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Meet your 2019 MSU presidential candidates

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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


 

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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.