MSU Presidentials 2019: Josh Marando platform critique
Photo by Kyle West
Josh Marando’s 12 platform points are broad reaching and address a variety of student concerns, from student safety to internal McMaster students union operations.
Marando’s campaign focuses on improving campus amenities, including study spaces and food courts. However, there is significant overlap between Marando’s platform and existing plans to increase spaces for students.
For instance, Marando’s “Revitalize MUSC” platform point outlines strategies to create lounge space within the McMaster University Student Centre by renovating the third floor terrace and Clubspace. Marando also aims to create an additional MUSC food court to address overcrowding in La Piazza.
The facilities planned for the student activity building also overlap with another one of Marando’s platform points related to food accessibility. Marando’s plan introduces “TwelvEighty 2 Go,” a system to supplement TwelvEighty’s existing take out system to allow for more grab and go meals.
According to Richard Haja, food and beverage manager of TwelvEighty Restaurant, Marando has not contacted TwelvEighty management to assess the feasibility of this plan.
Additionally, Haja stated that there are plans to create a similar food take out system in the new student activity building.
Marando’s platform also focuses on reducing the costs of education and improving campus infrastructure. However, the platform does not give proper consideration to funding sources for these initiatives.
Marando plans to lobby the provincial government to ease the upfront costs of education through tuition freezes for domestic and international students and program based Ontario student assistance program funding.
Marando also aims to improve campus infrastructure by increasing the deferred maintenance budget by $12 million per year. His platform states that this will be accomplished in part by applying for governmental grants.
However, the current provincial government has expressed its commitment to cutting government spending and reducing deficits.
In October, the Ford government cancelled more than $300 million dollar funding for university and college campus expansions in Markham, Milton and Brampton.
It is unclear whether Marando’s platform has properly considered the current provincial government’s funding priorities, which call into question the feasibility of certain platform points.
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