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RODRIGO NARRO PEREZ UNIVERSITY AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER CANDIDATE

DEAR SRA, I am very excited to run for this position. I have been heavily involved in the McMaster community. I have been a part of the McMaster Science Society Executive for the past three years and have been a research assistant in the Glacial Sedimentology Lab here since the summer of 2011. This past year I was a teaching assistant for the first year Integrated Science Program. I also held a seat on the Science Caucus and was part of the University Affairs Committee (UA) in 2012-2013. My experience with UA was phenomenal and I have learned about the different ways that the MSU positively contributes to the student experience. I hope to bring a variety of skills and knowledge to the position that will build on the previous work done by the committee.

ACADEMIC Involvement in Learning Portfolio (LP) Integration There has been a lot of discussion in the different ways that the LP should be introduced to students. I would like to see UA being involved in the discussion on how this introduction will actually be implemented. We can gather student feedback in a variety of ways such as focus groups or town halls. Increase MSU communication with Forward with Integrity (FWI) With projects such as the LP I would like to advocate for a formal venue of communication between the MSU and FWI. Though there are students being involved in the discussion, no direct MSU representative is present at all of the current discussions. Whether it’s one member or various designated members, I believe that all these projects would benefit from an MSU point of view. University-wide Assessment of Faculty Academic Services Each faculty has various academic services for students which encompass, but are not limited to, resume critique, experiential learning, cooperative education, and career advising. I would like to assess how effective these services are by determining the amount of students using these services as well as if the services that are being offered are meeting students’ needs.


Course Wiki I envision UA being heavily involved in shaping the direction of this project. We can set up how each course shell is structured and complete various sample courses. Once a framework is established, we can engage other SRA members as well as the AAC to complete other courses. Additionally, UA can develop a procedure for receiving student feedback so the content in each course can reflect students’ views. Ancillary Fees I would like for UA to hold an advocacy campaign to inform students about this issue. Alongside this campaign I would like to construct a medium for students to communicate any fee violation to the MSU.

STUDENT EXPERIENCE Registered Dietician Research has been done concerning the possibility of bringing a Registered Dietician (RD) to campus. One facet of research that will be completed in the next coming months is the effect an RD would have on SWC’s wait times. I will then prepare various possible financial arrangements that look at the finances on how we can afford this service. Once a new Dean of Students is appointed this project will be advocated and discussed. Nutritional information at 1280 The nutritional information for 1280 is ready to be printed and given to students. As a committee I would like assess and implement an effective way of presenting nutritional information to students. Once it’s implemented it, a follow-up on its effectiveness and use by students will be done Surveys One of the many ways in which UA gathers student feedback is the use of surveys. With the results of OUSA’s Quality of Education (Q of E) survey and UA’s recent Student Experience Survey (SES), I would like to hold focus groups or online chats to enhance the response of students on the various issues that these surveys addressed. I would also work on making the Q of E survey better to suit the needs of the MSU. This includes making it more faculty specific and year specific.


Financial Education to Students I would like to continue to work on increasing financial education for students. Building on projects such as the ‘OSAP Repayment Sessions’ I would like to create other options venues for students to be inform about financial aid. Working with other campus partners such as Student Success Center (SSC) and Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (SFAS), I hope to participate in projects already in place to make sure student’s voice and needs are met. One way to increase student education can be in 1 or 2 page summaries that aid student understanding on different issues such as student loans, credit cards and personal budgets. Mental Health on Campus There are various ways in which UA can tackle the issue of Mental Health:

1

I would like to see UA set up a formal committee or consortium with all the campus partners, both university and MSU, which are invested in the issue of mental health. By establishing this, a continuous dialogue can occur on the different ways this issue is being addressed on campus.

2

I envision UA helping in the construction of a university wide online portal where students can be directed to various resources both medically oriented (e.g. SWC) and support-oriented (e.g. Peer Support Line & SHEC).

3

I would like to see the UA work with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to review the policies in place that deal with students with disabilities and see the effectiveness of the services that are currently in place.

COOPERATION WITH OTHER GROUPS External Affairs Committee: Cooperation regarding mental health, with EA handling a lot of the policy writing, UA can do a lot of campus strategy. UA and EA can work together when dealing with municipality engagement, while EA can raise awareness of any city-wide campaign, UA can be gathering student feedback and write policies regarding student’s needs. Advocacy: Raising awareness of Mental Health campaign and to utilize the Advocacy Street Team to reach students. I envision a joint Ancillary Fees campaign between UA and Advocacy to inform students of the issue. Academic Affairs Council (AAC): I envision working on various projects with the AAC including the LP and the Course Wiki. Constant communication and feedback between UA and the AAC will continue to ensure that these projects are successful.


Rodrigo Narro Perez - University Affairs Commissioner