The following are selected questions and answers from the Sil’s interview with MSU presidential candidate James Dowdall.

Why did you come to McMaster?

I grew up in the UK, actually, and moved out to Canada, out west, when I was eight. I grew up in Calgary. When I was choosing a university … I applied to a bunch of schools, mainly in the UK, but my parents didn’t think I could handle the university experience and said I had to apply in Canada. They wanted me closer to home. So I applied everywhere in Ontario. I didn’t know anything about McMaster; I didn’t know anything about any of the universities I applied to. I don’t know what it was, but there was something about McMaster that made it feel like the right choice. Having been here four years, I’m glad I made that choice.

What one issue do you think is most important to students?

The concern of degrees. We come into university … looking to get the degree. We have four years, then we get a job. A lot of students are coming in picking degrees they’re not very passionate about so they can get a job, because that’s what we’re focusing on. It’s okay to study something at university you’re passionate about, because you’ll do better at it and you’ll develop a whole new set of skills you’ll have enjoyed learning. I’d tackle the stigma … the idea that you’ve got to get a degree to get a job.

Chris Erl, who ran for MSU president last year, is heavily involved with your campaign. Tell me more about that.

Chris has given me the insight of how it worked for him. This was very much my choice, this was very much my platform. He’s been helping out more on the dynamic of how to run a campaign, because he’s had that experience. And being so good a writer, since I’m so terrible at writing, he’s been good about reviewing my material. He’s been my special advisor of how to run an election.

Who would you vote for, if not yourself?

Right now I’m leaning towards Jacob. The innovation and creativity he’s bringing to the table is fantastic. I think it’s what the MSU really needs right now. I think it’s about being optimistic, despite people telling you otherwise.

What’s your favourite place to go or thing to do off-campus?

In the summer, I love to walk down to the Bayfront via Cootes. It’s a beautiful trail. I’d love to see the MSU pushing more events [there] during the summer. I also love to bake. It’s a really nice way to take a break from the world. And I’m big into animals. I’m looking at moving in somewhere next year and getting a pet. I’m looking at not taking the residence room, so hopefully I’d live somewhere where I can get a dog, and if I do it’s going to come with me to the office all the time, so we’ll have the MSU puppy.

What’s your favourite kind of Timbit?

Chocolate glazed.

If you could invite anyone, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would you invite?

It would probably be two people. The first would be Steven Erikson. He’s a Canadian author and he’s written one of my favourite book series. I love it because it really helps me escape from my world. I’d also invite my favourite artist, Ross Copperman. He’s not huge, not famous, but very talented and writes everything himself. I’d love to learn why he wrote those songs.

What’s your all-time favourite or most watched Youtube video?

The Zelda 25th anniversary orchestra. I’m a huge Legend of Zelda fan, and I love the music. It’s a 45-minute long video and it’s great to study to because it’s all instrumental.

What’s your favourite spot on campus?

Hamilton Hall. As a math student, it’s kind of like my home. Mostly I like the way the building is set up. I like how on the inside it’s very modernistic, and on the outside it’s very old.

What qualities do you look for in a girlfriend/boyfriend?

A little bit of silliness, patience, someone who is all-around compassionate and cares for those around them and most of all makes me feel safe, no matter how bad the world gets.

What’s your favourite memory from your time at McMaster?

My first birthday at McMaster. It comes to my mind very easily because I lived in Whidden Hall with my two roommates, and they were my best friends. They’re like brothers to me. And so one of them went on to my phone (despite the privacy issues there) and stole my mother’s phone number and called them, and arranged an entire birthday week of events with my parents, and I had no idea the entire time … it really did make me feel even more at home here.

Cats or dogs? Dogs.

Facebook or twitter? I would have originally said Facebook … but I’d say Twitter now. I feel more informed when I’m on Twitter.

Pop tarts or Eggos? Eggos.

Beer or liquor? Liquor. But my favourite drink is a beer … it’s Crabby’s Ginger Beer. It tastes like gingerale, which is fantastic.

HP or LOTR? LOTR, all the way. I’ve seen the Hobbit three times.

Spice Girls or Backstreet Boys? Backstreet Boys. I never really got into the Spice Girls. My mom was a huge Backstreet Boys fan though.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.