posted on May 3: New MSU president Sam Minniti is already cooking


[img_inline align=”right” src=””]The McMaster Students Union's new president pronounces bruschetta, prosciutto and bocconcini with the flair of
someone who grew up speaking Italian and who loves to cook.

“I'm not the typical MSU president, I don't really fit the mould,” says Sam Minniti, who received more than twice
the votes the other candidates garnered in the February election. Minniti, formerly MSU vice-president
administration, took office on May 1.

Born in Welland, Minniti grew up in Fort Erie, Ont. He is an only child and has a close
relationship with his parents who immigrated to Canada from southern Italy. When he
started university four years ago his parents would visit him once a week and he'd
return to Fort Erie every month to play the piano at his father's Italian Pentecostal
church and interpret his father's sermons into Italian or English. His parents still visit
regularly and, when he can, he goes home to play the piano and to interpret at the

He says his parents encouraged him to speak proper Italian instead of their southern
dialect and this meant that he was able to work as a teaching assistant for Italian
language classes at McMaster. They also encouraged his interest in good food. “My
mom taught me how to make the sauces,” he says, “and my dad taught me the

The 23-year-old plans on using his penchant for fine cuisine to benefit the University
community. “I'm thinking of having some sort of raffle or pool so that people can guess
when the new university centre will actually be finished. People like my meatballs so I
might make a meatball for every day the centre's opening is delayed and the winner of
the pool could win all the meatballs,” he says, flashing his disarming smile.

The McMaster University Student Centre will open during his term in office and he's
looking forward to moving in midway through the year. “It will be a real boost to the
student body. It will be a focal point for all our activities,” he says.

Providing more activities for the students on campus is one of Minniti's main concerns and one of the reasons why
he got involved in student politics in the first place. “We need to offer more things to do on campus for students,”
he says. “We need more programming and I'm looking for ways that the MSU can grow.”

One of his ideas is to offer regular movie nights on campus. He hopes he can use a large lecture hall to show new
releases, old classics and student productions. “It's important to offer choices for students particularly now that
there are going to be younger students on campus with the double cohort coming in,” he says.

He's also planning to look into hiring a fundraising co-ordinator for the MSU who
could help the student body raise money for their clubs, residences and Faculties in
addition to raising money for charity and more student services. “It's not great being a
student these days. With all the cutbacks there is not enough money explicitly
ear-marked for students.”

Minniti says he is committed to McMaster students' Green Coalition and has promised
the environmentalists funding. He hopes to be able to convince Maclean's magazine to judge
universities on their commitment to the environment. “I want McMaster to be on the cutting-edge of waste
reduction,” says Minniti, “and I'm cheering on the Inter-Residence Council as they work to put blue boxes for paper
in the residence rooms.”

When his term ends next May, Minniti aims to go back to being an ordinary student.
He plans to finish his degree in life sciences and then to do a graduate degree in
physiotherapy at the University's School of Rehabilitation Science.

Wouldn't he rather pursue a degree in political science?

“No,” says Minniti. “Politics would be the last thing I'd do. It's definitely not for me.”