Interview and analysis: Katerina Partolina Schwartz – QMU VP Membership, Clubs & Societies

Published

Jordan Hunter
Writer

Katerina shows clear passion for addressing the issues inside of the QMU. She recognizes the problems, but her mechanisms in trying to address these issues often fall short of a real description of how to solve them. Her first point is probably her best, as it addresses how to ensure the rough year QMU has had does not happen again and ensure that all unions can learn from each other. Her mechanism is straightforward and achievable, assuming all unions want to come to the table. Her last two points are not as clear. She says that since posting her manifesto, she’s learned that the rooms she planned on opening are already open. This is concerning, as it does cast doubt into many minds if she knows enough about her sought after role. Her only plan for making the union more attractive is tea and coffee and the idea “Unions prioritize students”. For her last point she says she wants to create new perks of QMU membership. She never in the manifesto nor in the interview explains what these perks are nor what they mean. When asked how she plans on funding this she claims it will be “self-funded” and reliant on the increase of members to QMU, which again is mentioned in her manifesto but with no mechanism to achieve it except “promotion”.

She is the current President of the Isabella Elder Feminist Society (IEFS), and there have been some tensions caused by her tenure in this role. The society has shrunk over the last year, which is alarming for someone who is seeking a role that deals with society issues and concerns. She admits she’s made some mistakes, especially with some of the panels, but she also says that it was also due to the already small numbers of IEFS. One big concern arose from the earlier stated panels as she invited The Medusa Review to a panel on women on student journalism. For those not aware Medusa is a campus publication that lost SRC affiliation after one issue as it depicted sexual violence against women and has a tense relationship with unions as they are not allowed to distribute within any of their buildings. When pressed further she admitted that they would not be a society she would incentivize coming to QMU. In the end, it seems like that her track record has room for critique, but she also has reflected and learned from some of her shortcomings.

Read Katerina’s manifesto here.