Lindsay D’Souza’s platform includes eight different pillars, but it remains unclear what new projects she plans to take on. This is especially the case with respect to her points concerning student wellness.
Under her student wellness pillar, it is unclear what D’Souza would do in addition to the work that has already been done by other groups on campus. For example, D’Souza says she will introduce case managers to student residences. A case manager’s role would offer additional support to community advisors and residence managers in special cases.
D’Souza wishes to introduce case managers under a three-year pilot and use the data from that experience to improve mental health strategies on campus.
This, however, ignores the work already done by the McMaster Students Union and Housing and Conference Services. According to Simon Wilmot, the Housing and Conference Services coordinator, there have been discussions planning the creation of a case manager for some time now. They are currently in the process of finalizing the job description.
It is currently unclear what D’Souza is actually advocating for here, considering that this project is already underway and that the pilot program would, at best, be one-third done by the time she would finish her term.
D’Souza is also unclear with regards to how she will make student voices heard with respect to how space will be used in the new Student Wellness Centre being built as a part of the Peter George Centre for Living and Learning, given that the university has already broken ground with that project. While consultations may still happen after the building is done, the building will not be opened until well after D’Souza’s term, if she is elected.
Similarly, D’Souza also states in her platform that she would like to aid the SWC in restructuring their website, but they are already currently in the process of doing so. D’Souza also plans on promoting WellTrack, a wellness app offered through the SWC that may help students manage their symptoms while in between appointments.
Most of the points D’Souza offers in her wellness pillar are either projects that are already in the works or conversations the MSU president is already expected to be a part of, given the advocacy aspect of the role. She does not make clear what she specifically would bring to these conversations nor does she bring forth any supplementary ideas that are not already being explored by either the student union or other campus groups.
This is a consistent pattern throughout D’Souza’s platform; while she offers projects here and there, many of her points only rehash projects already being discussed by various groups on campus, whether it be the Student Representative Assembly, the board of directors or external campus partners. She has offered little substance for students to work with, thus making it difficult to completely trust her platform.
Lindsay D’Souza is a level IV English and Cultural Studies student. Her platform, split into eight pillars, discusses improving community on campus, student wellness, advocacy and safety.
D’Souza was previously an Student Representatives Assembly (Humanities) member from 2015 to 2017. During her time on the SRA, she sat on the Executive Board and the University Affairs committee. In addition to her work with the SRA, D’Souza has also been involved with the Ontario University Student Alliance as both a delegate to their general assembly and a summer research intern. She has also been involved with various leadership groups on campus.
D’Souza’s first pillar focuses on academic success. She plans on re-examining the deferred exams system; creating an ad-hoc committee to review three-year degrees, reviewing academic routes interdisciplinary students can take and pushing the last day of cancelling classes without a failure by default.
The second pillar focuses on improving community. D’Souza hones in on improving Homecoming, by advocating for a redesign of the Homecoming Expo and limiting midterms during Homecoming.
The third pillar addresses employment after graduation. D’Souza hopes to continue working with the university to make sure that the university follows through on the McMaster Employment Engagement Strategy.
D’Souza’s fourth pillar lays out her plan to support MSU clubs. She plans on creating an online clubs reimbursement form, upgrading MSU Clubspace lockers to better suit their needs, creating a summer networking retreat for clubs similar to the ones offered to MSU part-time managers and SRA members and creating workshop opportunities.
The fifth pillar covers improving technology on campus. D’Souza wishes to create a resource hub where students can readily access technology-related information such as that taught during TechLit week this year. D’Souza also hopes to introduce low-cost personal IT services to help students take care of their personal devices.
Through her sixth pillar, D’Souza also plans on improving transit by being a part of the creation of the MSU policy paper on public transit, set to occur in March of this year. D’Souza also plans to collect data from the U-Pass Presto card to see how students use the HSR.
D’Souza’s penultimate pillar focuses on student safety. She hopes to follow through on the results of the Ward 1 participatory budgeting project, which showed that students wish for more street lighting in the neighbourhoods around McMaster. She also hopes to revamp the current McMaster security app, MUSST.
D’Souza’s last pillar focuses on student wellness. She hopes to better promote the Student Assistance Program, a counselling service offered to all MSU members; she hopes to introduce care managers into student residences, ensure the Student Wellness Centre expansion includes student voices, restructure both the SWC website and the MSU Health Plan, given the expansion of OHIP to include the cost of many prescription drugs for people under 25.
To learn more about Lindsay D'Souza's campaign, visit her Facebook page and website: www.lindsaydsouza2018.com
Google recently released a new feature on their Arts and Culture app: the ability to match a selfie of yours with an old, historic painting. The internet has been ogling over their selfie comparisons the past week, so we thought we would have a go using the MSU presidential candidates photos. Here are the results...