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On Jan. 14, the McMaster Students Union held its annual State of the Union in the student centre.

The State of the Union is held every year for the Board of Directors to update and inform both the full-time, undergraduate students that make up the MSU as well as the general population at McMaster.

"Our mission statement is to draw into a true society, all undergrad students here at McMaster; so basically our job is to enhance the student experience at Mac," outlined MSU President Ehima Osazuwa in his opening comments.

In a way, the State of the Union is an avenue for the Board of Directors to highlight some of the key successes of the MSU over the past year. A few of the highlights noted by the BoD include an emergency bursary fund at $500 for any student, up to $12,000 in total, as well as several expansions to the management of the clubs system, including the addition of a second Clubs Assistant Administrator and the movement to an online booking format for rooms in Clubspace.

VP (Administration) Giuliana Guarna highlighted some of the important updates to MSU services during the past year as well, including the creation of new MSU service Maccess and the closure of MacGreen following the 2015-16 academic year.

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Despite this, while the BoD have been successful in a number of initiatives, it's worth noting that some projects, including the Light-Rail Transit system announced for Hamilton, have been in progress for years.

The MSU Course Wiki is another project that has been in the works for several years and has experienced some delays in taking off, but VP (Education) Spencer Nestico-Semianiw noted that it is expected to launch over the next couple of months.

The MSU also remains financially healthy, generating over $13 million in revenue in 2014-15. From its day-to-day operations, the MSU continues to operate on a slight surplus of $60,000, and D'Angela emphasized the efficiency at which student dollars were being utilized.

"From our operations, we collect about $2.6 million in fees, but spend around $9.6 million in supporting student life through advocacy, programming, services, etcetera," explained D'Angela.

D'Angela also noted that a second Budget Town Hall would be held by the MSU during February. The Budget Town Hall is one of several platform points that D'Angela promised to introduce during his term as VP (Finance), and the upcoming Town Hall will be focused on gathering student feedback on the focus of future MSU budgets.

You can download a copy of the 2016 State of the Union here or view the Prezi below.

In-article Photo Credit: 93.3 CFMU

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