Engineers Without Borders and McMaster Solar Car head to referendum

Amarah Hasham-Steele
January 19, 2023
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

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 two groups that students will vote on are Engineers Without Borders and McMaster Solar Car. Currently, students pay $1.11 each year towards McMaster Solar Car and $0.41 towards EWB.  

The two groups that students will vote on are Engineers Without Borders and McMaster Solar Car. Currently, students pay $1.11 each year towards McMaster Solar Car and $0.41 towards EWB.

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.  

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.

Engineers without Borders 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.  

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.

McMaster Solar Car in an email 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. 

The campaign period for the referenda began on Jan. 15 and will continue until Jan. 26. Polling will take place from Jan. 24 to Jan. 26. For more information, visit the MSU elections website.  

Author

  • Amarah Hasham-Steele

    Amarah is in her third year of the Arts and Science program, pursuing a combination in English and Cultural Studies. She is thrilled to be the News Editor this year, after working as the News Reporter during the 2021-2022 school year. When she's not editing articles, she can be found updating her Goodreads profile and drinking matcha lattes.

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