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Underwhelming audience for LSU elections forum

Last week's all-candidates forum attended by paltry crowd

The all-candidates forum for the LSU elections took place last week in the Students' Union Building. Photo by Jason Gilder
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Reported by Perrin Grauer

Last week’s all-candidates forum at the Langara Students’ Union went largely unnoticed by dozing and lunching students, described by those running in the election as a communication breakdown between the students and their union.

Each of the 10 candidates were allotted 90 seconds to speak about their platforms. During the forum, eight read directly from the campaign platforms they had posted online days earlier. The floor was then opened for questions, though none of the students nearby took advantage of the opportunity

Promotion of LSU election criticized by candidates

Speaking after the event, there was a broad consensus among candidates that LSU representatives need fresh strategies to promote student engagement with the union. Several candidates noted that the LSU’s standard approach has been to self-promote only during orientation week. The rest of the year, said one candidate, the union is mostly invisible and can be tremendously difficult to reach.

The Voice cannot identify individual candidates because, according to LSU campaign protocols, they could be disqualified if the rest of the candidates were not given an equal amount of space in the newspaper. Only half of the candidates listed on the LSU website attended the forum.

A clerk at the student union office said that LSU policy is to put posters up for these events, and if there were none, they had been taken down by mistake.

Gurlal Singh, student representative on the Langara Education Council, who is also friends with several of the candidates, was unconvinced.

“I was a little bit disappointed with that excuse,” Singh said. “I came to know [about the forum] very late and if I came to know very late, it means the only people who come to attend will be the candidates or random people.”

Jeannie Bates, chief returning officer who oversees the student election, said in an email without elaborating that the campaign schedule is set.

 

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