Fong has been more proactive in pursuing long-term goals. He has completed the research stage of the Club Hub, and hopes to have it implemented by the end of his term. Fong has also started a pilot testing of myInvolvement, which has become available to 25 clubs. In addition, Fong has begun to lay the groundwork for the 10-Year Development Plan for SSMU, as well as the reorganizing of the fourth floor of the SSMU building.
Last year, Fong faced criticism for being unresponsive, particularly in regards to responding to emails, and failing to be proactive when working with clubs. However, Fong appears to have addressed these issues, responding to emails more readily and increasing his cooperation with clubs. Club workshops, for example, saw the participation of over 160 clubs.
VP Finance and Operations, Kathleen Bradley
Bradley also presented the 2014-2015 global budget at a recent Council meeting and with student media outlets on campus, which was an effective way of communicating and clarifying aspects of the budget. She also worked with a graphic designer to present the budget in an accessible manner.
Bradley recently raised important concerns about the fee consolidation that McGill proposed, advocating for students in her insistence that the consolidation would not be transparent for students.
VP University Affairs, Claire Stewart-Kanigan
Stewart-Kanigan also led SSMU’s collaboration with the #ConsentMcGill campaign, with a panel held by the SSMU Equity Commissioner during that week. Beyond that, she has also continued work on the sexual assault policy, which has undergone continuous review by a working group and has been publicized to the student body through an open forum and website.
As an active advocate for students, Stewart-Kanigan has called for more student representation and engagement at the annual joint board-senate meeting earlier this month, and asking councillors to reach out to their constituents prior to the Town Hall on the library master plan. Furthermore, she conducted consultation for the library improvement fund, which is also a key part of her portfolio.
President, Courtney Ayukawa
Her enthusiasm for sustainability has translated into many efforts to bolster the green aspect of the president’s portfolio through environment commissioners and long-term studies. This supplements the aspect of her portfolio weakened last year when its mandated coordinator was cut due to budgetary issues.
Ayukawa has fielded a number of unforeseen circumstances this year, including two Judicial Board (J-Board) cases, and a provincial case questioning the validity of the election of her as president, which has since been dropped. With the first J-Board case resolved and the court case dropped, we hope that Ayukawa can continue her job more smoothly in the next term, including overseeing the hiring of a new general manager for SSMU.
VP Internal Affairs, J. Daniel Chaim
4Floors, the SSMU Halloween party, also ran a $5,281 deficit due to unforeseen security costs due to construction around McTavish extending into November. As 4Floors ticket prices were increased this year, and because the construction has been ongoing since the summer, this deficit was another example of unsuccessful budget planning, and it is imperative that the SSMU executives work to take a more proactive approach to anticipate and consider all expenses, particularly amidst student criticisms of SSMU’s money management.
Another initiative Chaim has taken is for the consideration of a publications fee for the Old McGill yearbook, which has seen drastically declining sales in past years. The fee would help fund the distribution of the yearbook to all students. Although this may standardize the distribution of a university keepsake, students have been wary of extraneous fees recently, and this may be another addition to the tensions between students and SSMU.
Chaim should also continuously seek the methods for feedback and concerns of the undergraduate student body as it falls under his communication portfolio. When SSMU-student relations are tenuous, the VP Internal should prioritize methods of communication not just through listservs and mass distribution of information, but through two-way conversations and debates. The recent motion approved by the legislative council to establish an Ad-Hoc Student Engagement Committee will hopefully aid Chaim to these ends.
VP External Affairs, Amina Moustaqim-Barrette
Additionally, it is difficult to hold her accountable for her efforts because no reports have been produced for the student body that detail her work. While we applaud Moustaqim-Barrette for her lobbying initiatives, these efforts have largely not been publicized or communicated properly to the student body.
With regards to community affairs, she has maintained a positive relationship with the Milton-Parc Citizens’ Community and assisted the Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) office during Community Engagement Day.
In the coming semester, we would like to see Moustaqim-Barrette take further measures to consult the student body to learn what students want from their student union in regards to external actions.