Monday, February 8 saw the annual gathering of the Management Undergraduate Society (MUS)’s Board of Directors candidates ahead of its 2021-2022 election this week (closing Friday at 5 PM EST). Moderated by MUS Chief Returning Officer Elan Eisner, the convention allowed candidates to elaborate on their written platforms for which additions are detailed below.
Noah Gundermann runs unopposed for president. On the prospect of an in-person Frosh next semester, which was a prominent subject, he hopes to hold Management Frosh between Fall semester midterms and finals, possibly during the recently-established October 12-13 fall reading week. Gundermann intends to preserve Dave’s Store, the beloved student-run convenience store in the Bronfman Concourse suffering financial difficulties exacerbated by the pandemic. Gundermann predicted that the transition to in-person classes will not be as comfortable as many hope. Two new years of Management students will set foot inside Bronfman for the first time this fall, he says, and the mentorship of older students in U2-U3 will be indispensable for a post-pandemic adjustment of Management students as a whole to in-person activities.
Cole Diepold emphasized a similar sentiment of disconnect between Management students and the physical settings of the Bronfman building itself, promoting a general sense of community as students readjust to in-person activities. Diepold’s holistic vision of community solidarity hopes to “[move] the entire collective together.” He plans to add to student perspectives of careers outside Bronfman’s walls through guest lectures by professionals and Desautels alumni. His campaign platform expresses intentions “to break down the barrier between the MUS ‘elite circle’ — who again and again profit from the nepotism of the MUS hiring cycle — and us regular students who deserve more of a say. Once we truly take into account all Desautels voices, we will see a unity in our goals, values, and priorities.” Diepold mentioned his assessment that membership on the Board of Directors may project a negative image that social connections are necessary for upward mobility in the MUS; to the extent that this perception was widely held among students, he signalled his intentions to disprove the MUS’s supposedly elitist image.
Arshiyan Ahsan expressed discontent over what she sees as a lack of engagement with constituents. Wishing to foster stronger connections between students and internal government processes, Ahsan advocates for posted MUS meeting minutes and multiple student caucuses per month to properly voice grievances to the Sustainability, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (SEDI) committee. “Problems tend to snowball before they’re addressed,” she said, regarding a perceived norm of red tape and non-transparency within student government. Her proposed shadowing program to promote transparency allows students to express their interest before elections by attending as many Board of Directors-related meetings as possible without compromising privacy regulations. With a single transition committee to implement in-person activities, Ahsan hopes to “build COVID resilience” among returning Management students.
Nathaniel Saad looks to deliver a seamless transition to in-person activities while staying mindful of the awkwardness with which many new Management students will have to adapt. Promoting wellness, he plans to “[take] advantage of the five-day fall reading week” after Thanksgiving with new student activities on the MUS’s behalf. Saad’s public consultation before the campaign gave him the idea of using one social media platform to update students about campus affairs in a single address, rather than a “bombarding of information and communication” through emails. To Saad, the MUS must be a more positive and transparent force in students’ lives on campus. Student government, he believes, should “pinpoint the information that will pertain to them and affect them directly.”
Mary Zhang stresses equity as one of the most pressing issues facing Management students. Along with specific recommendations to improve equity standards at Desautels, she believes that the MUS deserves a stronger voice in university-wide student government.
Zhang is especially proud to be a student at Desautels, consciously shunning her conception of the insular Management student to emphasize that Desautels is a welcoming and productive skills incubator for all.
Anne Khazzam held the U0 representative position in the Fall Term and looks to increase student awareness of involvement opportunities. Khazzam lamented that she is running unopposed for this position; she believes that greater transparency and visibility will bring more prospective candidates into future campaigns.
Antoine Delarue promises to address student mental health through increased availability and accessibility of wellness resources. Envisioning a “post-COVID Desautels,” he intends to centralize events and general notifications in a single database accessible by Management students, rather than numerous emails sent out every week.
Arielle Vriniotis prioritizes an in-person Frosh, pushing for more in-person social events if Frosh is infeasible. Alongside greater networking opportunities for students via job postings on a centralized MUS Facebook page, Vriniotis aims “to work closely with campus security and the school, to ensure that students are fully aware of the university’s policies against sexual violence, and that resources and support services are easily accessible to us.”
Ben Raymond, in addition to expanding wellness services, intends to promote leadership positions in clubs and associations to boost participation and overall awareness of Bronfman’s diverse student opportunities. Further MUS collaboration with clubs, he said, would yield more training initiatives to prepare students for a competitive job market.
Alexandre Buisson intends to keep Management students occupied with “virtual bonding experiences” to stay connected online and prepare students for in-person activities. He believes that mental health is an influential factor in how students handle other diverse problems in their lives.