Tommy Lau

Monday, January 1, 2007

Why are you running?

I am running for Academic Commissioner to fight the rise of tuition fees, to re-establish the exam bank with the addition of online access, to provide more academic and employment resources, and to strive for a positive, safe and inclusive academic environment. I believe my experience and involvement in the campus can address these issues to their full capacity.

What are your priorities for next year?

To actively oppose the rise of the tuition fees. To re-establish the exam bank with the addition of online access. To provide and expand more academic and employment resources. And to strive for a positive, safe and inclusive academic environment.

What was your most favourite of classes ever?

POLS 4300 – Human Rights, Ethics, and Development. In POLS 4300, I was inspired by Professor Case on the principles of Human Rights, and began to grow interests on Canadian Charters of Rights and Freedom, the treatments towards the Aboriginal, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, etc. I am inspired to be a Human Rights Legal Advocate after graduation.

If you had a choice out of anyone to be the new Chancellor, who would you chose and why?

If I had a choice to pick anyone to be the new Chancellor, I would choose Paul David Hewson, also known as “Bono”, the lead singer of U2. Besides his talents of composing and performing music, Bono is well known for his views and involvements on poverty of Africa, third-world debt relief, HIV/AIDS epidemics, etc. Therefore, I would pick Bono to be the new Chancellor, because his celebrity fame & status, and views on social issues could attract a lot of prospective undergraduates, and make University of Guelph known in the International stage.

How do you see your role in connection with the administration? Did you see it more of a collaborative or confrontational relationship?

Throughout my years of being involved around campus, I learned that nothing can get done without collaborative efforts. Issues such as the rise of tuition fees are negatively affecting all of us, from students to faculty to administrations. However, engaging these issues in confrontational manners only leads to a waste of time, resources, and ineffectiveness. To solve problems, I will approach them collaboratively with the help of all concerned parties. I believe everyone in the University, from students to staff to faculty to administration, has a sense of belongings on the campus. A positive environment is important to the overall moral of the university as everyone can be influenced by it. Initiating and actively maintaining a collaborative relationship can bring effectiveness, efficiency, and address students’ immediate needs.

Who is your favourite fictional teacher or professor?

My favourite fictional teacher or professor is Life. I believe nothing can make us learn instantly than personal life experience. Sometimes, we understand cause and effect by observing our surroundings, instead of looking for a theory from some dead theorists to make the puzzle fit. Sometimes, misunderstandings between groups can be broken down if there are more open dialogues between them, instead of listening opinions from so-called experts who based their opinions on one-sided references. That is why I believe Life is my favourite professor.

What will your response be if and when tuition rises next fall?

If the tuition rises next fall, I will publicly take a stance against it. I understand the university might raise tuition fees because the provincial government broke our promises. However, speaking as a student, I think it is unacceptable for our university to raise our tuition fees since our tuition is already high. If I get elected in the CSA, I will actively speak against it and at the same time provide and expand services for students to alleviate their financial situations. One of my platform mandates is to expand on-campus and local employment resources for all students. By collaborating with Career Services to expand employment, students would have the opportunities to alleviate the financial strain.

Do you see the CSA's role as one of advocacy, activism or both?

In my undergraduate career at the University of Guelph I have witnessed the CSA taking on both advocacy and activism roles. However, I have found a lot of the time their approach has been extreme, and those who they were supporting were not probably represented. Therefore, in my view, I believe the role of CSA is to advocate the voices and needs of all undergraduates, and to engage in activisms solely by creating dialogues among students to break down misunderstandings, and to promote unity.

What’s your favourite non-academic activity at the U of G?

My non-academic activities include volunteering at Meal Exchange, participating in Trick or Eat, to hanging around at the C.J Munford Centre, playing basketball and working out at the gym.

Anything else that you wanted to add?

With my experience, my dedication, and your supports, positive changes will be made for all.

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