MSU Presidential Candidate Platform Critique: Sam Abbott
Sam Abbott’s campaign contains insightful criticism about McMaster’s culture, but his platform does not address concerns about feasibility and commitment to the student body
cw: mentions of sexual assault
Second-year presidential candidate Sam Abbott is running on a platform that prioritizes student engagement and voice, but his campaign doesn’t address concerns about feasibility and commitment to students if elected.
Abbott has not consulted with anyone, including the current McMaster Students Union administration or university representatives, to gauge the feasibility of the platform points he hopes to implement if elected.
For example, in his proposed student engagement initiative, Abbott says he will allot more money to each MSU club if elected. However, he has not assessed current budgets or explained where this extra money will be sourced.
“I think if the MSU [found] a little bit more money, [or] if we redirect funds towards various student clubs, I think that would make going to McMaster a much more positive experience,” said Abbott.
This isn’t Abbott’s only platform point that raises concerns of feasibility. His promise to improve quality service from the university for students has vague descriptions, such as amplifying student voices within the McMaster planning committee and working with the university to plan homecoming.
The second pillar of Abbott’s platform is to place the MSU Maroons on hiatus for at least a year, due to past allegations of sexual assault. He stated in his platform that the Maroons could be reinstated, if the culture of the organization was significantly changed.
“There have been lots of allegations and there have been lots of people saying, “hey, this is a very serious problem.” And they're not doing enough about it. And I think too, we should do more about because it's paid for by the MSU. I feel like we shouldn't be paying for that sort of thing,” said Abbott.
Abbott did not explain how he would go about changing the culture of the Maroons. Further, he did not account for the fact that the Maroons were already placed on hiatus in the 2019-2020 school year by the SRA.
Aside from the previously stated issues, Abbott himself claims he is not very serious about running for MSU president. This can be seen in the lack of planning throughout his platform.
“The reason why I wanted to run was basically, I kind of said it as a joke a few times with my friends. And I was just like, you know, I should run for the MSU president, and they were like, why? I was like, why not?”, said Abbott.
Abbott claims that he will engage seriously with the MSU if he is elected, and does have some valid points about issues within McMaster’s culture, but his platform offers no substantial way to solve them, and the concerns of feasibility his campaign raises does not lean in favour of bettering the McMaster community.