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There are few people in the world who can liken their 12-year-old selves to “a middle school Hare Krishna,” and make you go, “yeah, sure, I could see that.”

Mindy Kaling is one of these people. On the first page of her sophomore novel, Why Not Me?, Kaling begins to tell the story of her early life by describing her childhood attempts to please everyone around her (“I brought a family-size bag of Skittles to homeroom”) — a trait that has followed her into her adult career. The book of essays by the actress, writer and your dream best friend, is a fun, informative and hilarious tell-all about her personal life, the world of celebrity and Kaling’s early adventures manoeuvring through Hollywood.

Although styled similar to her first novel, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns), the book is still a unique treasure trove of stories told with her iconic blunt and self-deprecating humour.

The book jumps into her stories head-on with details about her relationships (both high and low-profile), lists chronicling double standards in Hollywood, and even includes a detailed collection of imagined emails that would exist if she didn’t go into television and instead became a high school Latin teacher.

With Kaling’s removal of the self-censorship that causes many celebrities to hold back details in their autobiographies, the novel is full of relatable anecdotes and honest experiences that address the question so many of us ask ourselves in terms of careers and relationships, “Why not me?”

After The Mindy Project was cancelled by FOX and received some mixed feedback from fans, I thought Why Not Me? May have been Kaling’s comedic swansong. Lucky for us, the show got picked up by Hulu (with hilarious new cast members and uncut Internet humour) and the book is far from the last we’ll be hearing from this talented actress. Kaling has already signed a $7.5 million deal for a third book that she will be writing alongside former The Office co-star and ex-boyfriend, B.J. Novak. The book will detail their failed romantic relationship, once again asking “Why not me” in the most lucrative way possible.

Overall the book is an entertaining read that can get most readers laughing. Kaling’s trials and tribulations make for good feminist fun and capture real-life emotions and challenges with a light-heartedness that she pulls off perfectly.

By the time you’re probably reading this, the McMaster student body has elected its newest (male) president. If you weren’t particularly involved in the election, the ten-day campaign period was probably a rather insignificant portion of your semester, and soon after the posters come down and the tables get packed away, it’ll be like it never happened.

But the thing is, it is a far more significant undertaking than it may seem to run for MSU President.

Over the course of the past couple weeks, candidates live and breathe their campaigns. They’re set up in MUSC from the early hours of the day, right until it empties out again in the evening. Even when they’re not around in person, their schedules are packed; they’re on social media, talking to classes, or attending various debates and events.

And their omnipresence comes at a cost. These students generally don’t go to class, and they are effectively prevented from doing schoolwork of any kind. Sometimes profs are receptive to the candidates’ absences and missed work, and accommodate them—other times, not so much. They have to deal with it either way.

Personally, I think this whole political to-do takes things a little too far.

In working on The Sil’s presidential coverage, I spoke to the candidates and team members on multiple different days of the campaign. In pretty much all cases, they were exhausted.

I realize the argument can be made that this is just the price you have to pay in order to earn such a prestigious campus job—that it’s not meant to be easy. Sure, it’s good to know that the CEO of the Union can handle a little stress. Maybe it even inspires confidence in their future job performance.

And of course, it benefits us, as voters, to have a campaign of this extent so we can have to put our potential presidents under the microscope before we make up our minds.

But while we’ve spent so much time worrying why women in particular aren’t putting their names on the ballot, we have somehow neglected to really look at the structure of the campaign period itself. It’s ten whole days. And it’s not right at the start of the semester, either. It’s a couple weeks in, when courses have already picked up. When you consider that the majority of candidates every year are in their final semester of their undergrad, with a schedule likely full of theses and seminars, the significance of this time in school becomes even greater. Are the ten academia-free days really worth it?

I’m not saying that shortening the campaign period would completely solve the issues facing the presidential elections. But it’s time to reevaluate whether or not this is completely necessary.

And to the five gentlemen and their teams who made it through these past couple weeks—I hope you enjoy a well-earned sleep.

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By: David Rios

On Jan. 27 to 29, I am voting in support of the MSU Health Plan Referendum and I think you should as well. The current MSU health plan falls short of providing the essential coverage students need. For an additional $18.50, students will receive 80 percent off the price of contraceptives. A further increase of $32 will extend health insurance even more, to include vaccines, enhanced vision care and access to specialists including chiropractors and psychologists.

Related: Proposed referendum changes

The increase in health coverage would allow more students greater access to specialists who can positively impact their physical and mental wellbeing. It would cover a portion of the cost of seeing a clinical psychologist, physiotherapist, or naturopath, as well as a variety of other healthcare professionals. These are services that are often inaccessible to students due to their costs. The more comprehensive option would also cover 80 percent of the cost of an ambulance ride and provide more vision coverage.

The inclusion of contraception coverage would allow students who so choose to have agency over their own bodies and more freedom and safety with regards to their sexual choices. Moreover, birth control helps treat health ailments such as endometriosis, hormone imbalances, erratic periods, severe menstrual cramps, and helps to prevent ovarian cysts.

Just like the current healthcare plan, you can opt out as long as you have some form of healthcare coverage. Even if you opt out from the MSU health and dental plan, other students will still be able to access this increased health care coverage.

In my first year, I severely injured my knee playing soccer. The medical costs surrounding rehabilitation were a significant economic strain and something I had to focus on, on top of getting better. I would have benefitted tremendously if I had access to the proposed health care coverage, and I know that my experience is not unique.

You never know when you will need these services and should not be blindsided by these situations. So when you vote, please consider the benefits, not only for you, but for the entire student body.

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