On October 1, the Management Undergraduate Society (MUS) held debates for its U0 Representative and U1 Representative Board of Directors (BOD) candidates. Each candidate had a brief window to present their platform, followed by an opportunity to answer questions from the elections panel.
Arielle Lok presented her three-pillar platform based on advocacy, organization, and wellness. Lok is determined to serve as an effective liaison between students and the Board, making sure that first year students’ concerns are communicated to the Board. As for wellness, she emphasized that there is often a stigma around mental health issues in Desautels, and little support for students who are struggling. If elected, Lok plans to approach this problem in a “systematic manner,” targeting the root causes of mental distress rather than simply hosting sporadic wellness events. When asked what her ongoing wellness initiatives would look like, Lok explained that her programs would target early intervention and prevention, starting with an action plan to make sure every student is heard. Ultimately, Lok believes that her background in child and youth advocacy has prepared her for this role on the BOD.
David Fishman focused on two main points for his campaign: student representation and community building. In regards to student representation, Fishman wants to implement more efficient methods of communication between students and the BOD in order to increase transparency. He believes that students should “have their ideas treated as possibilities,” and if elected, wants to publicize meeting minutes on a public platform, where students can comment on the content of BOD meetings. Fishman elaborated on this subject during the question period, stressing the importance of accessibility to minutes as well as students’ ability to share their insights. He also proposed the possibility of having more BOD meetings that non-MUS members of the McGill community could attend. Finally, he plans to increase the outreach and advertisements of MUS clubs and opportunities, so that involvement in the MUS is more accessible for U0s.
Anish Umasuthan believes that one of the main problems facing the MUS is the disconnect between student voices and those who can transform student concerns into tangible change. With this in mind, his plan includes creating an online platform where students can communicate with one another, as well as providing stronger mental health resources within the management faculty. Umasuthan emphasized that mental health on campus is an issue that we need to continuously address, and he hopes to do this through events and advocacy. Umasuthan highlighted his exchange in France and volunteer work in Ecuador as experiences that showcase his approachable nature and ability to communicate well; both qualities that he would bring to the role of U1 representative. He concluded his presentation at the debates by encouraging his peers to, “Think different, think Anish”.
Michael Murphy is running on a platform aimed at promoting U1 involvement within Desautels, hosting more social events, and developing a U1 philanthropy team. If elected, Murphy would use Facebook and email updates to ensure that crucial information is consolidated, so that U1s are up to date on various events, opportunities, and deadlines. In addition, his philanthropy team would provide an accessible way for U1 Desautels students to connect with local charities, allowing them to give back to the Montréal community. Murphy also pointed out the uniqueness of his platform, in that his initiatives could be implemented quickly, and would not require any approval from the administration to carry out his ideas. He added that his platform consists of objectives he knows will be implemented, and that he would remain open to suggestions from his constituents for new initiatives throughout the year.
Natasha Bousquet will advocate for three main reforms if she is elected as U1 representative. First, she considers school pride to be a crucial aspect of community building; she would collaborate with students to create a new line of Desautels apparel, drawing from her previous experience with merchandise design. Bousquet is also committed to raising awareness about McGill’s student services within Desautels. She would do this by working to develop personalized notifications on the McGill app, which would keep U1 students informed about the services available to them. Lastly, Bousqet wants to create an online platform where students can voice concerns and communicate with each other about things they want to improve within the MUS. She concluded: “I am a good listener, and sincerely want to represent the needs and interests of our class.”
Thomas Braun wants U1 students in Desautels to “Vote for a better Board with Braun.” He plans to implement changes to the MUS through the three pillars of his platform, the first of which is prioritizing mental health. If elected, Braun would build upon last year’s successful MUS Wellness Week through ongoing measures such as bringing therapy dogs to Desautels more frequently, handing out tea and hot chocolate during exams, and other initiatives. He would also facilitate first-year involvement by incentivizing clubs to give more opportunities to first year students, and would make sure to highlight positions from the Involvement Package that are most appropriate for first-years based on their experience levels. Lastly, Braun would work to connect Dave’s Store with cafeterias around McGill for broader access to food options, in an effort to further accommodate Desautels students.
All U0 and U1 management students are encouraged to vote for their Board of Directors representatives.