VP Stu­dent life

The McGill Daily - - SSMU Elections -

The VP Stu­dent Life’s port­fo­lio deals with clubs and ser­vices, stu­dent ser­vices, men­tal health ini­tia­tives, and in­de­pen­dent stu­dent groups. Sophia Esterle

The VP stu­dent life is re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing SSMU’S li­aisons with the Board of Di­rec­tors (BOD), stu­dent clubs and ser­vices, as well as man­ag­ing Mcgill’s men­tal health ini­tia­tives.

Esterle pre­vi­ously served as the SSMU eq­uity com­mit­tee, and the Dou­glas Hall Spirit Rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Esterle em­pha­sized the need to ad­vo­cate for marginal­ized voices through pri­or­i­tiz­ing men­tal health on cam­pus, which has con­sis­tently been a prom­i­nent elec­tion is­sue in re­cent years.

Dur­ing the de­bate, Esterle em­pha­sized the need for re­forms on the Mcgill Coun­selling Ser­vices, not­ing the month long wait for the first ap­point­ment. Esterle crit­i­cized Mcgill Coun­selling ‘s bi­nary des­ig­na­tion of gen­der in their sign up sheets, which they feel is “purely wrong and dis­crim­i­na­tory.”

When asked about the cut­backs on the Eat­ing Dis­or­der Pro­gram (EDP) at Mcgill, Esterle re­sponded that they will ad­vo­cate for the right to a treat­ment pro­gram, and re­gain the re­sources firstly through com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Men­tal Health ser­vices, then by pres­sur­ing the BOD. If elected, Esterle will at­tempt to cre­ate an in res­i­dence sup­port sys­tem, and a search en­gine cat­a­logu­ing clubs and ser­vices.

Esterle also stressed the im­por­tance of in­di­vid­ual con­tact with stu­dents, de­spite the build­ing clo­sure, which may limit ac­ces­si­bil­ity. Esterle plans on in­creas­ing of­fice hours as needed, in or­der to main­tain di­rect com­mu­ni­ca­tion with in­di­vid­ual stu­dents, and to rep­re­sent their needs bet­ter on the BOD.

En­dorse­ment: No

Esterle is run­ning for VP Stu­dent Life on a plat­form largely based around men­tal health ser­vices at Mcgill. Her plat­form is di­vided into ad­min­is­tra­tive changes, in­di­vid­ual changes, and cre­ation of com­mit­tees. Main points of her plat­form in­clude: a re­search en­gine for Mcgill clubs and ser­vices, and mak­ing Mcgill coun­sel­ing ser­vices more ef­fi­cient and eas­ier for stu­dents to nav­i­gate. Esterle’s plat­form, while hope­ful, is rel­a­tively lim­ited in scope, and may at times for­get to take in­sti­tu­tional mem­ory into ac­count. While her com­mit­ment to the im­prove­ment of men­tal health ser­vices at Mcgill is valu­able, The Mcgill Daily is not con­fi­dent that her pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence as Dou­glas Hall Spirit Rep­re­sen­ta­tive and serv­ing on the SSMU Eq­uity Com­mit­tee has ad­e­quately pre­pared her for the role. As a re­sult, The Daily en­dorses a No vote.

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