Lindsay D’Souza’s platform includes eight different pillars, but it remains unclear what new projects she plans to take on. This is especially the case with respect to her points concerning student wellness.
Under her student wellness pillar, it is unclear what D’Souza would do in addition to the work that has already been done by other groups on campus. For example, D’Souza says she will introduce case managers to student residences. A case manager’s role would offer additional support to community advisors and residence managers in special cases.
D’Souza wishes to introduce case managers under a three-year pilot and use the data from that experience to improve mental health strategies on campus.
This, however, ignores the work already done by the McMaster Students Union and Housing and Conference Services. According to Simon Wilmot, the Housing and Conference Services coordinator, there have been discussions planning the creation of a case manager for some time now. They are currently in the process of finalizing the job description.
It is currently unclear what D’Souza is actually advocating for here, considering that this project is already underway and that the pilot program would, at best, be one-third done by the time she would finish her term.
D’Souza is also unclear with regards to how she will make student voices heard with respect to how space will be used in the new Student Wellness Centre being built as a part of the Peter George Centre for Living and Learning, given that the university has already broken ground with that project. While consultations may still happen after the building is done, the building will not be opened until well after D’Souza’s term, if she is elected.
Similarly, D’Souza also states in her platform that she would like to aid the SWC in restructuring their website, but they are already currently in the process of doing so. D’Souza also plans on promoting WellTrack, a wellness app offered through the SWC that may help students manage their symptoms while in between appointments.
Most of the points D’Souza offers in her wellness pillar are either projects that are already in the works or conversations the MSU president is already expected to be a part of, given the advocacy aspect of the role. She does not make clear what she specifically would bring to these conversations nor does she bring forth any supplementary ideas that are not already being explored by either the student union or other campus groups.
This is a consistent pattern throughout D’Souza’s platform; while she offers projects here and there, many of her points only rehash projects already being discussed by various groups on campus, whether it be the Student Representative Assembly, the board of directors or external campus partners. She has offered little substance for students to work with, thus making it difficult to completely trust her platform.