VP Ex­ter­nal

The McGill Daily - - SSMU Elections -

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.

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