VP Finance Candidate
The VP Finance is responsible for the overall financial stability of SSMU and more specifically administers the Society’s investment funding group. The position has been vacant for two months, since the resignation of Arisha Khan on November 16, 2017. Following Sarah Abdelshamy’s withdrawal from the VP Finance by- election this term, Esteban Herpin, a third-year Finance student and a former member of the Management Undergraduate Society’s (MUS) Corporate Relations team, remains the only candidate for the position.
On January 12, a public candidate Q& A was held, during which Herpin answered questions from SSMU executives and students. When asked by VP External Connor Spencer, “What type of relationship do you feel the SSMU executive should have with the administration?” Herpin mentionned that SSMU should work with the administration wherever possible.
Herpin was particularly concerned with mental health on campus, saying, “I think that [ mental health issues on the Mcgill campus are] very intense from what I compare with other people in [ different] parts of the world and Canada, there’s the issue of stress.” If elected, Herpin hopes to improve upon mental health by asking the Mcgill administration to have “more data and more surveys on how students feel throughout the semester, and [ to use them] more effectively.”
Herpin’s election platform additionally emphasizes more support for students struggling with mental health: he mentioned the inadequate resources dedicated to mental health, which, according to Herpin, amount to $ 0.40 per semester per student. However, regarding student fees overall, Herpin claimed that he “would like to cut down costs, just in general.”
Part of Herpin’s platform comprises increased funding for clubs, emphasizing operational changes aimed to provide a net benefit for students. In the Fall semester, the only funding towards Culture Shock, a weeklong event series that address issues of race, colonialism, white supremacy, and xenophobia for students of colour, was cancelled. Herpin was not aware that the funding for Culture Shock and its parent organization Quebec Public Interest GroupMcgill (QPIRG) had been removed. However, he responded that he would like to “take meetings with those students” following a question on accessibility for racialized students during the Q& A.
Other aspects of Herpin’s platform include financial transparency and investment. The election results will be announced on January 18 after a three- day polling period.