High­lights from SSMU De­bates

The McGill Daily - - Olde Elections -

Pres­i­dent

Asked “what do you see as ad­vo­cacy pri­or­i­ties for SSMU in terms of im­prov­ing Mcgill’s gov­er­nance and how will you pur­sue those as pres­i­dent?k” Ogun­deji replied that in her viewk the cen­tral ob­sta­cle to bet­ter gov­er­nance is in­suf­fi­cient stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the Board of Gov­er­nors (BOG). Shan­non agreed, adding that SSMU should try and forge al­liances with fac­ulty mem­bers in or­der to fur­ther its in­ter­ests. To­ji­boe­vak mean­whilek stressed the im­por­tance of demon­strat­ing that the Pres­i­dent can col­lab­o­rate with the ad­min­is­tra­tion. She added that her ad­vo­cacy pri­or­ity would be men­tal health.

A stu­dent asked the can­di­dates how they would in­crease rep­re­sen­ta­tion and en­gage­ment for racial­ized stu­dents, and what their qual­i­fi­ca­tions were for do­ing so. Ogun­deji, who is cur­rently on the ex­ec­u­tive of the Black Stu­dents’ Net­work, replied that she planned to cre­ate a plat­form within Men­tal Health and Coun­selling to specif­i­cally ad­dress the is­sues unique to racial­ized stu­dents. She also noted that she has been work­ing to cre­ate spe­cific seats for racial­ized stu­dents on SSMU Coun­cil, “given the colo­nial and slavel­hold­ing his­tory of the founder of Mcgill.”

To­ji­boeva re­sponded that she would be work­ing closely with the SSMU Eq­uity Com­mis­sion­ersk and that by in­creas­ing the in­de­pen­dence of the Ju­di­cial Board she hopes to give racial­ized stu­dents a bet­ter plat­form to air their con­cerns. Shan­non also said that racial­ized stu­dents should have bet­ter plat­forms to speak out about their ex­pe­ri­ences, but failed to sug­gest any con­crete ideas to solve this. He added thatk any time SSMU might be about to take a po­si­tion on a con­tentious po­lit­i­cal issue, any com­mu­ni­ties in­volved should be given space to air their views.

VP Ex­ter­nal

“What do you see as the role of SSMU in the Mon­treal com­mu­nity and in the Que­bec stu­dent move­ment?” Cen­tury an­swered that SSMU should be rep­re­sent­ing Mcgill stu­dentsk and “par­tic­i­pat­ing more in de­vel­op­ing any project that could help im­prove the life of stu­dents” both at Mcgill and across the prov­ince; he did notk how­ev­erk point to any spe­cific is­sues that should be pri­or­i­tized. Spencerk for her partk agreed with Cen­tury that SSMU should rep­re­sent Mcgill stu­dents through AVEQK and said that the So­ci­ety should par­tic­u­larly get in­volved in ini­tia­tives to fight the pre­car­ity ex­pe­ri­enced by stu­dents.

VP Uni­ver­sity Af­fairs

Asked to name “the great­est bar­ri­ers to ac­ces­si­bil­ity to the stu­dent ex­pe­ri­ence,” Oke re­sponded that the issue of over­head fees has been a sig­nif­i­cant ob­sta­cle for stu­dents with low so­cioe­co­nomic sta­tus to suc­ceed on cam­pus. Dow fo­cused his re­sponse on phys­i­cal ac­ces­si­bil­ity.

If elected, asked the cur­rent VP Uni­ver­sity Af­fairs, how would the can­di­dates ad­vo­cate for im­prove­ments to men­tal health on cam­pus? Dow men­tioned the Li­brary Im­prove­ment Fund, and said that a pri­or­ity would be to make study spa­ces more con­ducive to men­tal well­be­ing. Oke, mean­while, said that Mcgill’s Men­tal Health and Coun­selling Ser­vices need a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the is­sues which im­pact stu­dents’ men­tal healthk adding that more ac­ces­si­ble teach­ing prac­tices in Mcgill class­rooms would re­duce stressk thereby re­duc­ing the bur­den on these ser­vices.

VP In­ter­nal

Asked how she would “im­prove health and well­be­ing in frosh and ori­en­ta­tion events,” Koparkar replied that she would be work­ing with de­part­men­tal as­so­ci­a­tions on thisk but that this could in­clude pro­vid­ing a wider range of food op­tionsk and/or in­sti­tut­ing a yoga pe­riod.

VP Fi­nance

Asked how, if elected, she will man­age money bet­ter than the cur­rent VP fi­nance, Khan said that she would be look­ing at other stu­dent as­so­ci­a­tions across Canada to see how they fund over­heads and ser­vices. She will also pri­or­i­tize mak­ing SSMU more fi­nan­cially sus­tain­able.

VP Op­er­a­tions

Asked how she plans to im­prove the fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity of Sadie’s, the stu­dent-run cafe­te­ria in the Shat­ner build­ing, Mal­lik replied that in ad­di­tion to con­tin­u­ing cur­rent the VP Op­er­a­tions’ ef­forts with re­gard to brand­ing and ad­ver­tiz­ing, she would also work with the staff to im­prove and bet­ter uti­lize in­sti­tu­tional mem­ory.

VP Stu­dent Life

Asked how he would pro­vide emo­tional sup­port, and man­age con­flict within the ex­ec­u­tive team, Earle ex­plained that, par­tic­u­larly as a floor­fel­low, he has had sig­nif­i­cant ex­pe­ri­ence in these ar­eas, and feels con­fi­dent in his abil­ity to be a sup­port­ive mem­ber of the team.

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