The following are selected questions and answers from the Sil’s interview with MSU presidential candidate David Campbell.
Why did you decide to run?
When I ran for this position [last year], I had no intention of running again. And then at some point over the summer, I learned that it used to be a fairly standard thing [for VPs to run for president] and I started to understand why. One year just isn’t a lot of time to get projects done.We have all these projects on the go with the whole organization that I want to see continue, and so I decided to run to see that happen.
What makes you qualified to be MSU president?
The obvious thing to harp on is the experience. I thought I was very experienced last year for the job, and this year I have a whole new perspective on what the job is and what the MSU is. But beyond that, I also feel I have a personality that’s suited to it. I feel like I’m very much someone who talks to people about ideas, and I’m very open to new ideas and a very approachable personality. Also, I think my platform shows that I have a much greater understanding of what can be done, what should be done and what’s feasible. I think I have a balance of that. In looking at the other candidates’ platforms, in my opinion, I don’t see that nearly so much.
So you ran in last year’s election and came in second. What will you be doing differently this year?
Not a whole lot. It was very close, and I think that showed that my message of being fairly honest about myself and putting forward practical platform points that would still have impact on people’s lives really resonated with people. That’s why we were able to get so many votes.
If you had to identify one issue the most important one to students, what would it be?
I would say study space, space in general on campus, and library hours. Getting study space that’s available on campus when students need it is a long-term issue that the MSU has to keep dealing with.
What would you do in your first month in office?
I’d rip up the agreement [with MAPS] on summer student fees. It says that either party has the power to veto it. I think even as the president-elect I could convince Siobhan to do it, to save students those summer fees this year.
Who would you vote for if not yourself?
James. I haven’t had a chance to really look into the other candidates’ platforms yet, but with James I found that he identified a lot of the really important issues. I feel that his platform is too ambitious — I think he underestimates how long those things are going to take. He’s taken on a few too many issues. But he’s identified the right ones. And I think he has some of the experience within the MSU to know how to do them.
What made you come to McMaster?
The program, Arts and Science. And I’m really happy I did, because I think if I’d visited the campus it’d have been the selling point for me.
If you could invite anyone, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would you invite?
I have two answers, which are fairly different. I’d say Steve Irwin, crocodile hunter. I just think he’d be really entertaining, and I also think he did really cool things with his life. And Pierre Trudeau.
Where do you like to go off-campus in Hamilton?
The waterfront. I love the trail down to the marina.
What’s your all-time favourite or most watched Youtube video?
One that I saw really recently was a video of a puppy who was afraid to go down stairs until its mom came and taught it how to go down the stairs. And I watched that several times.
What kind of qualities do you look for in a boyfriend/girlfriend?
I think the most important thing for me is a really diverse set of interests. I studied lots of different things through university, but I also really like music, I like sports, and I’d like to be able to share that.
What’s your favourite kind of Timbit?
Sour cream glazed. Because they’re delicious.
What’s your favourite place on campus?
The top room in the university tower, of University Hall, where I was immensely thrilled to find they have philosophy meetings. It’s Hogwarts up there. Where I’m most often found would be different … I’m most often hanging out somewhere in the student centre.
What’s your favourite memory from your time at McMaster?
In my first week here, on faculty night, we’d just been to faculty night downtown and I was hanging out with a bunch of people I’d just met from my faculty, and we went jumping in piles of leaves, and I’d never done that before as a kid. I still remember doing that.
Cats or dogs? Dogs.
Facebook or twitter? Facebook.
Pop tarts or Eggos? Eggos.
Beer or liquor? Beer.
HP or LOTR? LOTR. I have nice things to say about Harry Potter, just not as nice as Lord of the Rings.
Spice Girls or BSB? NSYNC’s not an option? Backstreet Boys.