average student, and is willing to admit when he is unsure of an answer.
He is honest, up-front, well-spoken and avoids playing the role of politician, which unfortunately many candidates do.
He performed well in Sunday’s debate, and excelled in both the Waterloo and Brantford open forums. Walker answered questions to the best of his ability and admitted when he didn’t have the answers, as opposed to throwing around buzzwords and stumbling through his words – something that fellow candidate Lawrence Maclin has struggled with during this campaign period and in his position as assistant vice-president of campus clubs.
In this management role Lawrence has demonstrated that he is not capable of excelling in an important leadership positions, and the re-occuring problems of campus clubs have come to the forefront over the course of the year. While passionate, Maclin comes across as emotional and has a vision of the students union that doesn’t seem in touch with what students need.
Along these lines Sunny Chan also seems to lack the connection with student need. And despite his grasp of policy, he does not seem grounded in reality and would not be an appropriate choice.
While Preston has the right mentality of what a students’ union should do – specifically regarding advocacy – unfortunately within the current structure of the union many of his goals do not seem feasible.
Walker is the best choice for a candidate, as he is aware of where he wants to take the role and stands out as the best leader to operate within the current structure of the union.
Board of Directors
Having delivered a strong performance this past year, Greg Evans will continue to be an asset to the board as he brings a humorous and lighthearted voice to the table, but displays a genuine concern for students. A well-rounded director, he has never shied away from offering his opinion or challenging the perspective of his peers and management. Over the past year he has proven his dedication and commitment to the board and deserves to be re-elected.
Michael Onabolu has become an articulate and well-respected member of the board.
He stands up for the concerns and opinions of the student body in discussions and is well-versed in policy governance. Charismatic and clear, Onabolu has earned a place of high regard among fellow directors. Despite his depth of knowledge, Onabolu has also been able to identify where he feels that he can improve and continue working, further enhancing his worth on the board.
Also running for senate, which demonstrates his dedication to student politics, Chris Walker had a commendable performance at yesterday’s open forum. He answered questions with conviction and was knowledgeable regarding policy governance and other major issues affecting the board of directors. His confidence and knowledge will be useful in next year’s boardroom and he will surely emerge as a leader among the first-time board members.
Seth Warren’s impressive platform and performance at the open forum yesterday have set him apart from the majority of the first-time candidates. Advocating for accessibility, action and accountability, Warren’s platform appears in tune with the needs of Laurier students. His charisma, exemplified in his candid introduction at the open forum shows a positive attitude which will guide his actions in the boardroom and make him easy to work with.
Kyle Hocking should be re-elected to the board in the hopes that he will become chair of the board of directors in 2010-2011.
Hocking is not only confident and well-versed in policy, he also comes across as a leader and provides a great example for fellow directors. He seems genuinely interested in student politics and will serve as an impartial voice in the boardroom.
Hocking has proven that he is a critical voice among many who choose to stay silent. His questioning of the way that the union operates and healthy skepticism will help himkeep the board on track in doing their job – representing students and holding management accountable to their actions.
Hocking remains open and honest in the boardroom, which translated in yesterday’s open forum, where he did not hesitate to divulge his plans of running for chair to those in attendance.
Next year’s board, potentially full of first-year directors, would benefit from being led by Hocking’s experience, confidence and critical voice.