SAMRU election candidates face-off on campus issues
Students express concern over how Mount Royal is being represented
On Feb. 27, SAMRU Candidates took the stage to face-off against each other. Erik Queenan, running unopposed for President, Zoe Slusar, unopposed for VP Student Life, David Cloutier, unopposed for VP Academic and Laurie Gaal running against Madina Kanayeva for VP External addressed student’s questions in Wyckham.
Students raised concerns regarding being informed of the upcoming elections, addressing bullying and parking prices.
On top of that the candidates addressed: mental health issues, advocacy and the importance of building relationships with students at Mount Royal. They talked about the market modifiers being implemented, additional parking plans and the upcoming elections.
Each candidate voiced recognition of addressing mental health issues, saying there needs to be more advocacy, acceptance and promotion of the services already available on campus. The proposed parking on Richardson Way was addressed in the debate, and it was revealed that Mount Royal students could expect to see parking added in the future, although that future could be far away.
“Parking on Richardson Way will absolutely happen in four, five or six years once the development across the way is complete,” said Queenan.
Queenan said unfortunately the city’s timeline is different than the university’s timeline. Candidate Gaal also suggested adding in parking pads and turning one of the fields into a parkade, as well as highlighted the issue of student’s parking illegally.
“If you’re a student and you’ve paid for a pass and you can’t get a spot, that’s not right,” said Gaal. She said that a solution to this problem could be implementing more arms in the day lots.
There was one question that stood out in particular above the rest, specifically addressed to Gaal. One student waited patiently in cue to ask his question, approached the microphone and looked Gaal in the eyes.
“My question is directed to Laurie. You’ve been known to make a few explicit comments on the popular MRU Confessions page, and I was just wondering how the student body can be reassured that you’d be representing us in a professional manner to the external stakeholders.”
Gaal said: “I definitely do admit that in the past I have made comments that I have regretted and I’ve actually gone back and have deleted most of them.”
Gaal said that it has been a combination of her work experience in Oil and Gas and the effort that she has been putting in to her degree that has caused to realize and grow past the comments she made on the site.
“I fully admit that I’ve taken on, maybe in the past, a role that may not have been the best representation of who I am. But again, I’ve moved forward. I literally have limited my commenting to barely anything and most of my comments are to support and to educate students about the services at MRU.”
The other candidate chose not to respond to this issue.