C/O Simranjeet Singh

Meet Simranjeet Singh, one of the candidates running to become MSU president 

Simranjeet Singh is a fourth-year biomedical discovery and commercialization student at McMaster. Currently, Singh serves as the McMaster Students Union’s associate vice president: services. He is currently running to become the next MSU president.  

Singh has provided a platform of five core foundations: student wellness, building a stronger community, environmental sustainability, creating more equitable education and career development support.  

Student Wellness 

Singh emphasizes his commitment to student wellness. 

He wants to increase collaboration between the Student Wellness Centre and various student groups around campus, including the MSU. To facilitate this, Singh proposes the creation of a Student Wellness Centre Advisory Committee to serve as a direct liaison between the SWC and leaders of various student bodies. With this, he wishes to increase the number of support groups and staff at SWC enabling a more students to access the service. Singh also hopes to expand Thrive Week, a service offered by the SWC to teach students about stress management and anxiety He believes Thrive Week is underutilized and looks to better inform student societies of the event to garner greater engagement. 

Building a Stronger Community 

Singh proposes a number of solutions to strengthen the McMaster and Hamilton communities.  

He wishes to work with Metrolinx to expand bus service during Welcome Week and reintroduce cancelled express buses. Singh states that this will ease the commute to McMaster for off-campus students and allow the city to plan effective transit routes when taking into consideration peak student times. 

To address housing concerns, Singh wants to conduct a study to determine average rental prices, availability and demand in Ward 1 of Hamilton by collaborating with partners such as Spark: A Centre for Social Science Research Innovation and the MacPherson Institute. The findings of this research study will serve as evidence to advocate for a more affordable housing market for renting students.  

Singh wants to utilize his own experiences of working with provincial and municipal governments to help inform students of their rights and obligations as tenants.  Singh believes this initiative will increase student awareness of bylaws and their rights which will better equip them to navigate finding off-campus housing. 

He wants to support students facing income insecurity or poverty through support increased and bursaries, specifically through the McMaster Access Strategy, a group dedicated to aiding students from marginalized communities in Hamilton access post-secondary education.  

Singh will advocate to implement the Hamilton light-rail transit as soon as possible.  

Environmental Sustainability 

Singh also focuses on increasing environmental sustainability across campus.  

Singh will create a waste management initiative to better understand what waste is produced at McMaster facilities and offer solutions to help this waste be reduced and safely sorted. Believing this to be an overlooked issue on campus, Singh hopes to work directly with facility services, McMaster University Student Center management and the office of sustainability to perform audits to document waste production on campus and brainstorm how this waste can be sustainably managed.  

Singh looks to work with various faculties to develop more sustainable lab practices. He hopes to launch a pilot project that catalogues waste in labs, especially as it relates to the use of plastics. The findings from this project will create a list of best practices to implement within labs to reduce waste.  

Singh wants to work with hospitality services to better understand production of food waste and craft methods to reduce waste production. He has a two-fold plan. First, reduce overall production of excess food waste by campus services. Second, distributing waste generated to disadvantaged students and Hamiltonians experiencing food insecurity.  

Creating More Equitable Education  

Singh aims to create a more equitable educational future for students. 

Singh wants to increase the adoption of open educational resources to reduce and even eliminate textbook costs. He will advocate to substantially increase funding for OER and push to include this as part of the professor tenure process. To kickstart this, Singh will collaborate with the Associate Vice Provost, the OER committee and McMaster Libraries to implement OERs permanently within McMaster’s practices. 

Furthermore, he plans to introduce job opportunities in which students may work as research assistants to help develop OER alongside professors. This will better student-faculty relations and alleviate professors of the responsibility of developing OER, hoping to implement them faster. 

Singh looks to increase experiential learning opportunities to give students more hands-on skills. In collaboration with the office of community engagement, the Student Success Center and MacChangers, he hopes to reintroduce cancelled experiential learning opportunities. 

Singh intends to work towards a tuition freeze and a reduction in any more increased tuition costs. Singh plans to advocate for a moratorium on increase in tuition for the next three years and work with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance to develop province-wide strategies to increase university funding outside of students.  

Career Development Support  

Singh hopes to increase career development support.  

He aims to increase online chat hours of the Student Success Center to allow students more opportunities to communicate within the department.  

Singh plans use the MSU to help support students with resumes, cover letters and other applications. 

Singh hopes to foster a greater number of educational opportunities so students learn of opportunities that exist after graduation and gain necessary insights into potential careers. He hopes to centralize information about existing career supports and create more networking opportunities in tandem with faculties, student societies and the SSC.  

To learn more about Singh’s platform, visit his Instagram page @vote4simranjeet

Image courtesy of jb_photography📸

Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.