Pratt-Chang slate

Fourth-year social science student Mitchell Pratt (left) and third-year science student, Danny Chang (right).

Made up of two University Students' Council insiders, Team PrattChang’s platform is well-researched and has good intentions.

While Team PrattChang's platform points are feasible, many of them depend on collaboration and cooperation with student groups and Western University's administration. Team PrattChang's platform also focuses heavily on advocacy — it is uncertain whether some goals are feasible in one year.

Here is an analysis of the slate’s platform. For the full platform, click here

Student experience

Student experience gets the most attention in Team PrattChang’s platform. The slate cites collaborative programming, which are events that involve input from different clubs and groups across faculties, as one of their main focuses. Referring to the success of the Tri-Sci concert in the past, such as the Daniel Caesar concert, the slate hopes to see different groups organize events together to reach more students. This is a feasible platform point that has the potential to produce bigger, better events for students. 

The slate plans to revamp The Purple Store by introducing Propel products, which would showcase the work of Western’s student entrepreneurs. While their pilot project will only include Propel clothing brands, they hope that The Purple Store will become a showcase hub for other Propel products in the future. This is a good idea as it would not only allow student entrepreneurs to showcase their products, but also potentially bring more business to The Purple Store.

PrattChang also plans to bring back the Homecoming parade, which was a Western tradition for decades before 2012. Team PrattChang revealed they have already been in discussions with Western’s marching band to try a pilot parade on campus. This has potential to be a fun idea for alternative Homecoming programming. The slate hopes that the Homecoming parade may eventually return to London's streets.

In terms of the club experience at Western, Team PrattChang plans to fund renovations for a multipurpose space. Over the past few years, the USC has struggled to find a suitable space for all clubs, which has led to the formation of a clubs union in the past. While the USC spent $2,000 on renovations this summer, PrattChang have bigger plans for the space.

Health and wellness

The mental health crisis is an important issue at Western, and Team PrattChang has organized their goals for addressing it into short- and long-term.

In an effort to eliminate the confusion around available resources at Western, the slate proposes a USC wellness portal app that would ask non-invasive questions to direct students to the appropriate on-campus supports. This would be a useful tool to streamline resources that can be accessed by students without needing to come to campus.

Team PrattChang also looks to provide mental health first-aid training to student leaders on campus. They hope the training will be similar to SafeTALK workshops at Western and will be facilitated by an external organization. While the slate is in consultation with the Student Success Centre, the costs of providing training for all student leaders remains unknown.

The slate also hopes to increase accessibility of fitness classes at the Western Student Recreation Centre by decreasing class fees. Team PrattChang has been in talks with the Rec Centre’s facilities manager, and while both are willing to work together to determine the best solution for students, it is unclear whether the decrease in fee is feasible due to operations costs and the rise of minimum wage.

Academics

While Team PrattChang’s platform points under academics all fall under the Senate and administration, the slate emphasizes that they are open to having conversations. The slate recognizes that many of their ideas, such as the academic relief program, pass/fail credits and course registration wait-lists, are advocacy efforts and require collaboration with other Western bodies.

A safer Western

Team PrattChang has chosen to dedicate a section focused on making Western a safer campus, which is not a common platform pillar from past USC slates. 

The slate highlights the importance of ensuring that Western students feel safe on campus. According to Team PrattChang, the slate has heard safety complaints from students, such as faulty blue emergency light poles, inadequate pedestrian safety and lack of lighting in the Huron parking lot and on Brescia hill.

As safety is a potential liability problem for Western and the USC, the slate is hoping to rely on evidence-based recommendations and collaborating with other Western groups to improve safety. While well-intentioned, the goals of this section requires extensive research and cooperation with Western administration. Team PrattChang's vision of a safer Western seems to be more of a long-term advocacy plan rather than immediate action. 

Overall, Team PrattChang's platform shows a strong knowledge of Western's inner workings, from the USC to the administration. 

Correction (Jan. 31, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.): this article was update to reflect Western's Homecoming parade through London's streets ceased in 2012, not the 2000s. 

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Grace is a news editor for volume 111 at the Gazette. She is a fourth-year neuroscience student minoring in French studies. If you want to reach Grace, email her at grace@westerngazette.ca

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