2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

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Uncontested VP academic candidate Jessie Dinh discusses academic issues pertaining students

By Julieanne Acosta, March 2 2024—

The University of Calgary’s Students’ Union (SU) elections are in progress and the SU is hosting various forums, in person and online, for students to view candidates answering questions about their campaign platforms and their goals for the role. 

On Mar. 1, the SU hosted a forum for Jessie Dinh, running uncontested for VP academic this year’s general election. When asked about the biggest academic issue students face Dinh noted that while this varies for each student, she believes that the regulation of M.1. Supporting Documents is one of the largest academic issues students face. 

“This depends on who you are as a student. I think it’s really hard to label one academic issue as the most important and the biggest issue on campus,” said Dinh. “But in order to encapsulate it all into one, I think the largest current issue is the regulation of M.1. which includes supporting documentation on campus. In the regulation it states that students have the discretion of choosing which supporting documentation they wish to provide to instructors when they have to miss classes or asking for deferrals on exams. However many professors or instructors do ask the student for certain documents, such as a doctor’s note, which is not always realistic to obtain during your circumstances.” 

She further states that she will advocate for students by discussing this issue on campus with her committees and with the administration so that students don’t feel burdened. In regards to which platform point Dinh thinks is the most important for students, she notes that the grading scale is one problem she’d want to discuss the most this year. 

“The beauty of being the VP academic is that you sit on so many committees. Because of this, you are constantly around administration that can help you address the issues you have at hand,” said Dinh. “I think the one problem I’d love to discuss the most this year is the grading scale. I would love to be able to develop a consistent grading scale as well as a grading system that allows students to explore maybe rounding. I think this is a great time to have a discussion during committees.” 

During the question period following the forum, the Gauntlet asked Dinh to expand on what rounding could look like for students. Dinh explained that this would be to round grades that have a decimal of 0.5 up to the nearest grade.

When asked about Open Educational Resources (OERs) and how the SU and U of C can better advocate for its use in the forum, Dinh notes that she would like to use the bookstore. 

“So OERs are methods of assisting instruction such as textbooks that are free to access online and the reason they are open is to increase the accessibility you get by accessing these additional resources,” said Dinh. “We as students are already amidst an affordability crisis and we shouldn’t be forced to pay for such expensive textbooks when we already pay for tuition and supplementary fees […] OERs are great ways for professors to include additional resources without having to burden their students with the costs.”

“I think the approach I would take to implement them would be primarily through the bookstore. The bookstore is a great way to start initiating conversation about using additional resources and the way we approach it through the bookstore could be a great way for us to start implementing more OERs into our system.”

In her last message to students, Dinh refers back to her past role as a Faculty of Kinesiology representative. 

“As Naomie quoted yesterday during her forum, aside from being your only candidate, I think I deserve to be your VP academic because I have proven over the past two years that I have been able to make things happen. I’m a very actionable person. As a Kinesiology representative, I was able to complete plenty of actionable items that I thought have been unique to the faculty and I think I can bring that same leadership skill to the VP academic portfolio.”    

Voting takes place Mar. 5, 6 and 7 via your My UofC Student Centre. 

All undergraduate students can vote YES or NO on their ballot for Jessie Dinh as VP academic or ABSTAIN from voting.

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