SSMU (Students’ Society of McGill University) governance has been particularly controversial this year. The Tangerine tent at Activities Night and excessive advertisements in the Shatner Building saw criticisms of the VP finance; the merging of McGill Counselling and Mental Health has drawn criticism as wait times have become outrageous; and, more recently, allegations against executives of gendered violence and the resulting backlash have led to the resignations of the President and VP External. At its best, SSMU should uphold and foster a safe, accessible, and diverse university experience. This year, with its persistent controversies and the election of an executive of mostly white men, SSMU has failed to do so. Rather than being an efficient governing body and voice to its constituents, SSMU has become a source of campus drama and stress for students.
At The Daily, we often interact closely with SSMU, and what we have witnessed this year has been especially disheartening and disappointing. However, we recognize that, as a governing body, SSMU has incredible potential. This coming year’s executive team will need to put in tremendous amounts of work if they are to redeem SSMU in the eyes of students, the administration, and the broader community.
The Daily interviewed each of the eleven candidates in order to decide on our endorsements. Questions centred around past experience, the executive as a political actor, and portfolio-specific details.
Furthermore, in the wake of allegations of gendered violence on the parts of both the former VP External and former President, as well as the debate which engulfed former Arts Representative to SSMU Igor Sadikov, The Daily has taken the candidates’ political stances into serious consideration with regards to these endorsements. Any stance – even one centred upon silence or neutrality – is inherently political, and should be taken into account.
We sincerely hope that the 2017-18 student executive is more diverse, and contributes to a better undergraduate experience at McGill.
Please take the time to make an informed decision; the voting period runs from March 13-16.
– The McGill Daily editorial board