On Jan. 7, the Student Representative Assembly and Board of Directors convened in Gilmour Hall for the first SRA meeting of 2018.
A large portion of the meeting was allotted to opening and closing seats on a number of committees, including opening and closing nominations for SRA and McMaster Students Union members to join awards committees, such as the MSU Merit Scholarship and the MSU Spirit award.
Another topic of discussion concerned the future of Homecoming.
“There are a significant amount of students who do not attend homecoming for a myriad of reasons. From midterms to commuter reasons, faith restrictions and just lack of interest,” wrote MSU president Chukky Ibe in a memo to the SRA on Dec. 21, 2017.
“We also have concerns about the responsibility of students and student leaders, concerns of the community,” he added.
In the memo, Ibe also highlighted the issue of gender-based violence and behaviour from both performers and community members. He also highlighted issues of alumni not returning for Homecoming, explaining that while axing Homecoming is not up for discussion, the future of Homecoming remains uncertain.
At the meeting, members of the SRA proposed a number of ways that the MSU could make Homecoming more worthwhile for alumni and students, particularly commuter students, in the future.
“There are a significant amount of students who do not attend homecoming for a myriad of reasons. From midterms to commuter reasons, faith restrictions and just lack of interest.”
In particular, Sunny Yun, caucus leader (Arts & Science), suggested that Homecoming include alumni-specific programming.
Ibe proposed cohort-specific programming, such as a reunion for SRA alumni.
Sabra Salim, caucus leader (Science), argued that alumni may be more incentivized by specific types of programming, such as performances from big name artists.
Sabrin Salim noted that it may be more fruitful for the MSU to target multiple audiences, featuring unique types of performances, as achieved with Lil Yachty and The Strumbellas.
Another recommendation entailed increasing the amount of activity on campus, particularly by expanding Homecoming Expo to make it more akin to Light Up The Night.
When asked how Homecoming can be made friendlier to commuter students, SRA members echoed the sentiment that there should be more activity on campus during Homecoming.
“We should have programming for people who maybe the partying frequency [is not something] they go towards,” said Sabra Salim.
The board of directors will be taking the Assembly’s suggestions into consideration.
Currently, the MSU is part of a working group, which includes student unions from Queen’s University, the University of Waterloo, Western University and Wilfrid Laurier University, where it will continue to discuss these issues.
The next SRA meeting will be held in room 111 of Gilmour Hall at 6 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2018.