Leanne Winkels – Political Science IV
Leanne Winkels is a Level IV Honours Political Science student. Her decision to run for MSU president stems from noticing a disconnect between the McMaster Students Union and the student body and her passion for the sense of community here at McMaster University.
Throughout her time at Mac, Winkels has maintained a Welcome Week position with the Society of Off-Campus Students for three years, held a seat on the First Year Council and has joined the Quidditch team. Although she has not been directly involved with the MSU, she maintains that a lack of involvement should not stop anyone from becoming president.
Winkels has conducted extensive research with different student groups on campus to address the interests and concerns of students. By encouraging student involvement and listening to student groups, Winkels has built a platform around breaking barriers.
Winkel’s platform is centred on breaking barriers of accessibility, integration and community.
Her first pillar surrounds breaking down barriers of accessibility on campus. This pillar addresses the need for accessibility on campus through increasing availability of counselling services at the Student Wellness Centre, enforcing microphone usage from professors during lectures and pushing for professors to podcast their lectures.
The second pillar aims to break down integration barriers. This pillar focuses especially on student involvement, from popping the “MSU bubble” to faculty mentorship programs. This pillar also sees the resurgence of the Freedom Credit, which Winkels identifies as her most ambitious platform point. The Freedom Credit would allow students to take elective courses outside of their faculty or major at a pass or fail rate, rather than being graded on a percentage basis and ultimately having little effect on their overall GPA.
Winkel’s final pillar surrounds breaking down community barriers, which sees student space as a priority. This pillar also reflects on the role of the Society of Off Campus Students on campus, and looks to establish this society as a non-voting speaking member of the SRA.
Further, this pillar addresses the lack of space for clubs and cultural groups on campus and attempts to revisit McMaster University’s contract with Paradise Catering. Currently, student groups can only get catering for events through the on-campus Paradise Catering operation and TwelvEighty.
Opponent’s platform she’s fond of:
Chukky’s affordable textbook strategy
“I really appreciate Chukky’s point on cheaper textbooks, the amount that students have to pay each semester for course ware is unfeasible.”
Platform she’s most critical of:
Chukky’s platform on Improving the Off-Campus Experience
“There is an Off Campus Resource Centre in the basement of MUSC that has educational resources on the Hamilton region. Additionally, Chukky’s neighbourhood assistance program will only hire a limited amount of students, and will not do enough to create a sense of inclusion in the Hamilton community for the average student.”