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Students question ASA election candidates at Candidates Forum

Augustana students head to the polls on Wednesday, Sept. 21 for this fall’s Augustana Students’ Association (ASA) By-Election. On Monday, Sept. 19, the candidates participated in an all-candidate forum in the Wahtohkowin Lodge.

The forum started off with each candidate taking the mic to explain their election platform. You can find summaries of each of the candidates’ platforms on the ASA website, which were elaborated on in recent interviews with the Medium.

This election, Emilie Barnbrook, Peter Ogunmodede, Racquel Deveau and Sasha Reich are running for First Year Representative; Alex Ho is running for Second Year Representative; Peace (Anuoluwapo) Tokode is running for Third Year Representative; Natasha Mutize is running for Fourth Year Representative; Ivy Njoroge is running for Councilor at Large; Aliya Kadir is running for International Student Representative; and Emily MacMillan is running for Aboriginal Student’s Representative.

The speeches were followed by a 10-minute question period. The question period is transcribed below:

Question period starts

This is for Peter: What events do you have planned for the first years?

Peter Ogunmodede: Thank you. For now, I don’t have anything planned. Hopefully, each and every one of you can come up to me with your ideas. So, if you have any ideas, please come up to me. I’d really like to work with the ASA and we would do our best to satisfy your needs. Thank you.

You [Ivy Njoroge] talked about 3-11. I don’t really know what this whole thing is. Can you maybe elaborate on that a little bit?

Ivy Njoroge: And that is exactly why I think we should be having that conversation. The 3-11 is a new system that Augustana will move into next year. You have a 3-week term and then an 11-week term. I know that for incoming first-years next year, they will have a first-year experience where they are told about life at university. So, it is basically a shift from how we have the two terms now.

The first thing we need to do is make sure that everyone on campus is informed about this system because, if you are coming next year, it is going to be a drastic change. It seems half of us don’t know what the system is going to look like and, being someone who has been in a new system or rather a new program, I know the struggle. I feel like we need to start having that conversation and make sure that students are well informed about the 3-11 system.

My question is also about the 3-11. Racquel, you also mentioned something about it. My question is, why is there a 3-week term and an 11-week term and how many classes will students be taking in each term?

Racquel Deveau: I probably know just as much as everyone in this room, but, from my understanding, you take one course for three weeks and that’s an intensive deeper development of that class. Then you take four classes for 11 weeks so you are focused on those four classes.

My question is for Emilie. Basically, in the first year residence, there has been a lot of problems in the bathrooms and every time you go and talk to somebody they say we will do something about it. There is a clear backlog of something that is not being attended to; so, as a first year representative for ASA, how and what will you do to help us have better rooms or a better bathroom?

Emilie Barnbrook: That is the first I have heard about that, but, what I would do is bring that up constantly through our meetings with the ASA and make sure it is being dealt with and is being addressed. And, if it is not being addressed, to make a point that something needs to be done. We deserve to live in a residence where things are working properly and we have access to proper hygiene because we are paying for it. I would really drive that point home and make sure things are happening.

Alex, as a second year representative, I am wondering how you are going to get second-year residents living on campus involved in school activities and what not?

I didn’t start at the same time as all the second-years who are in second-year now, I actually started a semester before them. I feel like I am a very personal individual and I hope that no one is afraid to come up and talk to me. I’m always walking around with a smile and I’m not afraid to go up and talk to people myself.

I would love to go to the cafe and make announcements all the time. I love to make jokes with people and to have coffee with them. I like cookies so we can always make those too. A lot of the second years live in the ravine and there are big boards and common areas so I’ll leave my number everywhere.

Question period ends

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