SSMU Elections Endorsements

The McGill SSMU Elections are now open and after reviewing this year’s candidates, here are my endorsements:

President: Cathal D. Rooney-Cespedes

Both Presidential candidates received a sanction this year for beginning their campaigning early, which is disappointing to see from the potential leaders of our school. However, I endorse Cathal for SSMU President due to his clear vision for increasing discourse on campus and providing more forums for students to express themselves. One of his priorities is increasing accessibility and student consultation, which is of the utmost concern to students right now considering the large number of incidents that occurred without student involvement (Arch cafe closure, Jobbook, Rez meal plan hikes). In particular, his unique experience, serving as a Model UN delegate for many years, will be sure to give him a leg-up in mediating with many different student groups, the administration and the rest of the SSMU team.

VP Internal: Kady Peterson

I initially supported Kady because she is the only candidate who came into many of my classes to gain support. But even more than her extensive campaigning, she has a lot of experience in student politics, previously involved with the McGill Daily, McGill Athletics and the Education Undergraduate Society. Her plan to diversify the events at McGill is important and will help benefit our student body.

Finance and Operations: Shyam Patel

Shyam’s experience makes him the ideal candidate for this position. His platform includes allowing students more access to student funds, which will be well-received by the many student groups who have difficulties obtaining these funds. He also wants to include more students in many of the great initiatives such as SSMU’s Book Bazaar which will be another added plus for students.

VP University Affairs: Lauren Hudak

Hudak raises two interesting concerns that have fallen off the radar: the high student-faculty ratio and an improvement in student services, in particular health services. This specific platform will hopefully help her make changes in these areas and allow her vision to become a success.

VP Clubs and Services: Monika Fabian

Fabian recognizes that students need more opportunities to engage with their peers and professors outside of the classroom and this should be one of McGill’s main priorities. Although McGill has taken steps to improve student-professor communications, through initiatives such as the new student-professor mentor network, Fabian’s ideas will help McGill focus on learning initiatives outside of the classroom.

Elections are now open at ovs.ssmu.mcgill.ca

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8 responses to “SSMU Elections Endorsements

  1. Hi Vicky,

    I’m just wondering if you even bothered to read Maggie’s platform. Cathal is definitely a worthy candidate but I’m confused by your endorsement because everything you’ve said about his “clear vision” is equally (if not more) true of Maggie’s vision.

    I’d love to hear what you think.

    • I definitely read Maggie’s platform and her vision is clear as well. Obviously, they are both great candidates and have a lot of experience and knowledge to share.
      The main thing I noticed was that she focuses on a few issues that many students really value, such as sustainability, but that also alienates students who care about that but feel other issues are equally as important. For example, I think sustainability and green initiatives is an important issue but maybe not the issue for the President to deal with and I think Cathal prioritizes a few issues that are really important to me, like having more of a space for students to have their voice heard.

      That was the thing that really appealed to me, and I know Maggie deals with it in her platform as well, but I felt that Cathal would prioritize that more.

      • Hey Vicky–

        The SSMU Environment Committee and the Environment Commissioners are actually under the President’s portfolio, so they are the President’s responsibility. Clearly every portfolio can integrate sustainability, but, under SSMU’s current structure, it is the President who is ultimately responsible.

        As for space for students to have their voices heard, that is exactly what I am proposing with a revamped communications strategy, effective and pragmatic reform of the General Assembly, and a series of strategic summits focusing on the issues which matter most to students.

        Of course I respect your opinion, but I just wanted to clarify!

        Have a good rest of your semester,
        Maggie

      • Hey Maggie,
        Thanks for commenting!

        Like I said, you and Cathal both have a lot of experience and great ideas to offer, but I found myself more aligning with Cathal’s platform.

        It’s interesting that the Environment Committee is under the President’s Portfolio – I remember Zach Newburgh mentioning that during his elections last year, but I guess I found it’s an issue that might be better taken care of by the executive team.

  2. It’s interesting how you feel qualified and knowledgeable enough to make your own individual endorsements.

    PS. We’re still waiting for an apology. Though I doubt you have the courage to even respond, let alone acknowledge your silliness.

    • Feel free to check the Tribune today.

    • Also, whenever I read people’s blogs and I see they are participating in student affairs, I think it’s really great. One way to do this is to look at the candidates in SSMU elections and see how their platforms will impact our university.

      I think it would be great if students got more involved and felt comfortable sharing their views on elections. Obviously, not everyone wants to run for SSMU, so a way for students to stay involved is analyzing the candidates and supporting them.

  3. While I agree that Cathal’s intentions are good and he has identified good areas of concern, Maggie has actually been putting student consultation into practice. She came to talk to the EUS and understands our issues with SSMU and McGill. She was at the forefront of making information available about Jobbook, and attended the Workgroup on Student Consultation’s meeting. Cathal did not.

    Maggie walks the walk already; Cathal is as yet unproven.

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