The McGill Daily - - Ye Olde Elections -

SSMU (Stu­dents’ So­ci­ety of Mcgill Uni­ver­sity) gov­er­nance has been par­tic­u­larly con­tro­ver­sial this year. The Tan­ger­ine tent at Ac­tiv­i­ties Night and ex­ces­sive ad­ver­tise­ments in the Shat­ner Build­ing saw crit­i­cisms of the VP fi­nance; the merg­ing of Mcgill Coun­selling and Men­tal Health has drawn crit­i­cism as wait times have be­come out­ra­geous; and, more re­cently, al­le­ga­tions against ex­ec­u­tives of gen­dered vi­o­lence and the re­sult­ing back­lash have led to the res­ig­na­tions of the Pres­i­dent and VP Ex­ter­nal. At its best, SSMU should up­hold and foster a safe, ac­ces­si­ble, and di­verse uni­ver­sity ex­pe­ri­ence. This year, with its per­sis­tent con­tro­ver­sies and the elec­tion of an ex­ec­u­tive of mostly white men, SSMU has failed to do so. Rather than be­ing an ef­fi­cient gov­ern­ing body and voice to its con­stituents, SSMU has be­come a source of cam­pus drama and stress for stu­dents. At The Daily, we of­ten in­ter­act closely with SSMU, and what we have wit­nessed this year has been es­pe­cially dis­heart­en­ing and dis­ap­point­ing. How­ever, we rec­og­nize that, as a gov­ern­ing body, SSMU has in­cred­i­ble po­ten­tial. This com­ing year’s ex­ec­u­tive team will need to put in ftremen­dous amounts of work if they wish to re­deem SSMU in the eyes of stu­dents, the ad­min­is­tra­tion, and the broader com­mu­nity. The Daily in­ter­viewed each of the eleven can­di­dates in or­der to de­cide on our en­dorse­ments. Ques­tions cen­tred around rel­e­vant past ex­pe­ri­ence, the ex­ec­u­tive as a po­lit­i­cal ac­tor, and port­fo­lio-spe­cific de­tails. Fur­ther­more, in the wake of al­le­ga­tions of gen­dered vi­o­lence on the parts of both the for­mer VP Ex­ter­nal and for­mer Pres­i­dent, as well as the de­bate which en­gulfed for­mer Arts Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to SSMU, Igor Sadikov, The Daily has taken the can­di­dates’ po­lit­i­cal stances into se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion with re­gards to these en­dorse­ments. Any stance – even one cen­tred upon si­lence or neu­tral­ity – is in­her­ently po­lit­i­cal, and should be taken into ac­count. We sin­cerely hope that the 2017-18 stu­dent ex­ec­u­tive is more di­verse, and con­trib­utes to a bet­ter un­der­grad­u­ate ex­pe­ri­ence at Mcgill. Please take the time to make an in­formed de­ci­sion; the vot­ing pe­riod runs from March 13–16.

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