Engineers Without Borders and McMaster Solar Car head to referendum
In two upcoming referenda, students will vote on whether to continue funding Engineers Without Borders and McMaster Solar Car under Bylaw 9
On January 24, polling will open for the MSU presidential election as well as three referenda. Two of these referenda concern groups on campus that are currently funded by MSU Bylaw 9, which, under Section 3, allows non-MSU, non-university groups to receive student funding.
The SRA voted to send EWB on Nov. 13, with 20 votes in favour, six votes against and two abstaining votes.
Representatives from EWB have formed a campaign team on the “yes” side of the referendum, headed by Sindhuja Bissoonauth, Co-President of EWB.
The funding that EWB receives from students is allocated towards the Junior Fellowship program, which provides one student at McMaster with a twelve-month leadership and service opportunity. According to the platform provided by the EWB campaign team, EWB aims to create social change in Africa by addressing the root causes of poverty and creating change in how Canadians view Africa.
In their platform, EWB outlined the ways in which McMaster University benefits from EWB’s Junior Fellowship program. According to EWB, the program creates opportunities for networking between universities and provides students with experience working abroad. The fellowship is also open to students from all faculties and previous fellows often present about their experiences to classes or groups on campus.
“Without the Junior Fellowship, McMaster [EWB] chapter members would be disconnected from development work in the field and would lack first-hand knowledge about development,” said EWB in their platform.
As of the date of publication, there is no existing campaign team for the “no” side of the referendum.
In the same SRA meeting, the SRA voted to send McMaster Solar Car to referendum, with 15 votes in favour, nine votes against and four abstaining votes.
Representatives from the McMaster Solar Car organization have formed a campaign team on the “yes” side of the referendum. In an email to the Silhouette, McMaster Solar Car argued that the organization unifies students across different faculties and fosters innovation on campus.
“Furthermore, [Solar Car] is a great ambassador for the university, promoting the McMaster name and research globally through competitions and events, and connecting the university with the community,” said McMaster Solar Car in their statement.
As of the date of publication, there is no existing campaign team for the “no” side of the referendum
For more information on why the SRA voted to send EWB and Solar Car to referendum and how the organizations responded, see The Silhouette’s recap of the Nov. 13 SRA meeting.