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Josh Marando reflects on his election victory What the president-elect has learned through the campaign period and why his position matters
Jan30

Josh Marando reflects on his election victory What the president-elect has learned through the campaign period and why his position matters

Photo by Kyle West On Jan. 26, two days after Josh Marando was elected the next McMaster Students Union president, The Silhouette sat down with Marando to discuss his campaign experiences and goals for the future. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity. First thing, how are you feeling, and how have the past few days been? I think I’m still a little bit in shock. The past few days have been a bit of a...

SRA winter policy papers: an overview The papers urge McMaster to step up on scholarships, campus infrastructure and student retention
Jan24

SRA winter policy papers: an overview The papers urge McMaster to step up on scholarships, campus infrastructure and student retention

Photo from Silhouette Photo Archives By: Donna Nadeem, Anastasia Gaykalova and Matthew Jones At the McMaster Students’ Union Student Representative Assembly on Nov. 25, the SRA passed a number of policy papers, including “Tuition & Student Financing in Post-Secondary Education,” “On-Campus Infrastructure” and “Student Engagement & Retention.”   “Tuition & Student Financing in Post-Secondary Education” Rising tuition is...

How to vote in MSU presidentials 2019 Need some help figuring out how to vote in this year’s MSU presidential election? The Silhouette has you covered
Jan24

How to vote in MSU presidentials 2019 Need some help figuring out how to vote in this year’s MSU presidential election? The Silhouette has you covered

By: Elliot Fung If you are a full-time undergraduate student enrolled in at least 18 units, you are eligible to vote in this year’s McMaster Students Union presidential election. Here is some more information about the election and how you can successfully cast your ballot. What is the role of the McMaster Students Union president? The president is the primary spokesperson for the MSU and serves as the representative for McMaster...

MSU presidentials debate highlights The candidates discussed a number of issues, including the Ford government’s tuition changes and sexual violence response
Jan23

MSU presidentials debate highlights The candidates discussed a number of issues, including the Ford government’s tuition changes and sexual violence response

Photos by Kyle West   On Jan. 17, the McMaster Students’ Union hosted a debate featuring the 2019 MSU presidentials candidates four candidates. Here are some of the highlights. The first question of the debate concerned whether the candidates are more focused on advocacy or student life. Josh Marando said he would be more focused on advocacy. Jeffery Campana explained that the limited one-year term of a president would mean smaller...

Provincial government announces changes to OSAP Multiple groups have spoke against the proposed changes
Jan17

Provincial government announces changes to OSAP Multiple groups have spoke against the proposed changes

Photos By: Madeline Neumann On Jan. 17, 2019, the provincial government announced their plan to roll back tuition by 10 per cent, change the Ontario Student Assistance Program and make ancillary student fees optional, putting into question the tenability of various student organizations. The Ministry of Colleges, Universities and Training announced that as of the 2019-2020, significant changes will be made to OSAP, particularly the...

Meet your 2019 MSU presidential candidates
Jan17

Meet your 2019 MSU presidential candidates

Photos by Kyle West By: Ryan Tse, Hannah Walters-Vida, Natalie Clark Click on the candidates to learn about their platform overviews. Madison Wesley MADISON WESLEY PLATFORM CRITIQUE Jeffrey Campana JEFFREY CAMPANA PLATFORM CRITIQUE Josh Marando JOSH MARANDO PLATFORM CRITIQUE Justin Lee JUSTIN LEE PLATFORM CRITIQUE   Related Posts How sports led to Marauder loveIn defense of an Ontario French-language universityRevisiting the HSR after...

Platform Overview: Madison Wesley

 

By: Natalie Clark

Madison Wesley is a second year political science student involved with several art clubs at McMaster, including the starving artist society. She is also actively involved with community outreach programs, such as the Give n' Get store in Barrie, Ontario.

Wesley’s platform promises to improve physical and mental health on campus, introduce a textbook renting program for students, increase the amount of study spaces on campus and ensure that teaching assistants are required to complete a mandatory training program before stepping into a classroom environment.

Wesley’s most ambitious promise to students is to make the physical and mental health of students her priority. She promises to increase the number of counsellors and psychiatrists on campus and make them more accessible to students.

Wesley also hopes to increase the number of student group therapy sessions available.

In addition to improving the number of available counsellors on campus, Wesley wishes to introduce a student walk-in clinic on campus.

Another aspect of Wesley’s platform includes the plan to introduce a “Rent-a-Text” program for students purchasing books at the McMaster campus store. This program would allow students to rent textbooks for a period of four months, with a 25 per cent deposit.

After the four-month period comes to a halt, students would return their textbook in good condition and receive back their deposit in return.

Wesley also aims to increase the number of accessible study spaces on campus.

She believes that there are large areas of space all around campus that can easily be converted into effective student study spaces.

For instance, Wesley uses the Waterfall Room in the Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery as an example of a large space that could foster and support a future study atmosphere.

In addition, Wesley promises to work with each faculty at McMaster to create a mandatory training program for TAs.

“As major players in our day-to-day education, they need to be effective in the classroom as instructors,” reads part of Wesley’s platform. “I will hold the university to the standards that we students expect.”

More information about Wesley's platform can be found at https://madisonjw.wixsite.com/2019.

Platform Overview: Jeffrey Campana

 

By: Ryan Tse

In his eighth year at McMaster University, Level IV materials engineering student Jeffrey Campana believes his communication skills and experience within and apart from the McMaster Students Union governing body give him the ability to propose a fairly ambitious set of platform points.

His most prominent MSU involvement has been with Union Market, where he has worked for the past four years and is now the manager. He is also an MSU Maroon and serves as the vice president (Promotions) for the McMaster Chess Club.

Campana’s platform is comprised of 15 platform points and three advocacy initiatives focusing on infrastructure, accessibility, student engagement and campus safety.

Campana’s aspires to expand MSU present Ikram Farah’s Tax Free Tuesdays pilot project, what he calls “the best platform point from the past seven MSU elections.”

Campana’s two other advocacy points involve improving Go service and adding incentives to encourage student participation in the newly-released MSU landlord rating system.

Perhaps the most ambitious platform point out of the 15 is Campana’s plan to build an ice rink on campus by January 2020.

Two of Campana’s infrastructure projects involve lighting and wifi. Campana wants to upgrade all lights on campus to white LED lighting. Campana’s “Actually Better Wi-Fi” initiative involves conducting a “Wi-Fi audit” across campus to provide wifi wherever it is currently missing.

Another initiative includes the proposal to distribute free menstrual products to students and every all-genders washroom on campus.

Campana’s “Mac Votes” point outlines his commitment to place a polling station on campus for future elections.

Campana has a few points to make the operations of the “MSU Bubble” more engaging and accessible. He plans to “Break the Bubble” by standardizing different roles and ensuring hiring practices are unbiased.

Regarding the overall vision of the MSU, Campana plans to release an additional annual document on top of the “State of the Union” to outline the long-term goals of the union. His “Easy Reading” point will make the student union website available to be translated into any language.

“Your Bank, No Fees” is the title of Campana’s plan to increase the number of ATMs representing different banks on campus.

Campana has also dedicated two platform points to improving the Welcome Week experience for reps and incoming first year students. He plans to continue subsidizing meals at TwelvEighty for reps and extend it from two days to one week.

More information about Campana’s platform can be found at www.jeffreymichael2019.com.

Platform Overview: Josh Marando

 

By: Hannah Walters-Vida

Josh Marando is a Level IV arts and science student with a combined honours in Biochemistry. Marando has held a number of leadership positions within the McMaster Students Union, including MSU advocacy coordinator and welcome week faculty societies coordinator. He has also held executive positions with MSU Spark, the Creating Leadership Amongst Youth conference and the society of arts and science students.

The 12 pillars of Marando’s platform highlight a wide range of priority areas all tied to supporting students, strengthening community and improving space on campus.

Marando’s first pillar aims to revitalize the McMaster University Student Centre. He plans to create more lounge areas by renovating the third floor terrace and clubspace. He also plans to add an additional food court.

The second pillar aims to reduce the costs of education. Marando plans to advocate for tuition freezes, upfront grants and program based Ontario Student Assistance Program funding.

He also plans to work with the university to eliminate late fees on tuition payments.

Marando’s third pillar aims to reform teaching and assessment strategies in order to better support students’ academic needs.

He plans to allow students to opt out of exams if they have two in 12 hours, implement a deferred exam period at the end of the exam period, introduce podcasting in more courses, work toward open education resources and extend the add/drop deadline.

Pillar four focuses on improving campus infrastructure such as lecture halls and study spaces. Marando aims to accomplish this by increasing the deferred maintenance budget by $12 million per year and implementing a campus accessibility audit and advisory committee.

Pillar five stresses the need to expand the student wellness centre space and hire more primary care physicians, counselors and psychiatrists.

Marando’s sixth pillar includes the promise to hire an additional sexual violence response coordinator.

Pillar seven focuses on supporting international students by lobbying for tuition freezes and allowing international students to access the Ontario health insurance plan.

Marando also aims to shift the responsibility of sidewalk snow removal to the city.

Marando’s eighth pillar looks at shifting the responsibility of sidewalk snow removal to the city.

In his ninth pillar, Marando outlines strategies to support student leaders by reducing the amount of money that they are expected to pay out of pocket and by streamlining processes for room booking and event planning.

Marando also aims to strengthen student-led arts based initiatives by providing financial support and improving access to performance and practice spaces.

Marando’s last pillar focuses on improving MSU operations, specifically through the creation of a human resources coordinator position.

More information about Marando’s platform can be found at Josh2019.com.

Platform Overview: Justin Lee

 

By: Ryan Tse

Justin Lee is a second-year political science student who is bringing a platform that aims to help the McMaster Students Union serve students while creating more opportunities for students to get involved with the MSU.

Last year, Lee served as the chair of the MSU First Year Council. This year, he is serving as a social science representative for the Student Representative Assembly and as a representative on the MSU’s university affairs committee.  

Lee’s platform consists of 13 objectives aimed collectively at increasing communication between students, the MSU and the university and making students’ lives easier and safer.

A large section of Lee’s platform is focused on supporting clubs at McMaster. One way he plans to do this is by providing fundraising training services for all MSU clubs. He hopes that by decreasing funding and increasing training, most clubs will become fiscally independent.

Lee also aims to host another ClubsFest during the second semester to increase student involvement.

Lowering food prices is another major point in Lee’s platform. To achieve this platform objective, he says he will meet with Hospitality Services to discuss menu items. He also floats the idea of an after-hours takeout service, which he says will aid students living on campus.

Another platform point is the provision of free menstrual products for single use washrooms.

Lee’s other ideas to help students succeed include hosting events to promote mental health and using the funds to invest into MSU mental health services. He also plans to work with the Student Success Centre to create subsidized “life skills” programs, such as first aid training or tax-filing.

Lee’s platform includes an initiative to “increase proactive security efforts with regards to public events.”

Lee wants the MSU to engage students more effectively by bolstering its social media presence.

Regarding campus infrastructure and rules, Lee says he will enforce the maintenance of emergency poles and will start a discussion with the university administration over the smoking ban, which he says “should either be enforced or more lenient.”

Another platform point is Lee’s “Uber for Buses” project. Lee envisions a sort of digital “dynamic routing system” during late-night times where students on the bus can request a stop by putting it into the software, from which the drivers can plan the most efficient route.

Lee also wants to implement HSR driver accountability by creating a platform that allows students to report drivers and give feedback on their transit experience.

More information about Lee’s platform can be found by reaching out to Lee’s campaign at justinleecampaign2019@gmail.com.