A little over a week of election seasons has passed, with two USC debates so far. The only FIMS Presidential Debate happens tonight. Kevin Chao and Steph Schoenhoff are running to be the next FIMSSC President. Before you attend the debate and decide who to vote for, why not have a look at their platforms? Below is a summary of the candidate’s goals, if elected, and a highlight and lowlight from each of their campaigns.
Chao focuses on the specific goals he has for FIMS, rather than having a few themes with examples underneath. His initiatives include event collaboration and changing the culture of our diverse faculty. He also wants to connect FIMS students with local community partners and reduce inclusionism. Chao wants to see more FIMS Essay workshops as well. There’s not a lot of overlap with his goals, and each aspect of the platform is specific.
Platform Highlight: FIMS Hits London
There’s been controversy over the ethics of internships last year. At the same time, there’s only a few courses in FIMS that offer practical skills. By pairing students up with local charities, non-profits, and cooperatives, there’s a balance of developing practical skills and helping the community. Since experience is necessary for the media industry, let alone any industry, students should apply their skills by making a difference in someone’s life.
Platform Lowlight: Changing the Culture
Don’t get me wrong, FIMS is indeed a diverse faculty with a variety of courses. There’s also no question that student apathy, even amongst critical thinkers, is a problem. We could always use more student involvement However, there needs to be a clearer explanation of how to represent the diversity. The initiative is good, but there needs to be examples of how the various students of FIMS will be represented. From there, the proposal can show its true potential.
Unlike Chao’s platform, Schoenoff organized her presidential goals under three themes. First, she plans to “Foster A Vibrant Public Sphere All FIMS Students Can Engage In”, for example, by hosting events strengthening the connection between students and their TAs. Schoenhoff also plans to develop connections with FIMS to match the student’s interests. Finally, she aims to provide open information to the Faculty. Below each of these three themes, she lists examples of how she would approach them.
Platform Highlight: “Giving Students Open Access to Information that Pertains Them as Constituents”
Schoenhoff makes a valid point about the Undergraduate Student Fund, which needs more awareness. It’s $50 after all, we should know how it’s being used. Explaining how the USF, along with the FIMSSC Budget and the like, is being used will inform students where their money is going. This could reduce apathy as well, since they will be aware of the funding.
Platform Lowlight: Publishing relevant content to FIMSSC.ca
Mind you, the intentions for this are good. As noted earlier, however, FIMS is a diverse faculty. Yes, students do have to take the same courses to complete at least a Major module in MIT. However, there’s a vast variety of electives that students take to meet their interests. Also, while her specific points were made in jot notes, there needs to be more explanation of how the materials are graded as relevant to FIMS students.
Overall, both candidates have potential, and it’s clear both of them want to develop connections through their own platforms. Chao wants to match students with community partners, and Schonehoff wants to connect current FIMS members with alumni. Both also have a vision to strengthen FIMS. That in mind, there needs to be specific examples demonstrating how they are going to meet them, while meeting the diverse FIMS students.
Do you have any different opinions for the highlights and lowlights of each platform? Any other issues you’d like to see the candidates address? Sound off below.
**DISCLAIMER: The opinions reflected in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of OPENWIDE, the USC or the FIMSSC.