Andrew McCann – a fourth-year Huron and home campus student – ​​has experience on the Huron University College Student Council, which is reflected in his platform which seems cautious not to promise too much beyond what the President of USC can offer.

The HUCSC vice president of finance appears aware of the incumbent president’s limited powers, but substantial responsibility to advocate for student concerns. Its platform is based on seven fundamental pillars: student community and engagement; community safety; equity, diversity and inclusion; student development and quality of education; health and wellbeing; affordability of education; and sustainability and accessibility.

While most of McCann’s hopes fall within the purview of USC, and many are nuanced, a few seem misinformed or unsupported, such as his goal of spending USC funds that are still tied to investments or its goal of replacing the police with “community support”. resources” at student events.

Sexual and gender-based violence

McCann’s goals for sexual and gender-based violence efforts emphasize safety both on and off campus and are within USC’s jurisdiction, although the aspect practice of introducing training at multiple entry points at USC can be difficult.

McCann aims to prevent sexual and gender-based violence from multiple angles, including the club system, USC-associated events, Greek life and N-Week for sophs – all with a focus on education for everyone of these events.

He also wants to advocate with the administration of Western University to implement mandatory training on SGBV, alcohol and drug abuse, and EDI for all students who attend Western. Although the university has previously stated that it aims to open SGBV training to all students once mandatory residency training is complete.

McCann also hopes to increase the presence of “community programming resources” in place of the police at events that attract Western students – although Western normally hires private security for events – but does not know what these resources are and how they will adequately address security issues.

Student experience

McCann has big — but manageable — plans to return to the in-person student experience, including bringing back a diverse cast of headliners for Purple Fest and reestablishing USC’s recently severed connection to Greek life.

McCann — a longtime member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, popularly known as FIJI — hopes to revive USC grants for on-campus Greek Life events, which he says will benefit everyone. community. The council recently voted to sever ties with Greek communities last half year, with majority support from councillors, largely on the basis that those privileges could be restored if fraternities and sororities apply for club status.

McCann is also working to generate a memorandum of understanding between USC and fraternities and sororities to access USC resources without becoming official clubs. It should be noted that USC President Zamir Fakirani has strongly opposed the presidents making unilateral decisions on Greek life without the vote of advisers and input from voters.

McCann is also working to impact the student experience both on and off campus by advocating to keep exams open-book, making online materials accessible when students miss class, introducing live tracking for the Mustang Express and exploring the feasibility of tailgating at major Western sporting events. .

The platform aims to establish partnerships between USC and the City of London Chamber of Commerce to develop experiential learning programs “that have a direct impact on our community”, such as for computer science students with businesses in need of development.

Western currently has an accelerator program that helps student entrepreneurs start their small businesses, but McCann makes no mention of it or whether his experiential learning opportunity will differ from the resources Western already has.

Affordability

McCann’s affordability priorities are fewer than his other platform elements, underscoring his admirable awareness of the limitations of USC’s presidential stance and his caution about overpromising things on which he would have no control.

McCann points out that he advocates for more flexible tuition payment schedules, which currently penalize students immediately for not paying tuition on time. It also outlines goals to reduce barriers to affordability of sophs by expanding subsidies that subsidize fees associated with sophing.

His platform also outlines plans to advocate for increased regulation of tuition fees for international students, which are currently not regulated by the province, unlike domestic tuition.

His proposal to introduce the rental of mini-fridges in residence halls could save students money while supporting his sustainability goals, as could the possibility of a formal exchange of Western textbooks through USC and promoting a furniture exchange program through the university.

Advocacy to reform the Landlord and Tenant Board to “address short-term student rental issues” also stands out in McCann’s platform.

USC Outreach

McCann hopes to revamp the USC website — a longtime goal for many former USC leaders — and mentions outreach goals toward the Greek scene involving a USC strategic plan to address “cultural issues.” in fraternities and sororities.

McCann is cautious with his language regarding student outreach, mindful of efforts to preserve faculty autonomy and opting instead to “incentivize” faculty boards to engage in more professional development opportunities for faculty. ‘USC with more resources and funding.

Other points include autonomy for affiliate councils – but McCann does not emphasize how that autonomy will differ from affiliates’ current relationship with USC, adding only that USC will provide “resources and knowledge” to help when needed.

health and wellbeing

McCann dives into many areas of student health and wellbeing, but is unsure how his ambitions will be funded.

Purple Care — health and dental insurance provided by USC — is just a small part of McCann’s platform, but stands out as a priority for student health and well-being. It hopes to expand coverage of student access to paramedical practitioners and counseling services.

McCann also hopes to place 24/7 crisis counseling centers on campus. While this is consistent with McCann’s mental health advocacy priorities, Western and USC already have several mental health resources for students on campus and in residence, and the Canadian Health Association Mental Health already has an established partnership with Western that enables crisis counseling services.

Also included are hopes for enhanced mental health supports during OWeek – such as required mental health checks for sophs and a “dedicated mental health professional” for each soph team.

Durability

McCann’s sustainability pillars are mostly well-founded and practical, but some of his key sustainability goals reveal his lack of experience at USC.

His platform says he wants to assess the feasibility of implementing “environmental accounting practices” in Western administration and within USC, but most accounting practices have already moved online and mitigated the need for paper products where possible. It’s unclear if McCann’s hopes were to alter USC’s already online practices.

McCann also mentions hopes of using funds from USC’s divestment of fossil fuels to create a fund for sustainability projects. While this goal aligns with McCann’s overall strategic sustainability goals, USC divestment strategy funds are not liquid assets and are not available to be spent on student projects.

McCann also has two bullet points advocating that Western “create a strategy” to achieve an overall net zero impact and to produce a net zero impact strategy from investments in the oil and gas industry.

Western currently has a “Towards Western at 150” strategic plan that already highlights goals to achieve net-zero emissions for campus operations by 2050. McCann does not elaborate on whether he has considered the strategy at Western’s long term and changes in asset mix, which saw a 31% reduction in carbon footprint between 2019 and 2021 alone.

This platform point may suggest that McCann will prioritize advocacy for net zero investments, although this point is not clear and distinct.

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