Honours Life Sciences Level IV
Devante Mowatt prides himself on the feasibility and the relative ease of implementation in his platform. Mowatt’s platform can be boiled down to minor improvements and tweaks to the services the MSU provides and its communication with the student body. While few of these points are disagreeable, Mowatt does not provide any substantial changes to the union that will provide for students concerned with more significant student issues.
Mowatt aims to centralize information about MSU services, academics, library and campus hospitality hours, and the staff directory into an all-encompassing phone app. The MacApp will seek to address the awkward navigation of McMaster’s websites, and the separation of important information through various online platforms and pages.
“At McMaster in order to find information you have to make like four Google searches, and it’s so cumbersome especially when we’re in such a fast-paced environment,” said Mowatt. The presidential candidate further noted that although the app could potentially include partial access to Mosaic and Avenue, it would not replace these sites, and would strictly act as an additional means of accessing information.
To increase transparency and communication between the MSU and the student body, Mowatt is hoping to hold public “office hours” in more accessible, open forums throughout campus. He also wants to reintroduce a news and community television network. Mowatt’s “McMaster TV” is slated for daily broadcasts, and will be run by both volunteers and paid staff, and will also include “Fireside Chats” delivered by the President twice a month as a formal update to the activity of the Board of Directors. This is in spite of the fact that previous efforts to manage a McMaster TV ultimately folded in 2013.
To address tuition and student costs, Mowatt plans to advocate for the lowering of student meal plan prices, offering the option to opt out of the HSR bus pass and lowering parking costs. Mowatt’s platform does not elaborate on how he will maintain the same low price for the full-year HSR bus pass if opt-out is an option. The point is also counterintuitive to MSU initiatives in the past few years to encourage students to explore Hamilton.
Mowatt’s platform does not offer any points to address academic costs. A significant number of students would be unaffected by his current plan to lower student costs, as meal plans are predominantly held by first years, and commuting students who do not drive will still not be able to opt out of the bus pass. With no plans to address larger academic costs such as textbooks, and no long-term goals to continue provincial tuition advocacy, Mowatt’s platform offers few financial benefits for the majority of the student population.
To address tuition and student costs, Mowatt plans to advocate for the lowering of student meal plan prices, offering the option to opt out of the HSR bus pass and lowering parking costs.
Mowatt is in support of the VP Election referendum stating, “We currently already vote for most things at the school. We vote for the President obviously, but we also vote for like first-year representatives and stuff like that. If we’re going to elect three VPs and students don’t have a say in any of them? I think that’s kind of wrong.”
Mowatt does not have any mention of improving accessibility, equity or student health. Ultimately, his platform is composed of some novel ideas that may only appeal to students who are relatively satisfied with the status quo.
In his words…
Most ambitious platform point
Candidate platform you are critical of
Mike’s and Justin’s Pulse expansion
“How are we supposed to create new space for the gym, unless we create another gym, which I understand, but, I don’t think that is a priority in the school right now.”
For or against VP Referendum
Opponent you would vote for
Photo Credits: Jon White/Photo Editor, Michael Gallagher/Production Editor