External candidates for the vice-presidency compete on the qualifications during the Great Debate
During the Great Debate, external VP candidates questioned their experience and insider status.
The candidates for External Vice President are External Associate Vice President (AVP) James Cabangon, AVP Campaigns and Community Engagement Erin Co and newcomer Sanchay Jain.
Cabangon asked Co and Jain at different times about how they would lobby the feds, pointing to his own experience as the only candidate to have done so.
Positioning himself as “a 22-year-old federal lobbyist,” Cabangon said, “I’m the only AVP to have participated in a week of federal lobbying…it’s beneficial to students because it builds on what I really stands out, and those are my pre-existing relationships with external stakeholders.
He asked Jain how he would lobby as a freshman and why he wanted to lobby.
In response, Jain said he wanted to push for an increase in the loan repayment assistance threshold so that students don’t have to repay their student loans until they make $50,000 a year or more.
During a discussion about including graduate students in external advocacy, Cabangon asked Co how she would include graduate student voices even if she hadn’t participated in a federal lobby week.
Co responded by pointing out that while lobbying is not part of her job description as AVP campaigns and community engagement, she has sought to participate in provincial lobbying to gain as much experience as possible.
“[In order] to be included in the provincial lobbying week, I was not given these jobs, I actively applied for it,” she said.
Asked about current External Vice President Saad Shaoib’s criticized meeting with an independent MP previously accused of sexual assault, Cabangon said he was not involved.
He also said he would run for the leadership of Undergraduates of Canadian Research Intensive Universities (UCRU), the federal student lobbying body, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Jain asked Co and Cabangon what they would do differently this year that they weren’t able to accomplish as part of the vice president’s external office this year.
Co claimed she was the only candidate to build on what the field office has done this year, citing her platform points to increase scholarship claims and make scholarship eligibility fairer. .
Cabangon said that as deputy vice president, he was able to identify gaps in existing policy, including in sexual violence prevention and climate action, which he would address as vice president. -President.
Jain showcased his newcomer status as a strength, bringing new ideas to the table.
“You might see me as a stranger, but sometimes a stranger is the best fit,” he said.
When asked which lobbying points they would favor for international students, the candidates showed similarities.
All three mentioned limiting tuition fees for international students, a policy already in place for domestic tuition fees.
Cabangon and Co said it wants to push to remove barriers preventing international students from gaining permanent residency. Co specifically said it wants to include student work experience in the requirements to apply for the Canadian Experience Class residency express pathway.
Voting opens March 7.
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