CAMPUS: Just in case you had SSMU withdrawal…

The Students’ Society of McGill University is back and ready for a new year after a summer of hard work. But who are the personalities behind these photos? What do these power-wielders do with their three month break. Read through this handy guide to find out more about them and their plans for this year.

Aaron Donny-Clark, President.Goals for the coming year: Donny-Clark plans to stick to the goals he ran on: putting more focus on the environment, developing better communication between departments, getting rid of booking fees for the Shatner Building and coming up with a “Developmental Plan” for the year that advocates students.Projects at the moment: “It’s the nature of my job to do whatever people need me to do,” Donny-Clark said, so lately he’s been working on Frosh, Discover McGill and the regular bureaucratic duties.Summer Vacation: Along with Max Silverman, Donny-Clark went on a tour of 30 student unions all over Canada to explore new ideas. “We got to see how other student unions run themselves and see how we can improve,” he said.

Floh Herra-Vega, Vice-president Clubs and ServicesGoals for the upcoming year: Making it easier for campus clubs to gain access to SSMU and to obtain resources.Projects for the moment: The first is helping establish “Organic Campus,” which is expanding its services this year. It operated last year as a co-op, and will now be based downstairs in the Shatner building. Herra-Vega’s second project is the implementation of the Harm Reduction Centre. This is a new group focused on drug use and abuse. They will be working on informing students about what may be putting them at risk and activities they should avoid. The group will also be doing advocacy work. Summer Vacation: “Or lack thereof.” Cleaning up a lot of paper work in clubs and services. However, she did get two weeks off at one point.

Gill Predergast, VP Communications and EventsGoals for the coming year: Prendergast plans to focus on athletics this year and stick to everything she campaigned on. “It’s going to be a huge year with the election and everything. I feel like last year they laid the ground work and now we can really take the reins,” she said.Projects for the moment: Organizing Frosh and making sure that all runs smoothly. Summer Vacation: Prendergast spent most of the summer dealing with red tape, setting up Frosh, and meshing with the SSMU team. One of her biggest accomplishments was setting up an online registration for Frosh that can be used for years to come.

Max Silverman, Vice-president ExternalGoals for the coming year: Silverman wants to create a healthier neighborhood in the ghetto by opening discussions between student reps and community members and creating a landlord registry in which students can compile complaints on those landlords. He also plans to prepare for the upcoming provincial election and get the tuition freeze extended and applied to international and exchange students. On the national level he wants to explore the Canadian Student Movement.Projects at the moment: “I’m preparing for fights with a “flying squad” – an autonomous mobilized SSMU wing,” he said. These wings would be able to organize outside of SSMU and work with the community on their own projects, thus increasing the scope and efficiency of SSMU’s policies.Summer Vacation: Silverman joined Donny-Clark on a 30 day tour across Canada to see about 30 student unions in all the provinces except PEI. “We wanted to see the best ways to organize and get some ideas,” he said.

Dave Sunstrum, Vice-president Finance and OperationsGoals for the upcoming year: Sunstrum is looking to work with Donny-Clark to end room-booking fees in the Shatner building. “We can’t really tell McGill University to abolish room fees if we continue to charge them ourselves,” he said. Projects at the moment: Making atmospheric changes at Gerts by getting clubs to paint the tables, making a CKUT mural on the wall and improving the decor. “Gert’s has taken some good steps,” he said, “but it’s not quite yet what I had envisioned.” Sunstrum is also taking a course to improve his French skills.Summer Vacation: Who wouldn’t love to worry about Gert’s all summer? Sunstrum has spent a significant part of his summer improving the under-used campus hangout by hiring a new manager, signing new beer contracts to bring Griffon, Moosehead and Carlsberg into the bar. Sunstrum also gave catering service Savoir Faire the boot from their downstairs space which is being converted into an organic foods space.

Finn Heather Upham, Vice-president University AffairsGoals for the upcoming year: Upham will be looking toward developing new undergraduate research opportunities. She stresses the need to evaluate who is getting these opportunities and suggests that we need to open the process up. She will be promoting an academic integrity campaign by working with TV McGill to release a video.Projects for the moment: Being excited and terrified all at once. In addition to that, Upham is chairing three committees including Senate caucus, university affairs and the library improvement committee. Her role (self described) is to be the student representative. “I’m here to speak up for the undergraduate voice.”Summer vacation: Spent largely in front of a computer researching contracts, the quality of education and course evaluation. She’s also been working with la FEUQ to help preserve the tuition freeze in Quebec.

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