Photo by Kyle West

With the campaign slogan “#YourTimeIsNow,” Jeffrey Campana promises that he will address previously overlooked projects and student concerns. However, many of Campana’s platform points lack key details and are already being pursued by the McMaster Students Union.

For example, Campana states that there is a need for the MSU to distribute free menstrual products to washrooms on campus. However, free products are already offered to students through the MSU Student Health Education Centre, the Student Wellness Centre and the Women and Gender Equity Network.

Campana’s plan to add the products to all-gender bathrooms could be beneficial, but it is unclear who would be responsible for stocking the washrooms and how much value the initiative would add.

Campana’s plan to standardize MSU position descriptions and reform hiring practices involves much of MSU vice president (Administration) Kristina Epifano’s existing work.

Epifano is already currently reviewing the job description of part-time managers and other roles across the MSU.

The same issue arises with Campana’s plans to expand The Grind and improve on-campus lighting. MSU vice president (Finance) Scott Robinson has been working with a team since last semester to review the business model of The Grind and look at the possibility for expansion.

MSU president Ikram Farah has also been working with city staff and McMaster facility services to gradually transition on-campus lighting to LED.

Some of Campana’s larger project proposals suffer from a lack of specificity.

For instance, it is doubtful that Campana will be able to add an ice rink to campus, especially by his proposed date of January 2020.

Efforts to build an outdoor community rink in 2008-2009 and 2014-2015 through the Student Life Enhancement Fund failed due to insurance and accessibility issues.

Robinson confirmed that not much has changed regarding those factors since then.

It also remains unclear how Campana will find funding for a project that was estimated to cost at least $100,000 in the past.

Campana’s proposal to create a polling station on campus seems to ignore the difficulty associated with the initiative.

An on-campus polling station was pulled by the city in 2010 and has not come close to being reintroduced since.

Across Campana’s platform points, there is reliance on MSU initiatives that were either unsuccessfully advocated for or are already in the works.


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By: Natalie Clark

One of Madison Wesley’s largest and most promising platform goals is to introduce a textbook rental service to the McMaster campus store. Although students would likely be fond of the idea, Wesley has failed to assess the challenges associated with this goal.

According to Donna Shapiro, the director of retail services at McMaster, the McMaster campus store explored this idea in the past but was unable to bring it to fruition.

“Each faculty would need to commit to their course material selection for several years in a row to pay off the initial cost of the book,” said Shapiro. “Without this commitment, it is impossible to move forward with a rental program.”

In addition, according to Shapiro, the issue of storage is also a concern.

“For the number of courses at Mac that are not taught on a regular basis, space for storage of the rental textbooks becomes an issue,” said Shapiro.

Wesley also has not consulted with the Student Wellness Centre regarding her promise to improve the mental and physical health of students on campus. The SWC would be an essential service to consult in order to implement the changes she is seeking.

One of Wesley’s main goals is to increase the number of counsellors on campus.

“The SWC has increased the number of counsellors this past year and is currently at capacity space and budget wise for the number of staff that the SWC can hire,” said Taryn Aarssen, a wellness educator at the SWC. “The budget for counsellors comes from student fees.”

Wesley would have to acquire additional funds to hire more counsellors. However, in her platform, it is unclear where specifically this funding would come from.

As for Wesley’s promise to introduce a walk-in clinic to McMaster, according to Aarssen, while the SWC is not exactly a walk-in clinic, it is a place where students can make health clinic and medical appointments on campus.

The SWC currently has a significant number of the same resources as walk-in clinics. In light of this, Aarssen notes that adding a second clinic on campus “would not be a valuable use of space or resources.”

Overall, Wesley’s platform would seem more feasible if she made efforts to consult a number of McMaster’s services prior to the start of campaign season.


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Josh Marando’s 12 platform points are broad reaching and address a variety of student concerns, from student safety to internal McMaster students union operations.

Marando’s campaign focuses on improving campus amenities, including study spaces and food courts. However, there is significant overlap between Marando’s platform and existing plans to increase spaces for students.

For instance, Marando’s “Revitalize MUSC” platform point outlines strategies to create lounge space within the McMaster University Student Centre by renovating the third floor terrace and Clubspace. Marando also aims to create an additional MUSC food court to address overcrowding in La Piazza.

The facilities planned for the student activity building also overlap with another one of Marando’s platform points related to food accessibility. Marando’s plan introduces “TwelvEighty 2 Go,” a system to supplement TwelvEighty’s existing take out system to allow for more grab and go meals.

According to Richard Haja, food and beverage manager of TwelvEighty Restaurant, Marando has not contacted TwelvEighty management to assess the feasibility of this plan.

Additionally, Haja stated that there are plans to create a similar food take out system in the new student activity building.

Marando’s platform also focuses on reducing the costs of education and improving campus infrastructure. However, the platform does not give proper consideration to funding sources for these initiatives.

Marando plans to lobby the provincial government to ease the upfront costs of education through tuition freezes for domestic and international students and program based Ontario student assistance program funding.

Marando also aims to improve campus infrastructure by increasing the deferred maintenance budget by $12 million per year. His platform states that this will be accomplished in part by applying for governmental grants.

However, the current provincial government has expressed its commitment to cutting government spending and reducing deficits.

In October, the Ford government cancelled more than $300 million dollar funding for university and college campus expansions in Markham, Milton and Brampton.

It is unclear whether Marando’s platform has properly considered the current provincial government’s funding priorities, which call into question the feasibility of certain platform points.


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Justin Lee’s platform highlights 13 points, but almost all of them lack specificity and the ability to effect unique and meaningful change on campus.

Several of Lee’s initiatives do not specify how they differ from current McMaster Students Union projects, including his plan to improve the MSU’s social media presence.

Similarly, free menstrual products are already offered without charge by the Student Health Education Centre, the Student Wellness Centre, and the Women and Gender Equity Network. Lee’s plan to add these products to single use and female washrooms extend this service, but the logistics and costs of stocking the washrooms must be worked out.

Other points, such as strengthening student involvement in campus events and providing “life skills” programs to students, are vague. The proposal to provide fundraising training services for all MSU clubs in order to make them fiscally independent lacks context as to why it is necessary to improving student life or how it will affect MSU spending.

Where Lee’s ideas are novel, they lack feasibility and do not appear to be supported by consultations with relevant groups.

For instance, Lee does not appear to have consulted software developers, the Hamilton Street Railway or the MSU regarding his proposed “Uber for Buses” project.

There is also the obvious question regarding how such a project would be feasible and affect non-student HSR users.

Another project that Lee aspires to implement is an after-hours takeout service on campus. However, this project once again lacks detail as to how it will be implemented.

Lee’s platform, which primarily includes small projects, could also be more ambitious and comprehensive.

Points such as the addition of a second ClubsFest do not seem likely to make a noteworthy improvement to student life.

It is also worth noting that the day after the 2019 MSU presidentials campaign period kicked off, Lee still did not have an accessible official Instagram or Facebook page.

This lack of transparency about Lee’s platform appears to weaken Lee’s credibility.

Overall, there are significant gaps in Lee’s platform when it comes to addressing more prominent student concerns and ensuring that larger initiatives are both original and feasible.


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By: Natalie Clark

Madison Wesley is a second year political science student involved with several art clubs at McMaster, including the starving artist society. She is also actively involved with community outreach programs, such as the Give n' Get store in Barrie, Ontario.

Wesley’s platform promises to improve physical and mental health on campus, introduce a textbook renting program for students, increase the amount of study spaces on campus and ensure that teaching assistants are required to complete a mandatory training program before stepping into a classroom environment.

Wesley’s most ambitious promise to students is to make the physical and mental health of students her priority. She promises to increase the number of counsellors and psychiatrists on campus and make them more accessible to students.

Wesley also hopes to increase the number of student group therapy sessions available.

In addition to improving the number of available counsellors on campus, Wesley wishes to introduce a student walk-in clinic on campus.

Another aspect of Wesley’s platform includes the plan to introduce a “Rent-a-Text” program for students purchasing books at the McMaster campus store. This program would allow students to rent textbooks for a period of four months, with a 25 per cent deposit.

After the four-month period comes to a halt, students would return their textbook in good condition and receive back their deposit in return.

Wesley also aims to increase the number of accessible study spaces on campus.

She believes that there are large areas of space all around campus that can easily be converted into effective student study spaces.

For instance, Wesley uses the Waterfall Room in the Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery as an example of a large space that could foster and support a future study atmosphere.

In addition, Wesley promises to work with each faculty at McMaster to create a mandatory training program for TAs.

“As major players in our day-to-day education, they need to be effective in the classroom as instructors,” reads part of Wesley’s platform. “I will hold the university to the standards that we students expect.”

More information about Wesley's platform can be found at


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Justin Lee is a second-year political science student who is bringing a platform that aims to help the McMaster Students Union serve students while creating more opportunities for students to get involved with the MSU.

Last year, Lee served as the chair of the MSU First Year Council. This year, he is serving as a social science representative for the Student Representative Assembly and as a representative on the MSU’s university affairs committee.  

Lee’s platform consists of 13 objectives aimed collectively at increasing communication between students, the MSU and the university and making students’ lives easier and safer.

A large section of Lee’s platform is focused on supporting clubs at McMaster. One way he plans to do this is by providing fundraising training services for all MSU clubs. He hopes that by decreasing funding and increasing training, most clubs will become fiscally independent.

Lee also aims to host another ClubsFest during the second semester to increase student involvement.

Lowering food prices is another major point in Lee’s platform. To achieve this platform objective, he says he will meet with Hospitality Services to discuss menu items. He also floats the idea of an after-hours takeout service, which he says will aid students living on campus.

Another platform point is the provision of free menstrual products for single use washrooms.

Lee’s other ideas to help students succeed include hosting events to promote mental health and using the funds to invest into MSU mental health services. He also plans to work with the Student Success Centre to create subsidized “life skills” programs, such as first aid training or tax-filing.

Lee’s platform includes an initiative to “increase proactive security efforts with regards to public events.”

Lee wants the MSU to engage students more effectively by bolstering its social media presence.

Regarding campus infrastructure and rules, Lee says he will enforce the maintenance of emergency poles and will start a discussion with the university administration over the smoking ban, which he says “should either be enforced or more lenient.”

Another platform point is Lee’s “Uber for Buses” project. Lee envisions a sort of digital “dynamic routing system” during late-night times where students on the bus can request a stop by putting it into the software, from which the drivers can plan the most efficient route.

Lee also wants to implement HSR driver accountability by creating a platform that allows students to report drivers and give feedback on their transit experience.

More information about Lee’s platform can be found by reaching out to Lee’s campaign at


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