2023 McMaster Student Union Presidential Candidate
The official TLDR of the Vote Pop Platform
Overarching theme: Student Life
As a result of the pandemic, the lives of students have changed dramatically. My plan, focusing on student life, is aimed at helping students through a pandemic recovery social phase, providing more regular opportunity for students to live a life alongside their academic life, and creating for a more enjoyable and memorable university experience while also creating a sense of culture and togetherness at the school. Many prominant issues around the school have been addressed recently, though one area that has been overlooked in this process is the overall student life experience. It’s time to make it a priority once again, especially in a time where student engagement is at an all time low, and individuals are struggling socially.
- Student engagement has emerged as a prominant issue at McMaster across all services/organizations
- I plan on creating more staple events through the year to drive engagement: welcome week and the night of lights isn't enough!
- Clubs, one of McMaster's best engagement/involvement tools, is severely underfunded due to financial restrictions of the MSU. I plan on providing training, and reviewing the possibility of reducing policy to allow for easier external sponsorships to increase the funding of clubs without increasing the MSU budget.
- Given the MSU's financial position, and the fact that they are spending student paid money, I will continue the current upward trend of transparency, allowing interested students to easily track what the union is doing.
- Traditionally, the best way to drive engagement is through welcome week. After a few years off, I plan on heavily prioritizing the event to get as many people as possible engaged early.
- It appears mostly forgotten that student athletes at McMaster still fall under the umbrella of "students", and it's time for them to get a voice within the MSU - I plan on working closely with student athlete groups to act as an external voice from the Athletics and Recreation department to create an increased respect, and better environment for this neglected group.
- With engagement so low, I view the non-stop sports games at McMaster as a very underutilized tool. Working with Ath and Rec, and Campus Events, I want to create a better game time experience. We need to capitalize on the entertainment experience, and promote them further around campus for students to be aware, and enjoy.
- Commuters don't get the experience most university students do. They come to class, then go home when it's done, because there isn't enough to keep them around. I plan on working with Facilities Services and Campus Events to create event environments where students can validate parking for events, and where they can access low cost food to keep them around instead of sending them home.
- When commuters do come to Mac, they're usually stuck in lot M, a rapidly decaying parking lot hardly suitable for use. I plan to collaborate with facilities management to find a solution for this. Lot M is not in the picture long term, but for the next 20 years of use, students shouldn't be forced to use an unmaintained and run down lot (pictures on commuter life tab).
- For the future of parking at McMaster, the upcoming master plan has some incredibly interesting and positive improvements. That said, I plan to keep them accountable and working towards that plan by continuing the relationship built by previous administrations, and by frequently gathering the feedback of students to further represent their needs.
The McMaster Student Union President position is limited in power, jurisdiction, and capacity in fact and in process, but it possesses huge potential powers of persuasion to change sentiment. With a change in sentiment, the president can leverage other positions, resources, offices, departments and organizations. My main platform objectives are to work with all stakeholders and change sentiments to enhance student life and increase student engagement. The pandemic has set us back significantly. People are disengaged and don’t seem to care, but I’ve spoken to many students and I know that they do care. This is their education, their life and their future. I want to put the mechanisms in place to allow all students to be fully engaged.
Specific constituents that are particularly removed and that I want to give attention to are athletes and commuter students. By their unique circumstances, they are even more disengaged than the average student, so for their sake, they need to be represented and brought fully on board. Also, by doing that, it will create a better atmosphere for all students and make the entire community stronger. Athletes and their competitive games can be used to create entertaining and engaging events to bring the community together. Commuter students can participate more and make events bigger and better. I want to reverse the effect of the pandemic but also go beyond that. These are supposed to be the best years of our lives. Let’s make sure they are for all students.