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Students' Society of McGill University (SSMU) building (The McGill Tribune)

SSMU VP Internal Lola Baraldi has resigned, citing personal reasons

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Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Vice-President (VP) Internal Lola Baraldi resigned from her position last Thursday. Kareem Ibrahim, SSMU president, elaborated on Baraldi’s resignation.

“[Baraldi is] resigning due to personal reasons,” Ibrahim said. “It definitely brings us great sadness to see her leave. She’s been a great member of the team. ”

According to Ibrahim, Baraldi’s portfolio will be delegated among the remaining SSMU executives as well as permanent staff.

“The large majority of the VP Internal’s tasks are going to be delegated to the VP External, Emily Boytinck, and the VP University Affairs, Chloe Rourke.” Ibrahim said. “This includes 4Floors, and the Francophone Affairs [Committee] going to [Boytinck]. The yearbook fee, the website overhaul, and the student engagement committee going to [Rourke]. We also hope to consult the […] primary staff of the VP Internal regarding what they would like in terms of increased resources and support, be that an additional staff member or increased hours.”

Other tasks, such as management of the SSMU listserv and social media accounts, as well as chairing the Student Engagement Committee, will be delegated to Kimber Bialik, VP Clubs and Services.  

Baraldi’s resignation comes two months after the resignation of former General Manager Jennifer Varkonyi​, who resigned in August, also due to personal circumstances. Ibrahim spoke to the increased workload that SSMU employees face in light of these personnel changes.

“The delegation of the responsibilities from these two roles is evidently going to pose a great challenge to the executives,” Ibrahim said. “We had come into this year very ambitious, very keen, with a lot of ideas […] and a lot of those projects are going to evidently fall to the backburner […] because we’re going to be hiring and training a new general manager [and] we’re also dealing with the loss of an executive.”

Ibrahim continued to highlight certain aspects of his portfolio that will be affected by the resignations.

“I wanted to implement an employment equity policy at SSMU, […] implement an opt-in consultation listserv, [and…]work with the VP [University Affairs] on some equity programming,” Ibrahim said. “I personally will be doing my best to plan in advance and delegate, so a lot of the ideas I have can actually be realized this year [….] We’re definitely doing all the contingency planning available to make sure our team is supported, and our output to students remains consistent.”

Ibrahim stressed that SSMU will continue to prioritize certain projects such as the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with McGill and the SSMU Daycare Centre, which hasn’t had a director for six months.

“MoA negotiations [with McGill] are beginning this year and that’s not something that we can ignore,” he said. “Lease negotiations for the SSMU daycare centre are beginning this year [….] In terms of the executive team as a whole, other priorities include ensuring that our […] student-run cafeteria continues to run efficiently.”

Going forward, SSMU will continue to face personnel challenges.

“Our building director is going to be leaving on paternity leave soon, any time this week […] until January,” Ibrahim said. “That will involve delegation of tasks as well—giving more responsibilities to our food and beverage director and our security manager.”

Tasks that used to fall under the job description of the general manager will be delegated to SSMU executives until a new general manager is hired.  Among these are staff managment, building operations, human resources, and the daycare. 

The comptroller, will serve as Interim Finance Officer advising SSMU executives in financial matters, such as budgeting. 

 Ibrahim stressed that SSMU would continue to consult with students during these transition periods.

“We hope that the typical roadblocks that our team would face during the year due to poor communications with the student body […] can be minimized through consistent contact and good consultation so that we can really just focus on the challenges we have at hand,” Ibrahim explained.

SSMU Legislative Council called a by-election on Thursday  evening to fill the position. The new VP Internal will be in office from Jan. 1 to May 31, 2016.

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