During last Thursday’s debate we heard out 9 competent and driven candidates for three major MSU positions: Coordinator of External, Cultural Affairs, and of Charities. Here are the major platform points that made an impression for their creativity or their exposed downsides.
Fun(d)raising for Charities
The debate shed light on many issues and ideas contained in the platforms of all candidates for the position of Coordinator of Volunteering and Charities: Jia Rong Shao, Erica Mandato, Emily Zhu and Ousmane A. Diagne. As a candidate for Coordinator of Charities and as a front runner in the race, it is unsurprising that Jia holds many causes close to her heart. One charity she mentioned in particular is Grace des Enfants, a non-for-profit organization that seeks to help orphans from around the world, but especially here in Quebec. Her goal for this year is to organize fundraisers in which the proceeds would go directly to different charities that touch causes dear to her heart such as mental illness, physical disabilities, and international aid. This idea is very touching and proves that this candidate has big ambitions for the College, and her (possible) future role as Coordinator. However, the feasibility and scale of the idea still remains to be seen. There is no shortage of social activities and fundraisers at Marianopolis (from parties, to the AP hot-dog fest we witnessed at the beginning of the year, and not forgetting the innumerable bake sales in front of the cafeteria), but it is up to the number of coordinator applicants to find a way to make their fundraisers outshine these traditions.
Cultural Advisory Council Assemble
Candidate for Coordinator of Cultural Affairs Jared Warden-Joseph wants to bring cultural celebration to a next level. As a College with a diverse student body, there is a multitude of culture-driven clubs that celebrate and organize social activities to showcase their traditions and inform others. In that sense, the candidate proposed the creation of a Cultural Advisory Council made up of cultural leaders. This council would be tasked with the overview of cultural celebrations and assure the representation of everyone at the College. Jared’s competition for Cultural Affairs, Ramiz A. Razzak, questioned the way Jared would choose these cultural leaders, and the latter answered that they would be drawn from existing club leaders. That being said, there remain questions regarding which groups will be represented and to which extent club leaders are willing to participate in such a council. Jared also wishes to broaden conversation on why we celebrate cultures, stating that it favors openness. Anthony Koch, the current President of the Marianopolis Student Union also inquired about individual melting pots when it comes to culture, referring to his own personal blend of origins as an example, an issue that may pose problems in selecting these “cultural leaders”.
Peer Tutoring For Sale
This idea of a collaborative tutoring system between CEGEPs was put forth by Coordinator of External Affairs candidate Alexandre Yang, and as he identified himself, organizer of the recent Marianopolis Beach Party. His goal is to expand the existing peer tutoring service from Marianopolis students to students that attend other English colleges and CEGEPs. It’s ambitious and creative, with a logic that seems sound: the College puts money into a free service for students that seems to work, so why not sell it to other colleges, make more money and improve our service for our students? A number of issues were quickly brought up with the program, including the fact that the College doesn’t pay for this service, the government does, if not for an apparent lack of demand, seeing that all other english CEGEPs also provide a peer tutoring service. When asked about the latter, the candidate replied that he was waiting for the Academic Dean to accept his proposal before he sent it out to other institutions. Overall, a movement towards an even broader and more explosive student life has been shown in the External Affairs race with Ana Lungu, Joseph Karam and previously mentioned Alexandre Yang. Ideas such as more intercollegiate events, attempts at providing more internships for students, Sherbrooke discounts and STM machines were brought up, all of which have yet to see light at the College.
Written by MWR writer Laurence Doucet, edited by the MWR team