Two teams in the running for MCRC executive

Following last year’s controversial two-round election, this year’s MCRC executive candidates are gearing up for another exciting, but hopefully less stressful version.

Team KHL, consisting of presidential candidate Michael Koichopolos, Comm ’09, and VP candidates Chris Henry, Comm ’09, and Dianna Lang, ArtSci ’08, are up against Team YBM, made up of presidential candidate Yusuf Kappaya, ArtSci ’07, and VP candidates Ben Juteau, Sci ’08, and Monica Hwu, ArtSci ’08.

Kappaya said his team is ready to step up to the challenge of running MCRC.

“We’ve really worked hard to change and improve MCRC this year,” he said. “We’d like to take it to the next level.”

Kappya, who is a house president in Watts Hall, added that Team YBM is promising to uncover where students’ residence fees are going.

“Residence fees are a key issue since they are paid 100 per cent by the students,” he said. “We don’t see improvements in our building and quality of life—if anything, we see deteriorating quality of life and residences.” Kappaya is also pitching the idea of joining the Ontario Residence Hall Association, an organization that aims to facilitate the formation of better residence halls within universities and colleges.

He said he is also hoping to start residence bursaries, to help students in financial need live in residence, adding he will give up all but one dollar of his $16,000 salary to the bursary fund he hopes to establish.

“My donation will hopefully help to utilize current links with alumni and eventually build more money into that,” he said.

Koichopolos, who is currently chair of MCRC’s First Year Advisory Committee, said Team KHL stands behind similar issues, but its members pride themselves in the fact that they are all first-year students.

“First-years make up a huge percentage of the MCRC population, but they’re very under-represented on the MCRC,” he said. “What we’re really trying to stress in this election is that we’re not only first-year students, but we’re experienced first-year students—we understand, [but] everything is fresh to us. We have a vision.”

Koichopolos said his team has already started some charitable efforts, including a pie-throwing fundraiser where all proceeds will go to the Canadian Breast Cancer foundation.

He added that his team has a desire to work towards a more peer-based system of discipline that is consistent through all the residences.

Team KHL also wants to cut down on the number of events that the MCRC usually organizes and put more effort and funds into higher-quality events, he said.

Financial transparency is also something team KHL is willing to fight for, Koichopolos said.

“We need to see why residence is so expensive and where our money is going.”

Alexis Meyerman, ArtSci ’07 and current MCRC president, said she thinks the succeeding team’s most important challenge after the upcoming election will be to maintain it’s constituents’ trust.

“MCRC has had a lot of issues in terms of credibility, and the largest challenges will be maintaining MCRC’s credibility, which has come a long way since last year,” she said. Voting will take place at polling stations in major residences and all dining halls on Feb. 7 and 8.

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