Alex Brown’s greatest legacy to SSMU may be replacing the annual financial hemorrhage that was Snow-AP with the Gerts-based Week 101 in January. She has also kept up crowd-pleasers like 4-Floors, while piloting non-alcoholic events like film screenings. Brown promised Council that a big name recording artist will perform at McGill in the spring, though she has yet to reveal who it’s going to be. Brown also took a more efficient approach to SSMU web site upgrades, opting to introduce them as they become available rather than all at once. SSMU’s web site became fully bilingual this fall, and online room bookings were made easier.
Brown’s greatest challenges are for the most part institutional, like student apathy toward the General Assembly. Frosh could also use some revision, to address the alienation felt by students who don’t like to drink en masse. SSMU events tend to attract a certain crowd, drawing a high percentage of first-years. Nevertheless, Brown still has to find a way to make these events relevant to more of the McGill population. Brown has been collaborating closely with Diaz to diversify SSMU’s social calendar, but we can only hope she keeps up the momentum.
Brown has her work cut out for her in attracting students to February’s GA – though her initial advertising is an improvement from last term. For inspiration, Brown could take a line from the PGSS social calendar, especially for non-alcoholic events. Post-graduates have a green-themed month of events, as well as a love/sex-themed week in February, which includes everything from S&M or sex toy parties to speed dating. Brown doesn’t have to start ordering complimentary dildos en masse, but she could try drawing on the diverse interests around campus.