~n_DEbate Ilana
From left, Rami Farhat, Elizabeth Mongomery, Tomas Kolafa, Egor Evseev, Sara Grainger and Allie Grant at the SA candidate’s debate.

With the mandatory U-Pass coming into effect this September, students who drive to school are worried about the price of parking passes.

The concern came up at the Students’ Association candidates’ debate March 16 in the Marketplace Food Court.

Sara Grainger, a presidential candidate, pointed out that the U-Pass should open up more parking spots, which would help lessen costs. Elizabeth Montgomery, running for vice-president, suggested carpooling as a way to save money.

Another vice-presidential candidate, Rami Farhat, was adamant on this issue. “We need to stop selling parking spots that aren’t available,” said Farhat. “That’s ridiculous.”

The debate was held to kick-off the SA election campaign. It was an opportunity for students to ask questions and hear the candidates’ platforms.

Another hot topic was brought up by Jesse Woodruff, a first-year advertising and marketing student, who asked what the SA would do about rising tuition fees.

“This is an issue that is and dear to all of us,” said Montgomery. “We’re students, not millionaires.”

The candidates offered several solutions, including more bursaries and more information about services such as dental plans that students can opt out of if they already have coverage.

“Applying for bursaries, or even OSAP is a long, confusing process,” said Allie Grant, running for president. She suggested providing more information for how to access what money is available.

All the candidates emphasized that they are here to listen and advocate for the student body.

“I got some good answers to my question,” said Woodruff. “They seem pretty genuine.”