A good Students' Union Vice-President Academic is the mother bear of the organization. When students are faced with academic probation and appeals they need a compassionate, genuine and approachable person to sit them down, explain their options are make them feel a little bit better. Paige Forsyth fits this description like a warm scarf and mittens.
While Forsyth's friendliness serves her well when dealing with distraught students, she also manages to be one of the most well liked members of the SU executive. Her professionalism shows also, and has earned her much respect among senior administration and others she deals with. Nowhere is this more evident than within her own commission and the Students' Academic Assembly.
Forsyth exudes a genuine fondness for her commission and her job. Without hesitation she can list all the projects currently underway within her portfolio, and a healthy list it is too. So far this year SAA has pulled off De-Stress Days, reworked the President's Challenge, organized U of C 101 faculty tours, lobbied the government to get GST off textbooks and tackled messed-up A+ grading scales.
Forsyth's familiarity with these projects doesn't just come from updates on their progress. She has an active role in her commissioners' and faculty representatives' endeavors, making calls to aloofadministrators and offering possible next steps. However, she admits this sometimes spreads her a bit thin.
SAA has seen some drastic changes from last year. Instead of weekly meetings plagued with bickering and irrelevant resolutions, SAA meets once every two weeks and has become much more project oriented. While there is no doubt the change has produced a more productive body, SAA still struggles for importance within the SU. However, this is at least partially due to the perceived blandness of the portfolio.
One of the only possible criticisms against Forsyth is that she's sometimes afraid to be the bad guy. For everything else, her amiable, easy going leadership style works very well, but when it comes to shutting down stupid ideas in SAA or speaking up in SLC she can sometimes be too tight lipped.
That said, if there was one flaw to have as VP Academic, being too nice is hardly the worst.