Patrick X. Cajina
No stranger to SU elections, Patrick Cajina is looking to make a 2016 his first successful bid and has entered the race for VP (External). He brings with him a considerable amount of experience, having held leadership positions at the Faculté Saint-Jean, but it’s unclear if he has the mettle to win an election dominated by main campus candidates. So far his campaign has focused heavily on the social mobility and equality offered by post-secondary education. He’s currently wrapping up a degree in political science, adding to the list of wanna-be student politicians produced by our school’s poli sci departments.
In terms of a relationship with other levels of government, Cajina has demonstrated a sound working knowledge of the key players, especially within the province. If we could count on him to develop his relationship with Marlin Schmidt, and at the same time remain wary of the provincial government’s propensity to throw students under the bus, he would make himself a useful exec.
The job-description of the VP (External) is to represent students and the SU to outside entities, and indeed to lobby on their behalf. While Sandare seems to understand this basic premise, there is little in his platform that suggests a reflective approach to the problems that an incoming VP (External) will face. His campaign video, while not unreasonably poorly produced, is confusing. He overextends the boxing metaphor to the point of occluding his campaign points, and the slogan of “employability + grants” is lost amidst a montage of him working out, and jogging fully suited to the legislature doors. It’s clear Sandare wants to win this vice presidency, but his motivations for doing so are muddy.
A long, actually well-written platform can be found on his website, but he sums it up on the homepage as affordability, mental health, and opportunity. Affordability is self-evident, and it was prudent to have made that a priority. Mental health is slightly more appropriate to the portfolio of the VPSL but again, prudent for Sandare to have included as it plays well among voters. Opportunity is the bizarre section. He name drops a few student organizations, but essentially his strategy distills itself to: work with people to think of ways to do things. So Make it Mike if you’re so inclined, or Make it Cajina if you feel like voting for a candidate who seems to understand the depressingly limited scope of student government in general.
Larsen is an interesting case because he seems to be simultaneously running two campaigns. The first campaign is Reed Larsen for VPX, the second campaign is simply please vote. I don’t know if the mass inducement to participate in SU elections actually works in his favour considering his posters are miserably bad and his official campaign video looks like it was produced by a fifteen-year-old using a cellphone camera. I don’t mean to overemphasize the poor quality of his advertising scheme, but compared to Sandare’s little clip, Larsen seems a touch unenthusiastic.
His website, which looks identical to Sandare’s, has a few good points, but the removal of GPA as a factor for work placements under his freedom of access bullet doesn’t make sense, nor does the idea that simply defining mandatory non-instructional fees will somehow magically lead to a tuition decrease as his platform seems to imply. Larsen tries to be personable and humorous, but I don’t see him having enough command of the issues to effectively lobby the outside world on behalf of undergraduates.