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Team Ocean's platform is well-rounded, with some unique topics including entrepreneurship and campus operations.

However, some of their platform points are questionable and depend on support from the Senate and other university institutions beyond the University Students' Council.

This analysis highlights some of Team Ocean's major platform points, but you can look at the full platform on their website.

Mental health, wellness and safety

Like most platforms in recent years, one of Team Ocean's major focuses is student mental health and wellness. Although the slate supports common mental health initiatives like academic accommodation, Team Ocean has some alternative ideas in mind — including offering students access to an app that promotes mindfulness and to more therapy dogs.

The platform especially highlights acknowledging the difficulties that sophs face and wants to offer soph-specific accommodations. They also promise to bring back free Western Student Recreation Centre classes.

However, many of these platform points require support and collaboration with other campus groups; therefore, they may be hard promises to keep. 

Student life and community

This section of the platform leads with the promise of a new student "Mustang Card." Similar to a Student Price Card card, the Mustang Card would give students access to a number of discounts and benefits, including line bypass and early access to event ticket sales. Team Ocean said that they have already reached out to a number of London vendors who have said they would support and welcome an initiative like this.

The slate also promises to work with The Spoke and The Wave to offer more food options and to rearrange the layout of The Spoke. Although The Spoke just underwent an over $1.4-million renovation this summer, the slate said they want to increase accessibility and add more power outlets.

Other points include offering free breakfast during the exam season and hosting executive office hours at different places around campus. Notably, Team Ocean hasn't determined which USC operation would offer the free breakfast or how much it would cost, although they say it will operate similarly to the USC's current midnight exam breakfasts.

Engagement and entrepreneurship

One of the slate's most unique platform areas, this section focuses on offering more entrepreneurial and experiential learning opportunities for students.

The most contentious point in this section is Team Ocean's promise to work toward increasing accessibility on campus to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. While some are questioning the necessity of this kind of project, Team Ocean insists that this is an innovative idea that is looking to the future.

They also want to offer spaces for students to sell their own merchandise in the University Community Centre for free during the school year, a feasible point so long as lost revenue is accounted for. 

Student academics

As for student academics, Team Ocean promises to advocate for projects at Western's Senate, projects such as open access textbooks and pass/fail courses; however, both of these initiates are already in the works this year via various student groups.

They also want to work towards implementing a wait-list for students when they are signing up for courses — again, something that would have to be worked out with the registrar's office. 

Campus operations

In this section, Team Ocean wants to include a number of safety and accessibility features on campus including the installation of a guardrail at the site where Western University student Andrea Christidis was struck by a vehicle in 2015.

They also want to offer students alternatives to Greyhound and Via Rail transportation, to increase the number of bus shelters and to work with the city to improve snow removal. While Team Ocean's intentions are good, the feasibility of the aforementioned points relies on advocacy and overcoming legal barriers in the case of Greyhound's monopoly on Ontario bus routes.

Overall, many platform points rely on advocacy efforts that will likely take more than one year to come to fruition. It's a platform with some points we see every year, like more soph support, and a few new ideas, such as cryptocurrency access. It's an ambitious platform, and it's clear Team Ocean endeavours to put students' interests at the heart of their initiatives.

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Sabrina is pursuing her second year as a News Editor here at the Gazette. She is a fourth year International Relations student at Western University.

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