If elected, would you change anything about the Health and Dental plan next year?
Charly Wreggitt, president: There were so many complaints when it first came out, so we wouldn’t want to just switch it again. We want to make sure that if it does switch over it is done properly – that there is a referendum, that it’s brought to council before it’s signed, and that students are aware there would be a change.
What do you see as UMSU’s primary role or responsibility within the university?
CW: Our main role is to make sure we’re advocating for all the students. Making sure that all the student groups are getting what they need [ . . . ] if any student is having an issue, we’re there to help them, and there to fight for them. We want students to know we’re a welcoming space. We want students to know that there is an advocacy body to help them if they have issues [ . . . ] we do want to have the fun, the parties, but we also want things that help students get experience in other things.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing u of m students today?
Monica Igweagu, VP advocacy: From talking to a lot of students,I’ve realized that they are not aware of the opportunities and possibilities that are available to them [ . . . ] That’s the main focus that right now we’re trying to deal with.
Are you happy with the $260 U-Pass the city of Winnipeg has approved? How would you approach u-pass dealings next year?
Dana Hatherly, VP external: I’m really happy that there is a lot of support for the U-Pass coming from city council [ . . . ] there has been a lot of work on their part to make sure that this goes forward. I would be willing and committed to advocating for students who don’t have the privilege to drive to school [ . . . ] I understand that there are students who don’t intend to use the bus pass, so I would like to at least find out if it’s within our capacity to ensure a fair opt-out option.
If you were to find yourself having to work with members from other slates in the upcoming year, how would you handle that?
Rhongzhao Li, VP student services: We really want to do something that students want [ . . . ] If I work with other groups and people, if I get the position of VPSS, I will still follow our platform.
How would you ensure that you were aware of students’ concerns, and responsive to them?
CW: As one of our platform points, we want an open door policy. We want to set office hours, not just on the Fort Garry campus, but also on the Bannatyne campus.
DH: The open door policy is important, but sometimes students hesitate to come forward, so there also needs to be an essence of outreach as well, where we seek out those students.
What would you do for orientation Week next fall?
Victoria Watkins, VP internal: We want to maintain what UMSU has been doing, but we would want the concert to focus on having more local and Canadian artists, and even incorporating student groups [ . . . ] I think just really trying to stay within our budget is very important.
What kind of leadership should a president bring to UMSU?
CW: I think a president has to make sure that they’re really doing what their job is supposed to be getting out there, attending senate meetings with the administration and making sure that students have the representation. We have all of these positions that the president can sit on, and it’s really important that the president is there.
UMSU businesses have done very well in the last month. what would you like to see done with those revenues?
VW: In order to be able to answer properly, I would need to have access to financial records and to know where money is needed to make sure it’s all financially stable, within our budget, and that we don’t do anything too crazy.
How would you ensure that the u of m is a safe, accessible, and welcoming place for all students?
MI: That’s where issues such as being approachable and accessible to students come in. Students have to be able to realize that you are actually there for them, and you’re advocating for their priorities.
DH: As VPE, I’ll engage with students by hosting weekly meetings with an open door, so that we can prioritize based on what students want to do. In terms of running campaigns on campus, I want students to be aware that they can take a lead in these campaigns and that we’d be there for them.
How would you communicate UMSU campaigns to students?
RL: As my position name suggests, students are my bosses. Whatever students want, for example, more microwaves, maybe we can get
one. Maybe they want a job after graduation. Maybe we can get someone to help students find out how to get an interview, or how to write a resume, something like that.