SSMU’s VP Clubs and Services Sarah Olle is in charge of overseeing and communicating with the myriad undergraduate clubs and services on campus, and will also be a key player this year in guiding The McGill Tribune toward independence. For better or worse, Olle has admitted she doesn’t have “big dreams” — though she is convinced that her previous experience as SSMU’s Interest Group Coordinator will help her cut administrative red tape. Olle wants to focus her attention on making SSMU services and resources more transparent and easily attainable for students. To achieve her goals, Olle has printed brochures explaining club bureaucracy, cleaned up the SSMU web site, and scheduled two weeks of tabling at the Y-intersection. Room booking should, “hopefully,” be available online by next week, and students will see the return of a two-day Activities Night again as well as the inclusion of club events on McGill’s online calendar. Unfortunately, Olle has already expressed frustration with the administration and Board of Governors (BoG) as she helps negotiate The Tribune’s Memorandum of Agreement.
Olle has a good head on her shoulders, and we think she has a solid work ethic. We agree that cleaning up bureaucracy is a smart way to engage students overwhelmed by the prospect of using SSMU services or creating a club, but it’s still unfortunate that Olle’s strategy avoids anything more controversial or political than simple streamlining. Potential groups seeking club status must still run their name by McGill administration before applying to SSMU—lest the University incur any sort of liability— nd the Kafka-esque process of booking rooms outside of Shatner keeps student space restricted. Perhaps some outside-the-box thinking is in order to put some forward momentum into Clubs and Services. Concordia, for example, lets external groups use their spaces, bringing the outside world into the sometimes-insular university context.