Sebastian Ronderos-Morgan’s big project this year is working on TaCEQ, a new coalition formed by SSMU and four other student unions, into a student lobby group. Despite the remaining administrative kinks, TaCEQ cut its teeth in protest against two provincial university governance bills. While Ronderos-Morgan says it has been difficult to deal with all the jargon and big personalities that make up the Quebec student movement, his efforts have managed to create an institution that will give SSMU some clout on post-secondary education issues in the province. Ronderos-Morgan has also been working alongside Hélène Brisson of the Milton-Parc Citizens Committee, to create a group that will periodically bring together SSMU, McGill, and the Citizens Committee.
Ronderos-Morgan has focused primarily on institution-building; his initiatives haven’t been that popular. He needs to work harder to make it apparent to all students why TaCEQ is relevant and why McGill needs to be involved in provincial lobbying. SSMU’s mobilization efforts have also been mixed. SSMU bussed students to climate change rallies in Ottawa, but failed to attract more than a few students to a Montreal rally against university governance bills.
Ronderos-Morgan has a lot of big picture ideas for SSMU institutions, but he needs to think more about how to fight student apathy on a day to day basis: from Facebook groups to small DIY projects. He could also learn a thing or two from student groups, like QPIRG or GRASPé who specialize in grassroots issues.