URSU diligently reports on itself(???)

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Finally, the students have an accountable public voice on campus!

Candidates faced questions, criticisms and kudos at forum

This past Thursday (March 10) candidates running in the URSU General Election answered questions and discussed pressing topics as the campaign heads into its final week. Thursday’s event will be followed by another similar event Tuesday March 15 before the voting period begins. Candidates presented their platforms and students voiced their concerns, developing into an enthusiastic and democratic debate.

While current URSU Executives had to explain their actions and defend their decisions, those seeking to unseat them were forced to evaluate the feasibility and affordability of their platforms and the practical ways they plan to keep their promises. Dozens of students gave congratulations and criticisms, as those who attended heard spirited debate and insightful questions. What few interruptions there were resulted in further analysis of the topics at hand and allowed the audience more opportunity to voice their concerns.

Look – we've met URSU's current communications rep, and he's a nice-seeming dude who also clearly takes his job a bit seriously, since URSU has seen a sharp increase in news postings and press releases over the last month.

But this seems a little off-base. No offense, URSU communications rep, but this is kind of our job? Readers, you can head over to the Carillon's Twitter feed if you missed last week's all-candidates forum, and if you want coverage of this week's forum (tomorrow at noon in the Riddell Centre multipurpose room) there'll be an online-only story about it as well.

7 comments

  1. Neil Petrich 14 March, 2011 at 11:14

    The story about the Candidate Forum was intended to publicize Tuesday's forum and give voters an idea of what topics were brought up at Thursday's forum. In response to the headline, the website doesn't just report on URSU but also mentions other events going on around the campus. As for the sharp increase in news releases and postings: that's my job and I'm going to keep doing it. As the Communications Coordinator, part of my duties is to also let students and the public know what's going on at the U of R campus…in a neutral manner and that's what I was trying to achieve with the article.

  2. John Cameron 14 March, 2011 at 13:28

    Neil: As far as your output goes, we're happy to hear it. Communication is important w/r/t transparency, and we're glad that you're dedicated to putting it out! We're just not sold on URSU's own website being a neutral place to put this information, given that there's an incumbent running for re-election. But we appreciate your reasoning and your response.

  3. Matthew 16 March, 2011 at 11:58

    Diana –

    I think the difference, and the thing that John's trying to point out, is that the Carillon has no mandate to be neutral on issues such as these. We've tried our best, surely, but it's not in our constitution. Now, we're not even saying that URSU did anything wrong here, but based on their constitution there is the possibility of something being wrong here. It's our job to report things like that.

  4. Diana Burton 16 March, 2011 at 12:08

    Matthew,
    I have no issue with the article, but coupled with Mr. Cameron's comments I am led to believe contrary to what you state. 

  5. John Cameron 16 March, 2011 at 13:10

    Thanks Diana, but the point is more that we're autonomous and independent from URSU – and that Neil isn't. That's all. If news about URSU appears in our pages, people whose only interest in URSU is whether or not it's working for our readership and ownership, which happens to be the students at the U of R.

  6. Neil Petrich 16 March, 2011 at 13:36

    Just to clarify my position: I work FOR the URSU staff and its members aka STUDENTS, and I work WITH the URSU executive. I've mentioned this to John and I think we understand each other. I get the Carillon's criticism and actually kind of appreciate it personally. No one expects the Carillon to trumpet the successes of URSU because that's not their job, basically it's mine. The Carillon does a great job of reporting on (among other things)  the achievements of students, staff, and faculty at the U of R. When it comes to the 'affairs' of URSU though they can become the 'dissenting voice' but that voice is necessary because, as John Cameron so accurately pointed out, they are autonomous and independent from URSU. However, I do think we're both important sources of information for students and the public, we just have different approaches or mandates.

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