The Tribune was conflicted over the selection of candidates for VP External. The VP External must act as a spokesperson for McGill students and is often the first point of contact with major media outlets. He or she must be well-versed on the issues facing McGill students and must listen to the opinions of the entire student body. For these reasons, we are disappointed with the selection of candidates for this position.
Raphael Uribe Arango’s relative lack of experience is concerning. He is keen to become involved in student politics, but we worry that the jump from IRC VP External to SSMU VP External may be too big. His focus on international issues and creating international partnerships with universities may be theoretically sound, but the primary issues at hand next year will likely be local—notably Quebec tuition increases. After only one year on this campus, we are not convinced that Uribe Arango has a comprehensive understanding of local issues and we are not confident in his ability to speak to the press about these issues.
On the other hand, Robin Reid-Fraser has demonstrated an understanding of McGill issues—so much so that she took part in the sixth floor occupation of the James Administration Building. The VP External must be passionate about their role in the community, but they must also listen to the student population. We don’t have confidence in her ability to act as a spokesperson for the student body. Her actions speak louder than the words contained in her platform.
Ultimately, one of these two candidates will be elected. We hope that Uribe Arango can get over a steep learning curve quickly by observing those around him.