Accessibility is the operative word of this year’s SSMU executive. In their interviews with The Daily, each exec emphasized the importance of making SSMU’s politics transparent, its services reliable, its operations efficient, and its events engaging. While there is something to be said for setting goals that students are bound to see as realistic and genteel, this year’s SSMU exec also seems plagued by an endemic lack of ambition.
With four of the six positions on exec having been uncontested in last spring’s elections, it is unsurprising that few of them were compelled to present students with a clear or radical mandate. Many of the boldest and most promising projects that SSMU has taken on this year, like Office of Sustainability and the new student federation SSMU has played a hand in creating, it has inherited from last year’s executives.
This year’s crop has also pursued a strategy of building an amicable and conciliatory relationship with the administration. Maintaining open lines of communication between James and Shatner has never been a bad idea, and it is extremely important that student government remains informed of the admin’s activities. While it is encouraging to see the two camps find some common ground on issues like increasing public investment in post-secondary education, our concern is that the clubby nature of their relationship might curb SSMU’s incentive to confront the administration in cases where the interests of students and the University diverge.