C/O Denver Della-Vedova

Meet Denver Della-Vedova, one of the candidates running to become MSU president 

Denver Della-Vedova is running for re-election as the McMaster Students Union president. After graduating as a life sciences student in 2021, Della-Vedova was acclaimed to the position of MSU president for the 2021-2022 year.  

His platform features three main pillars, which collectively highlight a total of fourteen major points that he hopes to address in the role of MSU president. These three pillars are amplifying diverse voices, prioritizing student stability and keeping momentum.  

Amplifying Voices 

Della-Vedova wishes to continue the MSU’s relationship with the Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities. In his platform, Della-Vedova states that this group has played a key role in lobbying the federal government for students’ interests and he proposes a $1 fee to ensure that the MSU maintains their member status. Della-Vedova also commits to advocating for Indigenous students and undergraduate research funding.  

His second goal is environmental sustainability. More specifically, he hopes to expand the reusable container program and to consider more eco-friendly non-reusable container options. 

His third goal is to increase student advocacy engagement, which he hopes to do by providing students with an MSU Avenue 2 Learn tab, which he says should be available by summer. Additionally, he hopes to utilize the communications department to reach more students.  

His fourth goal is faculty society support. He hopes to better connect Student Representative Assembly caucuses with their respective faculties. Further, he intends to investigate the possibility of pooling resources across the MSU and faculty societies for collaborative events.  

Finally, he hopes to increase the university’s accountability and engagement, potentially by creating an accessible Instagram page for McMaster’s important updates or by creating a Linktree containing reliable McMaster news and information sources.  

Student Stability 

Under the umbrella of student stability, Della-Vedova hopes to address housing instability by raising awareness about where to access housing resources, continuing legal clinics from this year and updating the off-campus housing website.  

Della-Vedova is prioritizing financial stability in his platform. He plans to continue sharing and optimally allocating resources, to push the goals of the OUSA Responding to COVID-19 policy paper and to make jobs more accessible to students.  

His third stability-related goal is mental health; he aims to make current Student Wellness Centre services available more frequently, focus on telehealth and online booking, engage students in positive social events and follow the recommendations of the OUSA Student Health and Wellness paper.  

Finally, Della-Vedova aims to focus on food security. Specifically, he intends to work with the Food Collective Centre to get support from local businesses, looking at potentially expanding the gift card program or buying food in bulk to distribute to students in need. He also intends to make campus food options more allergy friendly. 

Keeping Momentum 

Under the umbrella of keeping momentum, Della-Vedova explains the projects that he would like to continue from this year into next year, as well as logical next steps from projects completed this year.  

Firstly, Della-Vedova wants to improve Welcome Week by implementing a better fee system involving cash advances to faculties, surveying first-year students about the effectiveness of the events and providing better organizational support.  

Della-Vedova’s second goal under this umbrella is the prioritization of first-year students. He hopes to better share MSU services through the Archway program and community advisor floor meetings. He hopes to give presentations about the MSU to students in residence.  

His third goal is to improve delivery of online classes. He plans to do this by generating a set of guidelines to ensure the consistency of online course delivery in areas such as types of software, quality of lectures and availability of recordings. 

His fourth goal related to keeping momentum is to increase internal support and student government engagement. He aims to accomplish this through the previously mentioned MSU A2L page and by increasing communications between the Board of Directors and the SRA. Further, he plans to circulate the “Who’s Who in the MSU” document more widely and to lengthen board terms by two weeks to allow for more training time.  

Finally, Della-Vedova aims to improve Student Accessibility Services. He draws attention to the accessibility barrier of requiring a diagnosis from within the last five years and he proposes offering incentives to notetakers so that more students volunteer for this job and are compensated for their work.  

To learn more about Della-Vedova’s platform, visit his Instagram page @denverformsu2022.  

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