Proposed referendum changes

Rachel Katz
January 23, 2015
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Between Jan. 27 and 29, McMaster students will have the opportunity to cast their ballot for their next MSU President. At the same time, they will also be able to vote in two referenda.

The first referendum that has been put forward is regarding an expansion to the healthcare coverage MSU members currently receive. A similar referendum was voted down last year, but David Rios, campaign manager for the “yes” side of the referendum insists that changes have been made to improve upon the case proposed previously.

“This year the cost of all options combined is cheaper than the proposed options of last year’s referendum. The reason for the lower cost is that by bundling several of the options the insurance company was able to provide us with a lower quote,” Rios said.

Related: In support of the referendum

He also explained that last year there was confusion regarding whether or not students would be able to opt out of the plan offered by the MSU. This year the referendum’s advocates have made it clear that students will have the opportunity to opt out of the extended health coverage.

The coverage itself has been split into two categories. For $32, students will receive 80 percent off up $300 worth of specialist treatment, including physiotherapy, podiatry, and clinical psychology. The $32 will also cover 100 percent of vaccines, an annual eye test, and a variety of other miscellaneous healthcare needs. For an additional $18.50, students will also receive 80 percent all contraceptives other than IUDs.

The second, less publicized referendum is a series of proposed amendments to the MSU Constitution. The majority of these amendments are either relatively small changes to the size of the SRA or clarifications to close loopholes. However, a noteworthy change is that of the voting rights of honourary members of the MSU.

In a memo to the SRA from Bylaws and Procedures Commissioner Gabriel Jeyasingham explained the amendments.

“Honorary MSU members should not have voting rights at any MSU governing body because they are typically not full-time undergraduate students. These changes will prevent them from having voting rights and will restrict GA membership to only full-time undergraduate students.”

Both these referenda are worth paying attention to over the next week as McMaster draws closer to election time.

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