SSMU Elections 2017

March 12, 2017

Below is The McGill Tribune’s coverage from the Students’ Society of McGill University’s 2017 executive elections. There were 7 offices up for election, and the Tribune published a story for each. Click on the titles to read the Tribune’s full coverage of the elections for each office!

SSMU Election 2017: President

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The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) President is the spokesperson of the Society, enforces its constitution and internal regulations, and manages relations between SSMU and McGill. The president is also responsible for coordinating the SSMU executive team.

The three candidates are Lukas Shannon, Helen Ogundeji, and Muna Tojiboeva. At the press conference on March 6 and the debate on March 9, candidates were able to elaborate on their platforms.

At the press conference, Shannon explained how he would create a dialogue committee to promote constructive conversations regarding contentious issues on campus.

Ogundeji described her idea to create an ad-hoc subcommittee that would…

 

SSMU Election 2017: VP Operations

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The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Vice-President (VP) Operations is responsible for managing the SSMU building, operations including Gerts Bar and Sadie’s, and overseeing SSMU’s sustainability efforts.

Anuradha Mallik is the only student running for election as VP Operations. Her platform includes reviewing SSMU’s unethical and unsustainable investments, continuing the SSMU Environmental Committee, and expanding the Crash Pad project, which allowed students to stay overnight in the SSMU ballroom during the Fall 2016 Frosh.

“There are a lot of commuter students who have early exams that stay at the library late, and wouldn’t want to make their commute late at night,” Mallik said. “So I think that introducing the Crash Pad for academic purposes like that would be beneficial to the students.”

Mallik also answered questions and presented her platform at the March 9 SSMU candidates’ debate. Mallik emphasized utilizing feedback from…

 

SSMU Election 2017: VP University Affairs

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The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Vice-President (VP) University Affairs represents student interests at level of the university administration. The VP University Affairs sits on the McGill Senate, maintains relations between SSMU and all levels of the university—except for the Board of Governors, which falls within the President’s portfolio—oversees SSMU’s student research endeavours, and operationalizes SSMU’s commitment to equity.

The two candidates for 2017-2018 are Alexander Dow and Isabelle Oke. At the press conference on March 6 and the debate on March 9, candidates were able to elaborate on their platforms.

Oke elaborated on her plans to bring happy lights and both visual and non-visual cues to the library in order to help students understand the health effects of studying. Her platform, which focuses on campus outreach, student rights, and accessibility, spoke about what she thinks is the…

 

SSMU Election 2017: VP Student Life

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The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Vice-President (VP) Student Life manages relations between SSMU and its clubs, services, and independent student groups. In pursuit of this, the position is tasked with helping student groups coordinate events, assisting student groups with resources, managing the Society’s mental health initiatives, and collaborating with university staff from Student Services.

Jemark Earle is the only candidate for VP Student Life. His platform features a significant focus on projects that complement student mental health services, including training all faculty student executives in Mental Health First Aid and creating a Mental Health minor.

During the press conference on March 6, Earle described the specifics of his plan to address mental health on campus.

“Right now we have the Career Support Centre […] which deals extensively in helping destigmatize mental health and allowing…

 

SSMU Election 2017: VP External

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The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Vice-President (VP) External represents the society’s interests to local and provincial governments, other student associations, and groups, including McGill labour unions. The VP External is also in charge of SSMU’s political campaigns and mobilization efforts.

After Mazin Gasim withdrew from the race after the press conference on March 6 and Noah Century withdrew on March 12 after being censured by Elections SSMU, the remaining candidate for the position is Connor Spencer. At the press conference and the debate on March 9, the candidate was able to elaborate on her platforms.

During the press conference, Spencer said that McGill should join the Association for the Voice of Education in Quebec (AVEQ) and collaborate with…

 

SSMU Election 2017: VP Internal

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Maya Koparkar is the only candidate running for the position of Vice-President (VP) Internal, which is tasked with overseeing the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) first-year outreach activities, communications, and student engagement. Koparkar aims to expand the portfolio of VP Internal in order to diversify the events offered to promote first-year engagement.

The VP Internal’s first major project is overseeing Frosh at the start of the Fall semester. Koparkar proposed to act as a mediator between frosh coordinators in order to facilitate collaboration with smaller faculty froshes. In addition, she proposed ways of promoting health and wellbeing through frosh, in line with recent years’ efforts to make frosh more accessible and put less emphasis on drinking and partying for new students with other interests.

“I want to speak to departmental internals about creating cohesive programming [and] better guidelines for student about how to Frosh,” Koparkar said. “For example, taking naps, rest, drinking water, [and providing] accessible food…

 

SSMU Election 2017: VP Finance

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The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Vice-President (VP) Finance is responsible for developing and managing the annual SSMU budget, authorizing agreements between SSMU and external groups, and overseeing the disbursement of funds to student groups.

Arisha Khan is the only candidate for the position. Her platform includes plans to update SSMU’s invoice and central booking software, introduce a Customer Relationship Management system, and develop a comprehensive professional development program for students who handle club finances.

Khan described the financial benefits of transitioning to newer software during the press conference on March 6.

“We have around six per cent of our annual budget devoted to IT expenses,” Khan said. “Over the last year we spent an additional $2,100…