As VP External, it is Ronderos-Morgan’s responsibility to represent the interests of McGill undergraduates to all external bodies—be they government-affiliated, other student unions, or the Montreal community at large. With the provincial Bills 38 and 44 threatening to outsource the governance structure of Quebec universities, the 2009-2010 academic year is bound to be a busy one for this exec.
But Ronderos-Morgan seems prepared to think long-term. He is committed to building bridges with the residents of Milton-Parc to make Frosh activities more neighbourhood-friendly, and creating a stronger sense of shared community. Ronderos-Morgan has also taken up the agenda of promoting the new provincial student consortium Table de concertation étudiante du Québec (TACEQ) with as much enthusiasm as his predecessor, and is confident that the new student union will provide McGill students with the lobbying power needed to take on the provincial government. SSMU’s troubled history with student unions has left The Daily feeling more then a little dubious about TACEQ’s chances, though Ronderos-Morgan insists that the new union is free of the bureaucratic trappings that led McGill to unceremoniously quit the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ) in 2006.
At this term’s General Assembly, Ronderos-Morgan is looking to McGill students to set the agenda. He insists that low participation at SSMU events is not a sign of student apathy, but a lack of visibility on SSMU’s part. Fair enough, but we’re still waiting to hear how he’s going to fix this. As VP External it’s part of his job to get students excited about issues—and let’s be honest, he’s going to need a lot more than a government bill if he wants this year’s General Assembly to actually represent the student population. (Instead of being composed of your usual political hacks and journalists.) One issue we recommend? SSMU should actually ask students if they want to join TACEQ before they jump into it.