Q & A: Jacob Brodka
The following are selected questions and answers from the Sil's interview with MSU presidential candidate Jacob Brodka.
Q: How does your campaign plan to motivate and inspire students to care about a) voting and b) the MSU?
When we first started envisioning how our campaign would come out, something we wanted to do was have a fresh perspective, Obviously, I’m an untraditionally young candidate, but I feel like we’ve been able to generate the buzz we’ve wanted. A lot of people have been asking me, “why are you going for this position at this point in time?” I’m really interested in creating a new dialogue with people who are not traditionally involved with the MSU or with voting.
Q: If you had to pick one issue that you believe is most important to students, what would it be?
Campus capacity. I think, without a doubt, it’s quite clear that there is a lack of space on campus. Why is that the province is constantly pushing the university to increase enrolment? Administration knows that the university is bursting at the seams, but you have to abide by that provincial push. Again, we only have a certain allotment of space to use. So when you see things like a Booster Juice being set up in a central hub, a question is asked, was that a positive use for that space? … In terms of that new liberal arts building that’s being put up, I believe they’re estimating that 13,000 students will be able to use it. But we’re now tearing down Wentworth House, which contains the Off-Campus Student Lounge, The Lodge. To me, I see that as an asset and resource for students.
Q: Given the predominant number of second-years and very few upper years on your campaign team, how will you a) work towards securing and targeting upper year votes and b) familiarize yourself with recent campaigns and MSU activity?
With our campaign team, I wanted to create the dialogue with that younger demographic. …We do have a large number of second-year students. They’re all committed people, they’re young and refreshing ... I’m looking to target voters through a very strong platform that targets academics, which does impact upper-year students … For me personally it’s been about research, looking at old SRA minutes. I’ve focused a lot on learning the nitty-gritty details about what goes on behind closed doors. I talked about relatibility because I want the job to be less private than it is right now. Let’s say I were to get the position; the next day, I woulnd’t be locked behind closed doors.
What do you think makes you qualified to be the next MSU president?
I feel like it’s about having that objective view and being involved and having capacities on campus that people wouldn’t hugely expect a presidential candidate to have. I wouldn’t run for the position if I didn’t think I could fill the responsibilities of the role. ... My heavy involvement with transition/orientation exposed me to issues on campus that are relevant to students now. I’m truly interested in creating a new dialogue with the students we are targeting.
Q: If you had to vote for another candidate, who would it be and why?
To be honest I don’t feel comfortable answering that question right now because I want to put more into actually reading about their platforms. In terms of face value, I feel like James Dowdall has a platform that aligns with ours. He’s trying to create that dialogue that’s missing outside of the MSU Bubble. So at this point in time, I would say James Dowdall, based on platform.
Q: What made you choose Mac, or what brought you here?
I actually have an older sister at the university. So while she was here I would be constantly visiting. … That’s part of the reason why I really love being involved with transition/orientation programming. Because of the fact that I had the privilege of having an older sister show me the ropes here, but for students who don’t have that, that’s why I want to ensure that those mentors are in place.
Q: When you venture off-campus, what do you like doing in Hamilton?
I love to go to Cootes Paradise. I like to explore Downtown Hamilton, go to a bunch of restaurants. I’ve tried a bunch of places like Korean BBQ. I’m starting to become a schwarma connisieur, so I’m on the hunt for the best schwarma in Hamilton.
Q: What’s your all-time favourite Youtube video?
It was a drive-thru prank, where these guys drive through the drive-thru and he’s ordering Taco Bell and he’s ordering in an Elmo voice. And I don’t know why, but whenever anyone else laughs, I always just start laughing, and I start absolutely loosing it.
Q: What is your favourite place on campus and why?
A: They really did well with the Phoenix [relocation]. I really like Bridges. Just recently I attended the Sound of Change. Every once in awhile I’ll go there for the coffeehouses and those are really chill and awesome, so I’d say Bridges.
Dogs or Cats: Dogs
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
Eggos or Poptarts: Eggos
Beer or Liquor: Beer
Harry Potter or LOTR: Indifferent
Spice Girls or Backstreet Boys: BSB