Students’ Representative Council Elections: Jonathan Cogger running for president and the board of Governors

294

1. I am a third year student studying Political Science and History and [am] also studying French as a minor. After I have completed my degree I intend to pursue Law. I have served in the military for four and half years in Saint John. I am a highly disciplined and organized individual. This past summer I was in Washington, DC for a study abroad session and did an internship while I was there. I also had the opportunity to lobby on Capitol Hill for the abolition of torture and speaking on behalf of victims of torture. I really enjoy Political Science and I am actively involved in politics. I served in the municipal elections, assisting voters.  I also created a facebook group for the past federal election, with over 70,000 voters informing them of the election, the different platforms of the parties and having an open dialogue for debate. This past year I served on Brian Gallant’s campaign for the Liberal leadership of the province. Being actively involved in politics gives you a whole different perspective on just how fragile our democracy actually is.

2. I have been on the SRC for two years now as arts representative. I have also served this past year on the Senate and the Board of Governors.

3. While at the university I have been involved in multiple clubs and societies. In my second year I was involved with the International Studies Association and the History Society. I am currently on the executive of the History Society. I also help the Green Society with recycling on campus.

4. I believe with my two years’ experience on the SRC, along with over four years in military service, I have acquired certain skills and leadership skills that can benefit and enhance the performance of the SRC and improve student life on campus.

5. I have three priorities if students offer me the opportunity of serving them. The first is to engage the students and the administration in creating a quality study space for students on campus and improving the quantity of space available throughout the semester and especially during the exam period. Students should not be forced to study in their vehicles or at home because the university does not provide the necessary space. Acquiring a significant amount of money for the refurbishment project from the Board of Governors and being on the committee that is refurbishing the Ward Chipman Library, I am looking forward to hearing the concerns and suggestions of students.

My second priority is the issue of parking on campus. There must be an open and transparent dialogue with the administration and the SRC. Students should be aware that parking spaces are being taken away and converted to faculty and staff parking. This past semester there were parking spaces in front of Oland Hall which were converted into faculty and staff parking. Some students whom I have spoken with had tickets on their vehicles and one individual had their vehicle towed away.

My final priority is the price of tuition. Since attending UNBSJ, the price of tuition has risen by more than $600. In less than two decades, it has risen by over 300 per cent. It is time to address this issue. If we do not, future generations and eventually we and our children will pay the price. When they attend university, the price could be as high as $10,000 to $20,000 a year, or to put in a perspective as high as the average United States universities which is currently above $30,000 after four years. Why is it that in Quebec they pay $2,500 a year and in Europe, they pay as little as $100 a year and have massive protest when they attempt to increase it while we stand on the sidelines. My fellow students let us begin to discuss this and together we can make progress on this issue.

These are my main priorities. The SRC is our student union. We have the power to bargain for all students collectively with the university on issues that are important to us such as tuition, parking, facilities, services and student life. Let us be engaging and responsive and together, we can create a better university experience for ourselves and for future students.

6. I would have been Tommy Douglas. He was the father of universal health care in Canada, the first of its kind.