At the International Student Association (ISA) Forum yesterday, all three candidates wasted no time promising to get international student tuition regulated. While I would be disappointed if any of them didn’t promise to continue what has now been many years of advocacy, claiming you will get it done next year isn’t fooling anyone. Only Thibadeau acknowledged that the project could not possibly be guaranteed. What is worse is that none of the candidates knew where the ISA office was when questioned, with the best answer being an outright guess by Brown, who got lucky saying it was in SUB.
I understand there are a lot of moving parts related to running for vice-president (external). However the candidates, or their campaign managers, or volunteers, had a chance to prep quick information overviews they could review quickly before the forum. The lack of basic information — such as where the office of the group hosting this forum — is distressing, and in my mind a sign of not taking this forum as seriously as the issues facing international students are. That being said, the candidates did seem to understand the questions asked of them.
We saw a clear distinction among the candidates, both in their approach and their level of understanding of the position they are running for. Thibadeau’s answers were ones of staying the course, and while those are clear and easy to understand, they didn’t really stand out at this forum, especially since they are all about working on changes that don’t appear to be in a state to bear fruit next year. Thieba’s responses focused on getting more research and information. Unfortunately not only is this a well-documented issue, the students at this forum don’t want or need more studies, they need change, and they need change soon. Brown’s answers stood out as the best. He appears to be the most willing to hitting the ground running, and in this particular set of issues that is definitely what is most needed. Moreover, Adam flexed some of his experience with advocacy when he discussed other organizations that can be possible sources of support and resources for international students
The game has changed, this forum has come a long way from the bloodless, risk-free forum at SUBstage, and Brown has definitely been able to show what sets him ahead of the other two candidates.