Preethi Anbalagan, vice president (Administration)
Completed 72 per cent of year plan
In Preethi Anbalagan’s year plan, she listed seven objectives she wished to achieve during her term as vice president (Administration). The majority of her year plan focused on supporting her staff, whether that be part-time managers, associate vice presidents or Student Representative Assembly members.
Anbalagan achieved the majority of the points within her first objective to strengthen training delivery. Anbalagan was not able to develop a formalized Safe(r) Training model with campus models due to the number of external organizations involved with this process.
To support the SRA, Anbalagan utilized the associate vice president (Internal Governance) to facilitate caucus leader meetings. Although she was able to cluster platform points and other aspects of her SRA support objectives, Anbalagan did not create a resource library for the SRA or offer skill-building workshops.
Anbalagan was able to hold one-on-one meetings with her part-time managers and create feedback mechanisms, among other achievements, but did not create a collaborative space for part-time managers, which would mainly entail renovating the current space in the MSU office for part-time managers. According to Anbalagan, this was simply due to the timeline for renovations.
Anbalagan also worked with associate vice presidents to settle them into their roles, as this was the first year their positions existed.
Anbalagan also completed the majority of hiring for the next term, with only three positions remaining open. She recommends that the incoming vice president (Administration) prepare for hiring in September.
Anbalagan also attempted to improve the human resources aspects of the MSU. She has worked with the operations coordinator to create a equity statement and an workplace accommodations policy, which is still being researched.
The last major aspect of Anbalagan’s year plan involved her role in planning Welcome Week. Anbalagan was able to highlight governance and services during Welcome Week, introduce new programming and bystander training. She was not able to successfully coordinate with the Society of Off-Campus Students, however, and instead added Community Engagement to Welcome Week’s strategic themes to ensure students interact with the city of Hamilton and better connect off-campus students to the university.
Ryan Deshpande, vice president (Education)
Completed 91 per cent of year plan
Deshpande had a particularly ambitious year plan, with 29 objectives. These objectives range from improving marketing to implementing policies in the MSU to advocating on the federal level.
Deshpande’s first four objectives involved maintaining the quality and outreach of MSU policymaking. To improve their outreach, he and his education team created a separate “MSU Advocacy” Facebook page, which they updated throughout the year. Deshpande also formally trained his education team this year, in addition offering a short training during the part-time manager and SRA member training.
Deshpande ran two policy conferences this year, which produced six different policy papers. He also worked with the new education committees to make sure they functioned effectively this year and reintroduced the sustainability committee, who have made strides to add compost bins around campus. Deshpande also conducted a review of McMaster’s health services.
Deshpande attempted to improve the efficacy of the Academic Affairs Council, which is comprised of members from every faculty society to discuss their needs, but due to low turnout, this did not go as he planned.
Although food security was a big point on his year plan, Deshpande did not pursue it as strongly due to McMaster Hospitality Services working with other student groups to make campus food more accessible.
Deshpande did make strides with respect to supporting Indigenous students on campus, by actively working with Indigenous groups such as the Cooperative of Indigenous Students and Alumni.
Deshpande also made sure to submit budget recommendations to both the university and the municipal government, thus ensuring students’ needs may be reflected in their budget discussions.
Deshpande worked with Chukky Ibe, MSU (president) and the Student Community Support Network coordinator to create neighbourhood assistance programs and make students more aware of bylaws. Deshpande did not complete the landlord wiki project this year, but states that the incoming vice president (Education) simply has to create the website.
Deshpande also regularly advocated on the municipal level and fulfilled nearly all aspects of his year plan regarding municipal affairs. He has worked with the Ontario University Student Alliance to ensure students vote in upcoming elections and has created a plan for his successor.
When it comes to federal and provincial advocacy, Deshpande took an active role, whether that be by advocating with OUSA to create policy papers, pushing a mental health strategy, attending the Canadian Alliance of Students conference or lobbying with Adovcan.
Daniel “Tuba” D’Souza, vice president (Finance)
Completed 92 per cent of year plan
D’Souza’s year plan largely focused on creating new forms forms of revenue for the student union and re-evaluating aspects of its business units.
D’Souza successfully added a cafe to the TwelvEighty space, although this project was pushed back from its initial open date multiple times. With that said, the Grind, the café he opened, has consistently turned a profit since its opening. D’Souza also wanted to add online ordering to TwelvEighty, but had to halt this project as it proved to be too expensive.
D’Souza also reassessed TwelvEighty club nights, which were plagued with low attendance in years past. D’Souza cancelled poorly-attended club nights to free up the space for other rentals. His efforts yielded a 40 per cent decrease in overall costs and 10 per cent increase in attendance per club night. D’Souza has also begun expanding the number of premium events offered to students.
In addition, D’Souza focused on creating more experiential opportunities for McMaster students. The MSU now has a seat on the Hire@McMaster campaign, a campaign set to launch at the end of April to encourage the hiring of McMaster graduates. The MSU will ensure that this campaign is connected to MSU clubs to broadcast employment opportunities to as many students as possible.
D’Souza also planned on creating a sponsorship and fundraising package to be given out to any MSU service undertaking fundraisers to support plans. This was delegated to the associate vice president (Finance) and was set to begin in the first semester, but is still being completed.
D’Souza also held workshops for club leaders to teach student leaders how to effectively budget and estimate costs associated with events, and these will continue in the coming years.
D’Souza expanded the MSU budget fair to have multiple locations on campus in order to increase transparency concerning the MSU’s budget spending.
D’Souza stopped his plans on creating a discount card for MSU members after having discussions with the advertising wing of the MSU and decided there would be a better way of offering students discounts and deals not already offered in the MSU Almanac or MSU Student Survival Guide.
D’Souza is also having ongoing conversations with the Graduate Student Association as he evaluates the MSU Child Care Center. He is currently exploring the possibility of creating a child care bursary with the GSA.
D’Souza also helped implement the Presto U-Pass, converted Frost Week to Life After Mac and completed a wage review for all part-time employees.
Chukky Ibe, President
Completed 72 per cent of yearplan
Ibe had 12 objectives in his year plan, each of which had its own set of projects, many of which he achieved during his term.
Of the projects under his first objective to “Open Up the MSU”, Ibe was only able to expand the Student Life Enhancement Fund to include the ideas of previous MSU presidential candidates and host MSU open houses. The majority of the projects stalled because they were not a priority or they lacked the correct infrastructure to complete.
With respect to accessibility, Ibe has worked with the MacPherson Institute as they research best practices for professors and has had meetings with the President’s Advisory Committee to Building an Inclusive Community to discuss the creation of an accessibility policy.
In order to reduce campus waste, Ibe worked with campus partners to run electronic waste drives. He was not, however, able to expand the green container program, due to a miscommunication with McMaster Hospitality Services.
Ibe has also worked with the MSU general manager to optimize student technology by having conversations with University Technology Services. He also helped launch TechLit Week, an awareness campaign meant to teach students how to effectively use and dispose of technology.
To improve the off-campus experience, Ibe helped create a off-campus community advisor program and restructured SCSN to improve its outreach. It should be noted that this program was not popular this year, but McMaster Residence Life plans to rectify this by reducing the fee associated with it.
To promote better governance, Ibe launched the McMaster People Project, a project aimed at promoting students to run for an SRA position.
To continue to support student communities, Ibe also introduced an MSU clubs loan portal to decrease the financial burden of clubs executives. He also worked with the clubs administrator to hold a recognition night for MSU clubs.
Ibe also launched his Caring Communities Network project this year and hopes to see it continued under new leadership in the coming weeks.
He has also worked with campus partners and OUSA to lower the cost of textbooks and increase the number of open education resources available to students.
Ibe has also made strides to address food security by working with the Mac Bread Bin director to create a grocery delivery system, which he hopes will be operational in the coming months.