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Acclaimed SSMU VP Finance & Operations Tobias Silverstein speaks out

Next year’s Finance & Operations portfolio is one of the least-contested SSMU positions in recent memory – it’s been like the hot potato of exec portfolios. In any case, The Daily invites you to hear from New York City native Tobias Silverstein, your newly acclaimed VP.

The McGill Daily: If elected, what would be your top priority?

Tobias Silverstein: My platform is: one, long-run financial stability and feasibility of SSMU; two, increasing support for student clubs, services, and events through SSMU and facultie; and three, increased efficiency in SSMU’s operations.

MD: Which General Assembly (GA) motions are most important to you, and what would you do to implement them?

TS: The VP Finance & Operations’ mandate is to work and manage everything that the GA decides.

There is not one thing in particular that I would push, but I would work closely to follow what the GA mandates.

MD: How do you plan to balance SSMU operations – like Haven Books – with the needs of clubs and services?

TS: We have mandates from several sources – the GA, Council, and the students. There is no clear way to balance and weigh the needs of one against the other. Ultimately, my goal is long-run financial balance and stability for SSMU. Without that, SSMU will not be able to continue, so it is absolutely my number one goal. I would have to take these things on a case-by-case basis.

MD: Should SSMU invest in mining companies? Why or why not?

TS: I do realize that mining companies are a very high sector of growth in today’s economy and that they represent very attractive investments. But I also appreciate the ethical and environmental concerns that people have about mining companies. I don’t necessarily see an issue in investing in a wholly-owned Canadian mining company because Canadian mining regulations are among the most stringent in the world, and I feel that they address those concerns.

MD: Would you favour a student-run café in Shatner?

TS: That will be decided before I enter, and if it is decided that there will be a student-run café then that will be something I will have to organize and manage. I think it is important to consider the performance of Haven Books last year, which is very much still just a start-up company. People should consider whether SSMU should be in the process of running two start-ups simultaneously.

– compiled by Sarah Babbage