Freeman Poritz took a real beating from me yesterday – it isn’t fair to stop there. Let’s take a closer look at his rival candidate for VP External, Stefanie Ratjen.
Ms. Ratjen’s campus activities, often centered around UBC’s radical left, bear little of the bridge-building experience required of the VP, the position in charge of communication with civic, provincial and federal governments.
She’s an editor with the Knoll, UBC’s left-leaning, anti-Gordon Campbell newspaper. This past year she was also an organizer behind Trek Park, a demonstration that began in September as a pleasant protest against a disintegration of student space at UBC. Months later it fell victim to the elements and merely sat unkempt, looking less like a statement of protest than neglect. Ms. Ratjen was one of the minds behind the park – she thus bears some responsibility for its devolution.
Her campaign has repeatedly lambasted Translink as a “private corporation.” This is untrue. Translink has been restructured as a board of nine directors, selected by a council of mayors. The “private corporation” theory is a lie repeated so often that it’s been accepted as truth. Kind of like the presence of WMD’s in Iraq.
When asked about UBC’s relationship with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), the university’s federal lobby group, she hinted at being open to working with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). That’s a theory strengthened by her repeated calls for solidarity among students. There’s enough derision for the CFS at this university to fill a warehouse. She obviously hadn’t spoken to SFU students about their happy relationship with the CFS.
In short, Ms. Ratjen ought to tone down the rhetoric if she expects to work effectively with conservative governments. We’ve had radicals run the AMS executive before, and many remember how well that went down.