Jacob Brodka is back in the running for a second year in a row, and it’s clear that this time, he means business.
With a three-part platform built on the pillars of academics, student life and communication, and heavily focused on community building, Brodka’s tagline “come together” is an appropriate unifier for his brand.
For Brodka, student engagement is a high priority. His proposed Frost Week upgrade, MSU idea forum, Change Camp expansion and participatory budgeting plan all relate to getting MSU members more involved in the organization.
Brodka’s Frost Week upgrade would include reviving the programming of Welcome Week and bringing key Welcome Week players – MSU Campus Events, IRC and SOCS – back together to create a “winter homecoming” experience. Student desire for such an upgrade and feasibility due to weather are undetermined but worth considering.
The freedom credit – the ability to take an elective course from a different faculty on a pass/fail basis – is a platform point from Brodka’s 2013 campaign that he’s carried over into this year’s Presidentials.
“When you look at people completing four years of a degree in social sciences and then [for example] starting a new degree in engineering… part of me wonders if they had a low-risk way of taking an elective course outside of what they were studying if they could have saved themselves $20,000 and a few years,” Brodka explained.
Brodka wants to introduce a freedom credit pilot project at McMaster on a small scale to transition faculties and programs into this flexible system.
Another major platform point is the participatory budget model, in which students could submit proposals for projects and then MSU members can vote on ideas worth funding.
“When this platform was developed it was very ‘this could feed off of this,’” said Brodka on the interconnected nature of his platform. Students could use the idea forum to suggest projects worth funding in the participatory budget model.
Such ideas might come from his Change Camp expansion proposal. Brodka describes Change Camp as an “anti-conference” where students can informally participate in addressing community concerns and workshopping solutions at a semiannual “unconference.”
Jacob Brodka is a softspoken candidate determined to prove he has the research, ideas and passion to be a successful MSU president. As the most active on a variety of social media platforms and with the largest campaign team, Brodka’s green presence on campus is hard to miss.
Campaign catchphrase: Come together.
Year/Program: Third-year life science
Most ambitious platform point: Freedom credit
Who he would vote for: Jyssika Russell
Point he’s most critical of: Teddy Saull’s ‘Freeze the Fee’. “You can’t freeze fees and increase spending because the money just isn’t there.”