Photo by Kyle West
Justin Lee’s platform highlights 13 points, but almost all of them lack specificity and the ability to effect unique and meaningful change on campus.
Several of Lee’s initiatives do not specify how they differ from current McMaster Students Union projects, including his plan to improve the MSU’s social media presence.
Similarly, free menstrual products are already offered without charge by the Student Health Education Centre, the Student Wellness Centre, and the Women and Gender Equity Network. Lee’s plan to add these products to single use and female washrooms extend this service, but the logistics and costs of stocking the washrooms must be worked out.
Other points, such as strengthening student involvement in campus events and providing “life skills” programs to students, are vague. The proposal to provide fundraising training services for all MSU clubs in order to make them fiscally independent lacks context as to why it is necessary to improving student life or how it will affect MSU spending.
Where Lee’s ideas are novel, they lack feasibility and do not appear to be supported by consultations with relevant groups.
For instance, Lee does not appear to have consulted software developers, the Hamilton Street Railway or the MSU regarding his proposed “Uber for Buses” project.
There is also the obvious question regarding how such a project would be feasible and affect non-student HSR users.
Another project that Lee aspires to implement is an after-hours takeout service on campus. However, this project once again lacks detail as to how it will be implemented.
Lee’s platform, which primarily includes small projects, could also be more ambitious and comprehensive.
Points such as the addition of a second ClubsFest do not seem likely to make a noteworthy improvement to student life.
It is also worth noting that the day after the 2019 MSU presidentials campaign period kicked off, Lee still did not have an accessible official Instagram or Facebook page.
This lack of transparency about Lee’s platform appears to weaken Lee’s credibility.
Overall, there are significant gaps in Lee’s platform when it comes to addressing more prominent student concerns and ensuring that larger initiatives are both original and feasible.