The VP External is responsible for connecting SSMU’S constituents to the wider Montreal and Quebec community. The portfolio includes communication with other post-secondary institutions and Mcgill’s labour unions, and lobbying the government on behalf of SSMU. The VP External is also mandated to provide support for student-run social and environmental justice campaigns. Marina Cupido
Serving as the primary liaison between SSMU members and the wider Montreal and Quebec community, the existence of the VP External position has been questioned by many who don’t understand why the position also mandates that support be provided for student-run social and environmental justice campaigns endorsed by SSMU.
However, Cupido has defended the need for the position, and says Mcgill undergraduates should not shy away from SSMU’S “inherently political” nature: her platform emphasizes issues of social accessibility, be it greater Indigenization efforts on campus, the need for better outreach to the Society’s francophone members, or greater transparency between the Society’s members and its student government.
Cupido has highlighted the need for greater communication between SSMU and other Quebec universities, in campaigns like CUTE (“Campagne sur le travail étudiant”), organized around fighting unpaid internships in the promises, or in regards to joining a student federation. Amongst Cupido’s biggest campaign promises is her wanting to affiliate the Society with either the Union Étudiante du Québec (UEQ) or the Association for a Voice in Education in Quebec (AVEQ).
In the Winter 2016 referendum period, SSMU members voted against a Ssmu-initiated proposal to join AVEQ, but Cupido feels SSMU members have not adequately been made aware of the the merits of joining a student federation, notably the increased level of provincial representation for SSMU. As VP External, she’s promised to continue to fulfill SSMU’S observational status with AVEQ, but also attend UEQ’S meetings and congresses, and initiate a “thorough communications strategy” informing students of the benefits of joining either UEQ or AVEQ, prior to bringing a new motion to referendum next year.
Like a number of this year’s candidates, Cupido has little experience serving in student government, but cites her time working with The Daily as a News Editor and as the paper’s Managing Editor as proof of a deep understanding of SSMU’S inner workings, having covered student politics on campus for nearly four years.
Statement of Recusal
Cupido has been a contributor at The Daily since her first semester at Mcgill. She’s worked as both a News Editor and as the paper’s Managing Editor in the last two years alone, and as such, The Daily’s Editorial Board has chosen to recuse itself from an endorsement, as any endorsement could reasonably be questioned by SSMU’S membership.