With regards to the administration people have adversarial relationships towards it or cooperative relations, where do you think your approach falls?
I think we have to be ourselves as student representatives but also a resource to the university to get information into what students want. So it’s important to work with the administration at that level and make sure we provide the support they need in order to make sure that information is getting out. But also, it’s important to stand by SSMU’s principles and fight for them. It has to be item by item, and we have to respond to the student body.
What do you think would be the most important issues that you would be addressing next year?
Making sure that there is more open and accessible education, inside and outside of the classroom. Also, making sure that SSMU-administration relations are a lot more transparent and open, and that’s also working with the executive team making sure that we are a coherent team, there are a lot of opportunities for the VP UA to work with every single other portfolio. Finally, it’s very much about creating a new culture of community, and I think one of the most important things is increasing the portion of international students, the services aren’t adequate for them, we need to make sure that there is enough support in terms of health services, mental health services, off-campus housing that’s affordable, and make sure that there’s affordable food on campus.
So I think it’s very much about creating a global community and these three ideas have to be implemented in sync. It has to be done together in order for it to be cohesive and substantial and to actually affect change.
How do you feel your work as equity commissioner has prepared you for taking on the responsibilities of the UA position, and why UA?
I think what I’ve done as equity commissioner has kind of taught me a methodology which is extremely appropriate for the UA, it’s about dealing with different issues, and looking at different perspectives and trying to put students first. As equity commissioner I have demonstrated that I have the ability to reach out to everyone. I think my experience definitely suits me in terms of dealing with different levels of student governance at McGill.
If you could go back in time and high five one person, who would it be?
Let’s go Canadian, Trudeau. I can high-five Trudeau, right after he did the pirouette, I could do that, that would be like badass.