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JACOB BRODKA for VICE PRESIDENT (ADMINISTRATION)

MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION 2014-2015


THE MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION 2014-2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1

Message to the Assembly

2

Experience

3

Review

5

Training

8

Welcome Week & Programming

11

Forward Thinking

12

Areas of Support

14

Conclusion


JACOB BRODKA for VICE PRESIDENT (ADMINISTRATION)

DEAR MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY, Welcome and congratulations! Your decision to take on a leadership role on the assembly and within this organization demonstrates that you are passionate about who you represent and what you seek to accomplish. We have a meaningful year of work ahead of us - the initial steps that we take together are important for establishing a framework from which we can all succeed and make impactful change. My reasons for wanting to run for Vice President (Administration) are heavily rooted in my appreciation of the invaluable experiences and opportunities this organization has to offer to ourselves as students and the broader community we interact with. I have had the chance to share with many of you that I can personally attribute a lot of what I have learned about myself to the MSU and the university. Moreover, it is the people (YOU) that make the experiences we share and the changes we make meaningful - students engaging students. I want nothing more than for others to feel the same sense of connection and growth, while collectively working towards positively shaping the student experience here at McMaster. The role of Vice President (Administration) entails training, support, management and collaboration with a variety of university and community partners. My experiences have shaped the insight that I can offer into areas of improvement and growth. I recognize the need for preparation and proactive work. As a manager you need to plan for the unexpected yet inevitable challenges. My portfolio of experiences within the organization and the university have equipped me to be the best candidate to fulfill the responsibilities of this position. With respect to board dynamics, it is important that the individuals you elect collectively represent the interests of all students. We need a strong team who is willing to work hard to ensure the expectations and needs of students are not only met - but surpassed. My passion for this organization has never wavered. I want nothing more than to see President Elect Teddy Saull, the rest of the incoming board and the assembly succeed this year. I stand ready to act as a resource and an advocate of the interests we all share. All of that being said, it is with great enthusiasm that I present to you my objectives and vision for the coming year.

JACOB BRODKA Vice President (Administration) Candidate

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THE MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION 2014-2015

EXPERIENCE MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION - STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY • SRA | Services Commissioner (May 2013 - April 2014) • SRA | Science Caucus Representative (May 2013 - April 2014) • Ad-Hoc Committee for the Establishment of a Women and Trans* Centre (May 2013 April 2014) MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION - SERVICES & BUSINESS UNITS • CLAY | Creating Leadership Amongst Youth Conference • Leadership Developer (May 2013) • Sponsorship Coordinator (Executive) - (December 2011 - May 2012) • Horizons Conference • Leadership Developer Logistics Coordinator (Executive) - (March - August 2013) • Promotion Coordinator (Executive) - (March 2012 - August 2012) • Maroons Public Relations (Executive) - (May - April 2014) • TwelvEighty Bar & Grill (Line Cook) - (September 2012 - January 2013) MCMASTER UNIVERSITY - STUDENT AFFAIRS & OTHER DEPARTMENTS • Transition Program Coordinator (Student Success Centre) - (January 2011 - Present) • Mission2Mac Representative (Alumni) - (June 2012 - August 2012) • Altitude and Outdoor Recreation Staff Member (September 2011 - May 2012)

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JACOB BRODKA for VICE PRESIDENT (ADMINISTRATION)

REVIEW SPACE ALLOCATION AUDIT Complete review of spaces allocated to our services by November 30, 2014. • Every three years the MSU conducts a space allocation audit to evaluate the usage of space amongst our various services and business units. If there is a more urgent need for space usage and changes to be considered - action will be taken. This past year, it was decided that the Student Community Support Network (SCSN) will be tentatively moving to the Committee Room until the off campus property on Forsyth is prepared. The space they currently occupy will be used by Campus Events. Ensure new services and existing services have efficient workspaces. • Beyond the actual allocation of space - the efficiency of our work spaces will also be reviewed. Consider our Committee Room which numerous additional services will now operate out of (WGEN, Spark and SCSN for the time being).

SERVICES & ROLES FOR REVIEW Clarification of roles for the review of our services. Work with Services Commissioner, Operations Commissioner, Executive Board and Vice President (Finance) to ensure we are efficiently collecting and creating recommendations for long term strategic planning and review. • The Standing Committee on Services can be a useful body for reviewing and advising on matters related to the services. This past year, complications and confusion stemmed from attempts by myself and current Vice President (Administration) Anna D’Angela to identify what makes this committee unique in conjunction to Executive Board and the Standing Committee on Operations. The problem? All of these groups are trying to accomplish very similar things. Our services were created at different times to address student needs. Over time, these needs change. I will establish our collective approach to service review and long term strategic planning amongst those mentioned as soon as the respective committee commissioners are elected. Continue Part Time Manager strategic outlook forms - complete and submitted by February 10, 2015. • Steps were taken this year in establishing long term strategic outlook strategies for services as service managers were asked to highlight areas of weakness and potential growth via budgeting forms. I see so much value in the information that Vice President (Finance) Jeff Doucet was able to collect and feel as though this is the type of outlook we should continue to have when reviewing services.

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THE MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION 2014-2015

SERVICE EXPENDITURE BEYOND GENERAL OPERATION Work to streamline and standardize volunteer recognition. • After consulting with current Vice President (Finance) Jeff Doucet and reviewing the 2014-2015 service budgeting forms regarding service expenditure, it was noted that we currently do not have a standardized approach to what our services offer to volunteers and executive teams at no cost. It was recommended that this upcoming year, the concept of volunteer recognition be reviewed. I will work with the incoming Vice-President (Finance) to streamline and standardize this amongst our services - while ensuring our hardworking volunteers are recognized for the amazing work that they do.

SERVICE SUSTAINABILITY AUDIT When discussing codifying service mandates, a service that immediately comes to mind is MACgreen. I will work with the incoming MACgreen Coordinator, David Rios, to conduct an internal MSU sustainability audit. The audit would result in recommendations to our service managers for how to operate in a more sustainable manner. This is a matter of upholding the MSU’s General Policy on Sustainability: “Each year MACgreen will conduct an MSU-wide sustainability audit that will assess the MSU in the areas of: waste, energy, water, transportation and education. Following the completion of this annual audit, a subcommittee within MACgreen will be tasked with revising the audit and recommending initiatives that will improve the performance of the MSU in areas where it is weakest.” - MSU General Policy on Sustainability (2012)

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JACOB BRODKA for VICE PRESIDENT (ADMINISTRATION)

TRAINING STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY (SRA) Planning engaging training opportunities for June and July. • Training is something that we should constantly strive to improve. Proper training makes for a smoother transition process and sets the stage for a successful start to the terms of Assembly members. Training of Assembly members joining via by-election. • Beyond the facilitation and planning of training in June and July (MSU Retreat) - an area of improvement I would seek to address this upcoming year is training for Assembly members who may potentially join the Assembly via by-election. As expressed by past Assembly members who have joined the Assembly in a by-election, training and more support would have allowed for a quicker and more comfortable integration. Start building long lasting transition resources for future years. • Furthermore, I will work with the current assembly to start to build up stronger expectations with regards to transition at the end of the year. Building resources to pass on to incoming assembly members is essential to establishing a quick understanding of how the organization and assembly operate.

PART TIME MANAGERS Emphasize and provide time for service-to-service as well as service-to-SRA collaboration during summer training sessions. • The summer months are extremely important for service management as proper and proactive planning truly does equate to a successful year. One particular objective I will emphasize during summer training is service collaboration. Part Time Managers are asked to incorporate collaborative initiatives into their respective Year Plans. Based off of Part Time Manager feedback, I want to ensure that new managers have ample time to connect and communicate with other service managers and the Student Representative Assembly prior to finalizing their objectives for the year. Ensure service managers who are hired and start service operation at different times during the year receive proper training. • Similar to my proposition of training for Assembly members who join the Assembly late via by-election, I will ensure that service managers who start their jobs and service operation independently throughout the year also receive proper training.

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THE MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION 2014-2015

Equip and familiarize Part Time Managers with marketing resources. • Marketing is an essential part of service delivery. We expect our Part Time Managers to be well oriented in topics associated with their services - but when it comes to marketing, sometimes they require more support. With a new full time Communications Officer (Alex Young) and the continued involvement of our Student Life Development Coordinator (Michael Wooder) in updating and enforcing our image and branding (MSU Visual Identity Guide) amongst our other media resources - we are starting to see the development of a quasi-marketing department. During training, I will ensure that Part Time Managers are knowledgeable about all the resources at their disposal for executing strong marketing plans and promotion throughout the year.

MONTHLY PART TIME MANAGER MEETINGS Ensure that monthly meetings are engaging - for returning managers too! • This year, progress was made towards giving Part Time Managers learning and training opportunities throughout the year at mandatory monthly meetings. Having had the opportunity to attend these monthly meetings as Services Commissioner, I was able to see both value and areas for improvement. It is important to cater these meetings to the unique needs of the group. I would work with the Part Time Managers to establish collective areas where support may be necessary and establish relevant learning goals. As I have had the opportunity to share with many of you, I always want to work to create an environment in which everyone is engaged. I would give returning service managers opportunities to help facilitate sessions and conversations they may have seen/been a part of in the past.

ANTI-OPPRESSION TRAINING Continue to ensure that our service personnel receive this training. Use past success as a springboard for better educating more of our frontline service volunteers. • As an organization, it is important to use our successes as a springboard for future improvement. I will work to ensure that this training will continue to extend to our frontline service volunteers and ensure more of our service volunteers engage in this training. It will be a collaborative effort between Service Managers and Human Rights and Equity Services (HRES) to incorporate this into existing service volunteer training plans. This is in line with recommendations from outgoing Vice President (Administration), Anna D’Angela.

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JACOB BRODKA for VICE PRESIDENT (ADMINISTRATION)

HUMAN RESOURCES & AODA Upon completion of the MSU Accessibility Policy - incorporate information and best practices into training. Training is mandated as an expectation in this policy. • After consulting with the MSU’s General Manager, John McGowan, it was determined that there is more that we can and will be doing with respect to Human Resources. It is important to inform our employees and personnel of the structures and policies (or lack thereof) in place for topics like health and safety, training, hiring, workplace accessibility and accommodation. In particular, I would like to focus on accessibility and accommodation. An MSU Accessibility Policy is currently being drafted internally with assistance from Human Rights and Equity Services. It will be mandated that the MSU’s personnel undergo streamlined AODA training and be informed about practices outlined in this policy. “The MSU will provide training to employees, elected executives, volunteers and others who deal with the public or other third parties on our behalf as soon as practical following commencement of their duties. Training will also be provided on an on-going basis, in connection with any changes to the policy and in support of procedures and practices that govern the provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities.” - Excerpt from Draft MSU Accessibility Policy (2014) Emphasize use of HRES Planning for Accessibility Checklist for service event planning. • Moreover, I will emphasize the use of the Planning for Accessibility Checklist for service event planning (valuable resource created by Human Rights and Equity Services) during Part Time Manager training.

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THE MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION 2014-2015

WELCOME WEEK & PROGRAMMING WELCOME WEEK COMMITTEES - AN EASY TRANSITION My past experiences and relationships will allow for a quick transition. • Welcome Week and orientation is a large part of the job of Vice President (Administration). This is my third year sitting on the Welcome Week Planning and Implementation Committee. I am very familiar with the conversations that are happening at the collective committee level with respect to transition and orientation. Having worked with two Vice-Presidents at the committee level for the past two years, I have seen the transition between one Vice-President (Administration) to another as being a challenge. This is due to the fact that we have our elections after many of the conversations have started with respect to training and implementation. If elected, I am ready to immediately take on the responsibilities that have already been outlined and continue the conversations that have already been started.

FACULTY SOCIETY INVOLVEMENT IN WELCOME WEEK Be an advocate for addressing the needs of Faculty Societies. • I have always been an advocate for more Faculty Society involvement during Welcome Week. Analytics collected from first year students after Welcome Week this year indicate that 58% of first year students made a considerable [meaningful] connection with their Faculty Society throughout the week (Source: Welcome Week 2013 - Executive Report). This is a statistic that I would like to change for the better. This is an especially exciting year with the MSU hiring a Faculty Planner (Julia Clemens) to support Faculty Societies. I have already noticed the benefits of an added faculty-focussed voice at the table expressing needs and challenges that need to be addressed. Work to incorporate more small group interaction opportunities. • A conversation that I started during Faculty Society consultation sessions after this past Welcome Week was how we can work to provide Faculty Societies with more small group interaction opportunities. This will allow students to create meaninful connections amongst peers within their respective faculties. In order for this to happen for Welcome Week 2014 - there is little time to waste.

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JACOB BRODKA for VICE PRESIDENT (ADMINISTRATION)

REP TRAINING DEVELOPMENT - CONFERENCE STYLE Help shape new training process. • This year, Welcome Week rep training is changing to “conference style.” The weekend before Welcome Week, Faculty Reps will have to attend mandatory training sessions and be given the opportunity to choose from a breadth of other optional sessions. Conversations at Welcome Week Planning and Implementation Committee meetings suggest strong potential for sessions associated with Mental Health and the It’s Time Campaign to end violence against women on campus. This style not only opens up many opportunities for what we can offer and inform Reps about - there is now potential to make the training more efficient for returning Reps. Inform Welcome Week Representatives about MSU services (especially support services such as QSCC, SHEC, PSL, etc). • I will work to incorporate sessions to inform Reps about the services and opportunities that the MSU has to offer. Specifically, I am interested in better informing Reps about our peer and emotional support services. Help develop more engaging and efficient training for returning Welcome Week Representatives. • Furthermore, I will participate in shaping modified training sessions for Reps who have been through training in past years. With a skeleton agenda for training being brought to the table on Wednesday April 9th - I emphasize the importance of my previous and existing membership on the Welcome Week Implementation and Planning Committee.

ORIENTATION ANALYTICS Help shape Welcome Week analytics to see how we can improve as an organization in service delivery and education during orientation. • A Welcome Week Executive Summary is produced by Student Affairs each year. This report contains information pertaining to the mission and vision of orientation, along with commentary and analytics on the achievement of collective goals. A benchmarking survey for all orientation programs was conducted in 2012. Given that in 2013, we adopted a very new funding model with the introduction of the Orientation Levy, the Welcome Week Advisory Committee felt as though it would be prudent to conduct a survey to identify areas of improvement. This past Welcome Week, 25% of first year students responded. Moving forward, it is important that the MSU has a stake in future survey administration as there is incredibly valuable information to gain from respondents with respect to what we offer as an organization during Welcome Week.

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THE MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION 2014-2015

FROST WEEK In line with President Elect, Teddy Saull’s platform. Work to highlight student athletes during the week (“Winter Homecoming”) Bring back the Reps and Faculty/ Residence Cups. Create stronger planning culture (start meetings 1st week of October). • After consulting with MSU Campus Events, the Society of Off Campus Students and Athletics and Recreation (amongst others involved in FROST WEEK) - it was clear that FROST week is the next programming improvement that we should collectively focus on. When I attended a Student Relations Committee meeting last term regarding FROST week, it became clear to me that campus groups are operating in isolation to provide programming for the week. In line with Teddy’s platform, I will work with relevant groups to bring back the Reps and create programming to fuel competition for the Faculty and Residence Cups. I will also work with Athletics and Recreation to look for unique ways to generate excitement for our student athletes (volleyball and basketball) during the week. Overall, we need to work towards a stronger planning culture. I will start conversations regarding the planning and implementation of programming for FROST week during the 1st week of October.

FAIR ORIENTATION LEVY ALLOCATION Support fair allocation of Orientation levy. • Faculty societies have the lowest cost recovery margins in comparison to other groups and departments that receive funding from the Orientation Levy. As Vice President (Administration), I will continue to advocate for Faculty Societies to receive a more fair allocation of the levy to cover costs. Given time constraints, the goal will be to see an improved allocation for Welcome Week 2015.

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JACOB BRODKA for VICE PRESIDENT (ADMINISTRATION)

FORWARD THINKING URGENT ACCESSIBILITY SERVICE PLAN Work with Student Accessibility Services to fill accessibility service gaps. • Right now the MSU offers emergency (EFRT) and non-emergency (SWHAT) services to students. There are prospective opportunities for our existing services to be adapted to address gaps in urgent accessibility service needs. After consulting with Tim Nolan from Student Accessibility Services, it was noted that campus environment and access are a priority for the coming year - and MSU interest in addressing service concerns on campus is timely.

TEXT BASED PEER SUPPORT Provide project support for implementing web-based peer support for the MSU Peer Support Line. • Text based peer support would be a fantastic addition to the Peer Support Line. This would eliminate barriers associated with calling in (anonymity) and allows for resources and information to be shared with ease. This is something that the incoming Peer Support Line Part Time Manager, Ameema Saeed, would like to see implemented. Creating an online peer support network that centralizes resources (SHEC, QSCC, etc) in conjunction to this would also be ideal.

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THE MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION 2014-2015

AREAS OF SUPPORT WOMEN AND GENDER EQUITY NETWORK: As a pilot service this year, it is important that personnel be hired, operational documents be created and a launch plan be established for September. Having sat on the committee working towards the establishment of this service this past year - I have unique insight to offer to the newly hired Coordinator.

SPARK: Another pilot service that will require support this year. After consulting with Jimmy Long, he anticipates a primary area of support being in programming and session development. It will also be taken into consideration how this service operates in relation to other programs and the interests of other Part Time Managers (Horizons looking to last “beyond the conference�).

STUDENT COMMUNITY SUPPORT NETWORK: I will ensure that the Part Time Manager, Josh Patel, has a comfortable transition into the Committee Room and ensure that the space provided is adequate for service needs until the off campus property on Forsyth is prepared.

MACGREEN: The incoming Part Time Manager has expressed a need for more support when working with university departments. There is also going to be considerable work done to refocus the purpose of the service.

DIVERSITY SERVICES: This was the first full year that the service had a Director and Assistant Director management structure. It will be important to emphasize establishing clear responsibilities and expectations for each position to avoid management conflicts and ensure efficiency. Furthermore, Bridges and negotiations associated with the space are ongoing.

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JACOB BRODKA for VICE PRESIDENT (ADMINISTRATION)

STUDENT HEALTH EDUCATION CENTRE: With new committee structures in place, it will be important to check in on general service operation. There will be a continued discussion regarding the uniqueness of the service in relation to other services (Student Wellness Centre, Peer Support Line, etc). Furthermore, an emphasis will be put on proper marketing and branding for the centre.

MACYCLE: With a single director responsible for management, it will be important to continue to advertise the service location and work towards fulfilling a broader service mandate (promotion of cycling, continuation of bike auctions, more outreach based projects, etc). Consider more work with Kate Whalen from the Office of Sustainability (What does it mean to be a cyclist?), start advocating for better cycling habits or facilitation of assessments and surveys to determine where bike racks should be placed on campus (security services).

COMMUNITY SKATING RINK: The outdoor community skating rink which was recently approved for SLEF funding will require management personnel and support from the MSU. I will work to establish the framework from which this rink will operate (hiring of coordinator, etc) and evaluate where this best fits within the MSU.

PEER TUTORING NETWORK: In line with Teddy’s platform, this year we will be working to launch a Peer Tutoring Network. The initial role the Vice President (Administration) will have in supporting this project will be in the creation of draft operational documents and personnel structures. Once approved, it will be important to consider hiring timelines as well as how the service will be marketed.

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THE MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION 2014-2015

CONCLUSION Thank you for taking the time to review my platform and objectives for this year. In creating this platform, I took time to think ahead to where we would be as an organization and as people a year from now. What I quickly realized was what makes this process and the start of a new year exciting, is the opportunity for growth - as an organization and as individuals. I have seen the MSU from a variety of perspectives and it has come to be something that I truly value and appreciate - not just for what we do, but for the potential of what we CAN do to positively impact the student experience here at McMaster. Beyond general management and operation, I want us to have an opportunity to say at this time next year that we have had a year full of meaningful and impactful change. My experiences have prepared me to fulfill the responsibilities of the role of Vice President (Administration) and shaped the type of Vice President that I will be. I want each of our service managers and each of you to know that I will wholeheartedly invest myself in ensuring that I will always be here - as a support system, as a resource, as a co-worker and as a friend. Kind regards,

JACOB BRODKA

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JACOB

BRODKA for VICE PRESIDENT (ADMINISTRATION)

MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION

2014-2015


Jacob Brodka for Vice President (Administration)