Israa Ali focuses campaign on 'creating spaces' for students
Israa Ali is concerned about creating spaces - be these spaces physical, legal or spiritual - for students on campus.
Ali is perhaps most passionate about the establishment of a spiritual centre on campus. She points to buildings like Wilson Hall as potential properties for this space, or for the spaces the services moving to those buildings would vacate. With space at a premium on campus and the actual need for a spirituality centre still to be assessed, the logistics behind this proposal are lacking.
Food is a dominant theme in her campaign, and three platform points address her concerns with food options.
Ali wants to break the monopoly that Paradise Catering has on all functions on campus, which she sees as unaffordable and unrealistic for clubs with small budgets who have to pay a premium for Paradise food and beverages. “One of the first steps to decrease this monopoly is to isolate Bridges Café from the exclusivity contract and to change the rules for the student groups booking this space,” Ali said.
Accessibility of food ingredients for on-campus food services is also a platform point. “I know students who would walk in and literally walk out again because they actually don’t know what’s in the food,” she said. Ali’s conversations with food services managers on campus assure her that improving conditions for students with multi-faith and allergy-based dietary restrictions is a feasible goal.
While Ali’s platform also proposes an “off-campus meal discount program for students,” this statement is misleading. Ali clarified to the Silhouette that she is simply suggesting launching a campaign for students to eat locally and healthfully and to promote the Mustard Seed coop. With Mac Farmstand and the MSU Bread Bin already established MSU services, this suggestion is redundant and the phrasing of this platform point (which remains as quoted on her website as of print time) is false advertising at best.
Ali is also proposing a review of the ancillary fees that go towards David Braley Athletic Centre. “What exactly are the students getting back?” she questions, and wants Pulse membership fees lowered to reflect the large chunk of student money already going towards athletics and recreation and the DBAC facility.
With a slow start to online presence and a number of unfeasible and poorly thought-out platform points, Israa Ali appears overwhelmed. Her campaign so far does not reflect her desire to be president.
Campaign catchphrase: Creating Spaces
Year/Program: Fourth-year life science
Most ambitious platform point: Spirituality centre
Who she would vote for: Jyssika Russell
Point she's most critical of: Jacob Brodka's participatory budget. "This may potentially hinder student enhancement if not done appropriately."