The McGill Tribune

SSMU Elections 2016

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About our Endorsement Process

In order to present the most informed endorsements as possible, we attended the debates and conducted individual interviews in person with each of the candidates. The Tribune Editorial Board debated and discussed every candidate in depth and voted on our endorsement for each position. Each endorsement required a two-thirds majority vote. Should you have questions about our endorsement process, please email us at [email protected]

For contested positions, click on the photos to learn about the candidates' platforms

President

Ben Ger

Jordan Sinder

Following experiences as the president of Molson Hall, VP Finance of the McGill Environment Student Society (MESS), and the Financial Ethics Research Committee (FERC) coordinator, Ben Ger is running for SSMU president. Ger, U2 Environment, has also sat on a variety of presidential committees, such as the Sustainability Ad-Hoc Committee and the Internal Regulations and Constitutional Review Committee.

Ger’s platform focuses on student mental health, reforming governance within SSMU, uniting a students that have become dissatisfied with its governing body, fiscal responsibility, and strengthening relations with faculty student associations. On mental health, Ger wants to create training programs for professors and faculty in addition to repurposing space within the SSMU Building. The new spaces that would be used address  a deficit that exists for clinical and group therapy purposes.

To target what has become a disenfranchised constituency, Ger wants to reduce barriers to entry and increase accessibility by targeting students in their first year at McGill. He also wants to address the lack of representation and diversity on SSMU Council.To ensure the financial sustainability of the organization as it moves forward, Ger has developed plans for three types of budgets for SSMU: A balanced budget (one that breaks even) and two types of deficit budgets (one that uses the investment portfolio, and one that takes a small amount of SSMU’s different funds). The first budget will look at areas that cuts should be made into, so that SSMU can keep functioning without increasing base fees. The two deficit budgets will look at how much money SSMU needs to function without cuts.

Ger has highlighted the Management Undergraduate Society (MUS) and the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) as two student faculty associations that often feel left out of the SSMU process, and is willing to work to ensure that students in both faculties are represented.

Jordan Sinder, U1 Science, is running to be SSMU president. He was previously president of La Citadelle Residence Hall. Sinder’s plan to reach out to students includes tabling in high traffic areas, approaching students directly for feedback, and working with the VP Internal to incorporate graphics into the SSMU listserv. As a student in the Faculty of Science, Sinder also hopes to increase the awareness of SSMU and its services to Science and Engineering students.

Sinder believes that SSMU’s role is to facilitate and support student groups that would like to mobilize towards a cause, but he does not believe that members of the SSMU executive should campaign for divisive political causes on the behalf of the student body. Rather, he believes that SSMU should focus on enriching student life. He believes in increasing the experience of SSMU’s student-run clubs and services, and overseeing growth of facilities used regularly by students. This includes focusing on the accessibility of mental health resources.  

“I have thorough and plausible plans to lay the groundwork for a system which ensures the full destigmatization of mental health diseases and provides the necessary treatment to students in need,” Sinder’s platform reads. “We need to seriously bridge the gap between students and mental health resources.”

His campaign also emphasizes fiscal reorganization of the SSMU budget as a necessary step before exploring raising student fees levied by SSMU.

Endorsement: Ben Ger

Following years of student dissatisfaction with SSMU that has built up large pockets of resentment among the student body, both Ger and Jodan Sinder are attempting to rebuild SSMU’s image. It is Ger, however, who presents a record and platform that not only reflect what needs to be done as SSMU president, but also what can reasonably be done. Ger’s grasp of what the role entails, and how the president works with both the rest of the executive and the Council, makes him the right person for the job. As such, the Tribune endorses Ger for SSMU president.

Although students may allege that Ger is a member of the political establishment, he has gone to great lengths as an outsider, not as an elected representative, to make changes to SSMU’s governance structures. These changes, such as creating a seat on SSMU Council for the McGill Environment Students’ Society (MESS) and lowering the amount of signatures required for student-initiated referenda, have consistently been made with the goal of making SSMU more accessible. Ger also understands the importance of visibility in the role. For SSMU presidents to be effective, they must remain approachable and willing to go to students.

Ger’s commitment to fiscal responsibility is emboldened by his experience as the FERC coordinator. He has also attempted to explain the process by which students would be able to engage in budgetary discussions for three different types of budgets. In contrast, Sinder has only referred to “more creative financial strategies” to manage SSMU’s budget.

Following a tumultuous year, students need a president that can steady the organization while continuing to move it forward. They need someone who has the experience and the knowledge of SSMU and its institutions to effectively bring change. Ger is the leading candidate for that role.

President

Ben Ger

Following experiences as the president of Molson Hall, VP Finance of the McGill Environment Student Society (MESS), and the Financial Ethics Research Committee (FERC) coordinator, Ben Ger is running for SSMU president. Ger, U2 Environment, has also sat on a variety of presidential committees, such as the Sustainability Ad-Hoc Committee and the Internal Regulations and Constitutional Review Committee.

Ger’s platform focuses on student mental health, reforming governance within SSMU, uniting a students that have become dissatisfied with its governing body, fiscal responsibility, and strengthening relations with faculty student associations. On mental health, Ger wants to create training programs for professors and faculty in addition to repurposing space within the SSMU Building. The new spaces that would be used address  a deficit that exists for clinical and group therapy purposes.

To target what has become a disenfranchised constituency, Ger wants to reduce barriers to entry and increase accessibility by targeting students in their first year at McGill. He also wants to address the lack of representation and diversity on SSMU Council.To ensure the financial sustainability of the organization as it moves forward, Ger has developed plans for three types of budgets for SSMU: A balanced budget (one that breaks even) and two types of deficit budgets (one that uses the investment portfolio, and one that takes a small amount of SSMU’s different funds). The first budget will look at areas that cuts should be made into, so that SSMU can keep functioning without increasing base fees. The two deficit budgets will look at how much money SSMU needs to function without cuts.

Ger has highlighted the Management Undergraduate Society (MUS) and the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) as two student faculty associations that often feel left out of the SSMU process, and is willing to work to ensure that students in both faculties are represented.

Jordan Sinder

Jordan Sinder, U2 Science, is running to be SSMU president. He was previously president of La Citadelle Residence Hall. Sinder’s plan to reach out to students includes tabling in high traffic areas, approaching students directly for feedback, and working with the VP Internal to incorporate graphics into the SSMU listserv. As a student in the Faculty of Science, Sinder also hopes to increase the awareness of SSMU and its services to Science and Engineering students.

Sinder believes that SSMU’s role is to facilitate and support student groups that would like to mobilize towards a cause, but he does not believe that members of the SSMU executive should campaign for divisive political causes on the behalf of the student body. Rather, he believes that SSMU should focus on enriching student life. He believes in increasing the experience of SSMU’s student-run clubs and services, and overseeing growth of facilities used regularly by students. This includes focusing on the accessibility of mental health resources.  

“I have thorough and plausible plans to lay the groundwork for a system which ensures the full destigmatization of mental health diseases and provides the necessary treatment to students in need,” Sinder’s platform reads. “We need to seriously bridge the gap between students and mental health resources.”

His campaign also emphasizes fiscal reorganization of the SSMU budget as a necessary step before exploring raising student fees levied by SSMU.

Endorsement: Ben Ger

Following years of student dissatisfaction with SSMU that has built up large pockets of resentment among the student body, both Ger and Jodan Sinder are attempting to rebuild SSMU’s image. It is Ger, however, who presents a record and platform that not only reflect what needs to be done as SSMU president, but also what can reasonably be done. Ger’s grasp of what the role entails, and how the president works with both the rest of the executive and the Council, makes him the right person for the job. As such, the Tribune endorses Ger for SSMU president.

Although students may allege that Ger is a member of the political establishment, he has gone to great lengths as an outsider, not as an elected representative, to make changes to SSMU’s governance structures. These changes, such as creating a seat on SSMU Council for the McGill Environment Students’ Society (MESS) and lowering the amount of signatures required for student-initiated referenda, have consistently been made with the goal of making SSMU more accessible. Ger also understands the importance of visibility in the role. For SSMU presidents to be effective, they must remain approachable and willing to go to students.

Ger’s commitment to fiscal responsibility is emboldened by his experience as the FERC coordinator. He has also attempted to explain the process by which students would be able to engage in budgetary discussions for three different types of budgets. In contrast, Sinder has only referred to “more creative financial strategies” to manage SSMU’s budget.

Following a tumultuous year, students need a president that can steady the organization while continuing to move it forward. They need someone who has the experience and the knowledge of SSMU and its institutions to effectively bring change. Ger is the leading candidate for that role.

VP Internal

Daniel Lawrie

Daniel Lawrie, U1 Materials Engineering, is running uncontested for the position of Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) vice president (VP) Internal. Lawrie is the social director of his fraternity, has acted as an Inter Greek Letter Council (IGLC) representative, and was a Frosh Leader in 2015. Lawrie’s platform is based on three concepts: Communication, organization, and trust.

The VP Internal is SSMU’s chief communication officer: To strengthen the open dialogue between SSMU and its constituents, Lawrie plans to expand beyond SSMU’s weekly listserv as the organization’s primary means of communication. He also intends to widen SSMU’s presence on social media to increase visibility to the average student. Additionally, Lawrie wants to use the official McGill or MyMartlet smartphone apps as a method of communication to leverage the time that students spend on phones. In his communication duties, Lawrie plans to disseminate information in a timely fashion and as widely as possible.

With regards to organization, Lawrie wants to be as collaborative, efficient, and punctual as possible. He is prepared to continue SSMU’s role as an active support system to separate faculty associations as they organize their own froshes.  

Through the third component of his platform regarding trust, Lawrie is committed to rebuild the eroding sense of belief that students have in SSMU. He plans to do so by creating documents such as Council minutes, motions, and expense reports accessible.

Endorsement: "No"

The Tribune does not endorse Daniel Lawrie for the position of SSMU VP Internal. Lawrie, only in his second year at McGill, has not demonstrated sufficient experience to take on this role; he only cited participation in previous froshes and events thrown by the VP Internal, as well as consultation with previous VP Internals as the basis of his ability to understand the position and make effective changes.

Lawrie, however, is clearly ambitious. He believes that he can improve the VP Internal portfolio’s communication with the wider student population, as well as throw more inclusive events campus-wide.

His aim to use phone apps that can inform students of SSMU’s various initiatives (such as GA referendum questions, and various events) has already been attempted twice before, with mixed results—Lawrie has not demonstrated why he’ll be able to overcome the same roadblocks. Nonetheless, Lawrie does recognize that SSMU and McGill at large must update methods of communication.

Lawrie has not given concrete ideas about resuscitating the popularity of 4Floors amongst the student body. This aim for more frequent, smaller events that are tailored to a wider range of students is admirable but is something that is already being done by the Students’ Society Programming Network, something that Lawrie hadn’t mentioned in either his platform or in his interview with the Tribune.

Lawrie did bring fresh ideas about non-drinking events (particularly with having auctions, and charity events); however, he will need to have a stronger grasp among the student body’s diverse feelings if he wants to push these plans through. Additionally, events such as auctions have the potential to perpetuate socioeconomic differences between students.

Ultimately, Lawrie wants to rebuild trust with the wider student population. This is a fine goal, but he must demonstrate more concrete plans if he wants to carry out this position effectively.

VP External

David Aird

Aird is in favour of joining the Association for the Voice of Education in Quebec (AVEQ) student federation, which has a referendum question this semester. If the question fails, he supports returning to the question next year and mobilizing a “Yes” committee in support of either AVEQ or its alternative, the Quebec Student Union (QSU).

As this year’s SSMU Political Campaigns Coordinator, Aird has worked on SSMU’s anti-austerity mobilization campaign, among other things. As VP External, he stated that he will focus his efforts on directly supporting the campaigns that students have given SSMU a mandate to support, regardless of his own political views.

He plans to continue outreach to the Milton-Parc community by making himself available to community members during busy times of the year such as Frosh, as well as involving students in local social programs, like the Yellow Door.

Aird hopes to institutionalize consultation with Indigenous student groups on campus and involve them further in SSMU’s political campaigns. Aird will also work to promote more francophone cultural events.

He stressed the importance of transparency, which he hopes to achieve by working to make GAs more accessible, and inviting students to consult with him directly.

Endorsement: "Yes"

Aird has significant experience that has prepared him well for stepping into the role, having worked most notably as the Political Campaigns Coordinator.

HE has demonstrated a keen understanding of SSMU’s role as a political body, While he acknowledges the inherently political nature of the position, he also recognizes the need to promote equity and inclusivity in dealing with certain controversial issues in order to ensure that all students feel represented.  He has a clear plan to fight for student interests regarding the accessibility of education, and hopes to continue advocating against future budget cuts.

Although he lacked original ideas on how to ensure transparency Aird stated that he believed in his ability to be diplomatic in ensuring accessibility.

Aird possesses an understanding of the need to consult with Indigenous students, and sees the potential for improved representation of Indigenous issues on campus with the addition of Indigenous Affairs to the External portfolio.

He has a clear understanding of how students’ voices should be represented at the provincial level, and sees a bright future for SSMU as a part of a student federation, which could be highly beneficial to future McGill students.

VP University Affairs

Erin Sobat

Erin Sobat brings four years of student governance experience to the VP University Affairs position. In the past, Sobat has served as an Arts senator, a Senate caucus representative, VP Academic for the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS), Library Improvement Fund coordinator, and president of the Douglas Hall Residence Council.

In terms of advocacy, Sobat’s platform promises to work with Enrolment Services to push the idea of a 12-week term, advocate for the implementation of a Fall Reading Break, and maintain student input in the long-term vision for the Royal Victoria Hospital site. Sobat hopes to eliminate medical note requirements in cases such as first-time accommodations and a set number of sick days. Additionally, if elected, he will push for better student awareness of academic rights through the “Know Your Rights” campaign, and ensure McGill complies with Quebec regulations in order to combat ancillary fees.

Sobat hopes to implement initiatives for students to work on grant-writing, institutionalize the University Affairs Committee and Student Research Competition, and turn research into action through a revitalization of the Policy Advocacy and Resource Committee (PARC).

Regarding equity, Sobat’s platform states that it will enhance employment equity and Universal Design initiatives, advocate for more indigenous and equity-related course content, and foster ties with faculties allies and equity committees to advance equity-related projects.

Furthermore, Sobat states he will push for more 24-hour access to libraries without drawing additional student funding, develop a fundraising strategy for the /Fiat Lux/ library project that won’t require student financing, and support the digitization of library material as well as core print collections.

Finally, in terms of engagement, Sobat aims to pioneer additional mentorship and advocacy tools for students representatives, first-year students, and the wider student body. This platform also entails strengthening the relationship between senators, faculty associations, and underrepresented constituencies. Lastly, Sobat says he will enhance the University Affairs communication platforms, using tools like listservs, Facebook pages, and a website.

Endorsement: "Yes"

The Tribune endorses Erin Sobat as the next VP University Affairs of SSMU. Sobat is arguably the most qualified candidate running this year for a SSMU executive position. In the VP University Affairs portfolio, a robust knowledge of SSMU and its relationship with McGill is necessary. Moreover, this position requires a candidate that has developed a strong working relationship with members of the administration. In both areas, Sobat has shown an impressive track record.

Sobat has an excellent grasp of what the portfolio entails and has put forth ideas to further students’ interests. He is interested in empowering students to know their rights so McGill doesn’t take advantage of them, while simultaneously making the university more accommodating to students’ needs. For instance, Sobat has pledged to negotiate for 24-hour access to libraries and has a pragmatic approach to digitize library resources to increase student space, while also ensuring that essential physical collections are maintained.

Although Sobat has proven to be an excellent candidate for this position, some students may view his extensive experience working in student government as a continuation of the establishment. Sobat must ensure that during his tenure he continues to effectively reach out to students from all faculties. Wide-reaching consultation is necessary for all SSMU executives; for the VP University Affairs it is paramount. In a role that directly entails negotiating with McGill on issues that directly affect students’ academic lives, the VP University Affairs must ensure that departments and communities that have been historically underrepresented in SSMU have their voices heard.

VP Student Life

Dushan Tripp

Elaine Patterson

Dushan Tripp, U3 Arts, is running for the newly-created position of VP Student Life. Tripp is currently a clubs representative to SSMU Council, where he sits on the Funding and Club Committees.

Tripp’s platform, which was developed after analyzing the issues faced by Clubs and Services, focuses on five main aspects:  Dynamics between transparency and efficiency, Clubs Committee, club space, Clubhub, and mental health. Tripp wants to improve administrative efficiency and increase consultation that occurs between students in clubs and Council. With regards to the Clubs Committee, he plans to reevaluate how club applications are processed, creating a more transparent process. He also intends to provide resources, such as workshops to make it easier for students to create clubs and find funding.

ClubHub, an initiative created by a previous VP Clubs & Services, Stefan Fong, is digital portal that has information and resources to effectively handle SSMU clubs through an online management system. Tripp plans to revive this project by collaborating with developers and other members of the executive. He is also committed to increasing the space available to clubs and continue the process of space reallocation on the fourth floor of the SSMU Building.

For mental health, a new addition to the portfolio that was previously under the VP University Affairs, Tripp plans on making SSMU’s mental health resources more accessible to students through forums and digital media. He is also looking forward to taking concrete steps to ensure that there is more collaboration between McGill’s mental health services, Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), and Career and Planning Services (CaPS).

Elaine Patterson, U2 Arts, and current VP Communications of AUS, is running for VP Student Life. Patterson has also worked as the Living Learning Communities (LLC) Rez Life facilitator and as the VP Communications for Carrefour Residence Hall Council.

As VP Student Life, Patterson hopes to build upon ideas that were created by the current VP Clubs and Services, Kimber Bialik. This includes creating a handbook for club executives to provide them with an accessible resource of all necessary information. Patterson also hopes to facilitate the creation of a clubs database over the summer that will allow students to search through all SSMU clubs based on their interests. Taking into account current budget cuts and the possibility of the Club Fund Fee failing, Patterson said she will help student clubs apply for funding from other resources at McGill, like the AUS Financial Management Committee. Patterson also suggested mandating that the Services Review Committee review half of the SSMU services per semester, as opposed to the current quarter of services per semester, so that each service is reviewed once per calendar year.

With mental health falling under the umbrella of Student Life, Patterson has new ideas that she hopes will address gaps in services and increase accessibility for students across campus. Patterson plans to host a Mental Health Service roundtable each semester where all 11 mental health services may collaborate on initiatives and discuss how to properly refer students to each other’s services. Additionally, Patterson hopes to specifically address first-year students through floor fellows and off-campus orientation, to ensure that they are informed of the mental health services that are offered at McGill.

Endorsement: Elaine Patterson

The McGill Tribune endorses Elaine Patterson for VP Student Life. Patterson—in both her interview and campaign materials—has made it clear that she has both a comprehensive understanding of student life and a unique grasp of how her experience and skills lend themselves to the role. The position’s title and the scope of its responsibilities have changed this year due to a restructuring of executive portfolios, a motion approved by the student body during the SSMU Winter 2016 Special Referendum. The new position includes mental health and student services within the purview of student life, in addition to subsuming the responsibilities of student services and mental health previously included in the VP Clubs and Services portfolio. Patterson demonstrates that she has a plan for integrating mental health into the scope of the portfolio by proposing ideas for student mental health initiatives and increasing communication between services to eliminate redundancy. However, Patterson needs to consider how to avoid the endless referrals often experienced by McGill students, and should contemplate more concrete ideas for avoiding such a situation.

By comparison, Dushan Tripp, in an interview with the Tribune, demonstrated less clarity in his plans for integrating mental health in the new portfolio, and had not carefully considered issues like helping off-campus students or how to address the possibility of students voting against a club fund fee. In addition, Tripp’s experience extends to only being involved with clubs, while Patterson has experience in executive positions related to student involvement, such as Inter-Rez Council, Rez Fest, and VP Communications for AUS.

Overall, Patterson shows that she has given the inaugural appointment of VP Student Life careful consideration and thought, and the board hopes that she will be able to lay a solid foundation for the new portfolio.

VP Student Life

Dushan Tripp

Dushan Tripp, U3 Arts, is running for the newly-created position of VP Student Life. Tripp is currently a clubs representative to SSMU Council, where he sits on the Funding and Club Committees.

Tripp’s platform, which was developed after analyzing the issues faced by Clubs and Services, focuses on five main aspects:  Dynamics between transparency and efficiency, Clubs Committee, club space, Clubhub, and mental health. Tripp wants to improve administrative efficiency and increase consultation that occurs between students in clubs and Council. With regards to the Clubs Committee, he plans to reevaluate how club applications are processed, creating a more transparent process. He also intends to provide resources, such as workshops to make it easier for students to create clubs and find funding.

ClubHub, an initiative created by a previous VP Clubs & Services, Stefan Fong, is digital portal that has information and resources to effectively handle SSMU clubs through an online management system. Tripp plans to revive this project by collaborating with developers and other members of the executive. He is also committed to increasing the space available to clubs and continue the process of space reallocation on the fourth floor of the SSMU Building.

For mental health, a new addition to the portfolio that was previously under the VP University Affairs, Tripp plans on making SSMU’s mental health resources more accessible to students through forums and digital media. He is also looking forward to taking concrete steps to ensure that there is more collaboration between McGill’s mental health services, Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), and Career and Planning Services (CaPS).

Elaine Patterson

Elaine Patterson, U2 Arts, and current VP Communications of AUS, is running for VP Student Life. Patterson has also worked as the Living Learning Communities (LLC) Rez Life facilitator and as the VP Communications for Carrefour Residence Hall Council.

As VP Student Life, Patterson hopes to build upon ideas that were created by the current VP Clubs and Services, Kimber Bialik. This includes creating a handbook for club executives to provide them with an accessible resource of all necessary information. Patterson also hopes to facilitate the creation of a clubs database over the summer that will allow students to search through all SSMU clubs based on their interests. Taking into account current budget cuts and the possibility of the Club Fund Fee failing, Patterson said she will help student clubs apply for funding from other resources at McGill, like the AUS Financial Management Committee. Patterson also suggested mandating that the Services Review Committee review half of the SSMU services per semester, as opposed to the current quarter of services per semester, so that each service is reviewed once per calendar year.

With mental health falling under the umbrella of Student Life, Patterson has new ideas that she hopes will address gaps in services and increase accessibility for students across campus. Patterson plans to host a Mental Health Service roundtable each semester where all 11 mental health services may collaborate on initiatives and discuss how to properly refer students to each other’s services. Additionally, Patterson hopes to specifically address first-year students through floor fellows and off-campus orientation, to ensure that they are informed of the mental health services that are offered at McGill.

Endorsement: Elaine Patterson

The McGill Tribune endorses Elaine Patterson for VP Student Life. Patterson—in both her interview and campaign materials—has made it clear that she has both a comprehensive understanding of student life and a unique grasp of how her experience and skills lend themselves to the role. The position’s title and the scope of its responsibilities have changed this year due to a restructuring of executive portfolios, a motion approved by the student body during the SSMU Winter 2016 Special Referendum. The new position includes mental health and student services within the purview of student life, in addition to subsuming the responsibilities of student services and mental health previously included in the VP Clubs and Services portfolio. Patterson demonstrates that she has a plan for integrating mental health into the scope of the portfolio by proposing ideas for student mental health initiatives and increasing communication between services to eliminate redundancy. However, Patterson needs to consider how to avoid the endless referrals often experienced by McGill students, and should contemplate more concrete ideas for avoiding such a situation.

By comparison, Dushan Tripp, in an interview with the Tribune, demonstrated less clarity in his plans for integrating mental health in the new portfolio, and had not carefully considered issues like helping off-campus students or how to address the possibility of students voting against a club fund fee. In addition, Tripp’s experience extends to only being involved with clubs, while Patterson has experience in executive positions related to student involvement, such as Inter-Rez Council, Rez Fest, and VP Communications for AUS.

Overall, Patterson shows that she has given the inaugural appointment of VP Student Life careful consideration and thought, and the board hopes that she will be able to lay a solid foundation for the new portfolio.

VP Operations

Sacha Magder

Sacha Magder, U3 Science, is campaigning for the new position of VP Operations. Madger was elected to the student union of Dawson College where he served as the Science representative. Since coming to McGill, he has sat on the Biochemistry Undergraduate Society (BUGS) council, a group he successfully ran as president this year. He also served as the logistics coordinator for Science Frosh in 2016.

Magder intends to solicit students’ opinions about the changes they would like to see made to the SSMU Building. Magder cites his approachability and his ideas to incentivize student feedback as ways of combatting student apathy.

A centrepiece of his platform is instituting a “crash pad,” a plan to create a place where students can spend the night on campus, in order to increase inclusivity for commuting students. Magder has pointed out that similar programs have been successfully implemented at other universities in Canada.

For the SRC, Magder recognizes that it needs to start turning a profit to fund the initiatives he is proposing. He believes its problem is the lack of student knowledge about it and that it needs to be advertised more.

Magder plans to learn what should be done on environmental sustainability by consulting contributing members of the community.

Endorsement: "No"

While Magder is excited to shape this new position, he lacks experience and a proper understanding of the role. While he has worked with Boytinck and attended SSMU Council, he has had no official experience working in SSMU.

Magder’s platform is heavily focused on the plan for a crash pad as well as encouraging student input on SSMU operations.

First, instituting a crash pad on campus should not be a priority for this portfolio. As a candidate whose job it is to ensure day-to-day operations are feasible, the idea seems like a stretch.

Furthermore, Magder does not have a background in any of the portfolio’s tenets. This position is outlined to ensure daily operations run smoothly, yet Magder has not overseen or been a part of SSMU operations such as Gerts or the SRC.

Magder brings enthusiasm and ambition to this candidacy, and his vision for getting student input towards what this new position should bring is admirable. While we encourage the development of creative ways to connect SSMU to students, his platform seems more appropriate for the VP Internal position.  Magder’s platform relies largely upon asking students to plan out his role for VP Operations, instead of outlining specific goals. But because this is a new position, we believe that it requires a candidate that has strong experience and more concrete ideas. We encourage new candidates to outline specifically what they wish to achieve with this new position.

Laura Hanrahan and Jenna Stanwood do not agree with the views presented in this endorsement.

VP Finance

Niall Carolan

Niall Carolan, U3 Management, is running unopposed for the VP Finance position. He has experience as a representative to SSMU for the Management Undergraduate Society (MUS), a Management representative to Council, the Senior Accountant of the MUS, a SSMU Club Auditor, and working for Tim Hortons in Finance and Operations. If elected, Carolan plans to ensure the long-term financial stability of SSMU, increase financial transparency, and streamline club funding. He intends to publish concise updates on financial decisions complete with graphs on the SSMU websites to make his portfolio more accessible and transparent. Carolan would also like to implement a standardized budgeting format for every SSMU club to simplify the process. He will also hold training workshops at the beginning of the semester for financial representatives from all SSMU clubs.and alter the structure of the Club Funding Committee to increase the speed of decision making.

In order to ensure financial stability, Carolan will look into external funding options for SSMU events, including corporate sponsorships. He plans to work closely with the VP Operations to increase the profitability of SSMU services, including the SRC, The Nest, Gerts, and Minicourses.

Endorsement: "Yes"

Carolan isqualified to fulfill the duties of the VP Finance portfolio. His experience in finances, both in SSMU and in the private sector, suggest that he will be capable of managing the large financial portfolio of SSMU, particularly in the face of budget constraints. While his suggestions for the Student-Run Café (SRC) need to bear in mind SSMU’s commitment to transforming the SSMU building into a student-run space, he has demonstrated the flexibility of his solutions. By the same token, he demonstrates a willingness to make difficult choices in a timely manner.

By streamlining the club funding application and improving the presentation of SSMU finances online, he will expedite student contact with SSMU finances and improve transparency.

In light of the restructuring of SSMU executive portfolios, which brought the daycare and human resources into the VP Finance portfolio, Carolan must develop concrete plans for these two areas. How he decides to manage these aspects of his portfolio will have a lasting impact on the VP Finance portfolio long after his term ends.