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Samuel Sigere

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With my experience as BUGS VP External and director of the 2011 Biochemistry Games, I plan on organizing many small events alongside the big SSMU events we’ve come to love and enjoy. I will work to build stronger relationships between SSMU and McGill’s faculties and departments. With my knowledge of McGill media, I’ll keep you informed about what SSMU can do for you, and hopefully get you involved! Creating a strong McGill community is my motto and my goal. Vote SAM: for a SSMU that works for you. 

Sahil Chaini

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Hello McGill!

I am currently one of your SSMU C&S Representatives and would love the opportunity to represent you on SSMU as VP Clubs and Services! I’m really passionate about making the student experience especially rewarding through involvement in clubs and services. Backed with experience and knowledge from my involvement in this portfolio, some of my initiatives are to revamp 4th floor office allocation and implement sustainability strategies in our building. As President of the Indian Students’ Association, I know it’s not easy to run a club, but I’ll strive to make it an enjoyable experience! Vote Chaini for Change!

Christina Sfeir

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I am a third year Political Science student. I have a diverse background in event planning and two years of experience working with SSMU. I have specifically worked with the past and present VP Internal, allowing me to fully understand the responsibilities and obligations of the position. My experience includes; PSSA Battle for the Charity, Model United Nations Entertainment Coordinator, Faculty Olympics Chair, 4floors organizer and the SSPN SSMU events committee. My platform is based on diversifying SSMU events and working on rebuilding McGill’s community.  I promise to bring my creativity and dedication to this position. Just imagine the possibilities. 

Allison Cooper

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From my 3+ years of working with SSMU’s clubs, services, and Environment Committee, I know what the SSMU has to offer, but also that its procedures are daunting. I understand the problems students face navigating bureaucracy and room bookings from my experience as front desk receptionist, and through leadership of sustainability initiatives like the Plate Club, I know how to green the SSMU. I will increase student space, see concrete sustainability projects through, create platforms for groups’ needs to be communicated, and encourage student initiatives that go beyond the Shatner building.  VOTE EXPERIENCE – On your side: Cooper for clubs!

Haley Dinel

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My extensive experience as a Senator and Councillor prepared me to excel as VP University Affairs. I established a working relationship with both McGill and SSMU through different initiatives such as Academic Amnesty, livestreaming Senate, and re-establishing the undergraduate society of my faculty.

My pragmatic approach concerning November 10 and the Judicial Board helped to create compromised solutions.

Goals include getting Senate live streamed, making the G.A. more democratic, ensuring safe space community, improving the Student Handbook, making McGill more functionally bilingual, and serving as an effective liaison between students and administration.

Vote for unity and leadership. 

Shyam Patel

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I’m your SSMU VP Finance & Operations and served as Funding Coordinator 2010-2011.  I’ve spearheaded the student-run café, increased funding for clubs, and integrated sustainable accounting policies at SSMU.  My experience will help to overhaul the SSMU Bureaucracy to make the SSMU more relevant by empowering student representatives to be more proactive.  Through collaboration with new food services in the building, I will integrate sustainability with the eco-clamshells.  Lastly, I will engage staff through stronger human resources policies/practices and empower student involvement by creating research opportunities within SSMU to increase practical experience. 

Experience.  Make it work for you!  VOTE PATEL!

Emil Briones

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Emil Briones is a clarinet major who would like to bring four years of experience in student service into next year as the VP University Affairs.  He has served as the Music Senator (present), President of MUSA (2011-2012), VP External of MUSA and SSMU Councillor (2009-2010), and First Year Representative of MUSA (2008-2009).  As the VP UA, he hopes to continue the dialogue on free speech on campus, tuition hikes, and academic issues concerning undergraduate education.  Briones also plans to further open consultation channels and implement research initiatives into action.

SSMU Council discusses co-signing letter with MUNACA

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Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune

Councillor resignation

The session began with an announcement that Fenimore Love, the representative to SSMU Council from the faculty of religious studies, was resigning from his position. He did so without any explanation; the council expects a replacement.


Colleen Cook, Trenholme Dean of Libraries, was invited to council as a guest speaker. She was appointed to the position last year, following a move from Texas A&M University. She answered questions about current plans for McGill’s library system.

Asked to compare Canadian university libraries to American university libraries, Cook said that the latter had nicer spaces. In terms of collections, Cook said that McGill is “just right at adequate,” due to the availability of electronic access, but in the physical book world, there’s much room for improvement.

Potential plans include a larger eating area in Redpath and the renovation of one of the floors on McLennan.  

Question period

During council, councillors discussed the events of Nov.  10. Some wondered what SSMU was doing to support students, and whether it could do more. SSMU President Maggie Knight discussed an independent student inquiry, in conjunction with Dean Jutras’ investigation, into what took place on Nov. 10.

“We don’t have a completely unbiased, everything co-ordinated, version of what happened, although McGill security might, we’re not [entirely] sure at this point,” she said. “There [are] also students doing an independent student inquiry into what happened … because we don’t know exactly what’s going to come out of the dean of law’s investigation.”

VP External Joël Pedneault mentioned another concern for many groups on campus: the increasingly securitized atmosphere at McGill. He expressed trepidation that Dean Jutras’ inquiry would lead to a further increase in security presence.  Knight addressed that concern, saying it would be  interesting to include in feedback for   Dean Jutras’ investigation. 

“Certainly in the conversations that VP Clare I had with univeristy saftey and university services in advance of Monday’s event, we were very concerned that they would have a really beefy security presence there, that it  would sort of further escalate things,” said Knight. “They seem to have an awareness of the fact that that would be inappropriate.”

General Assembly reform

SSMU councillors discussed a notice of motion on General Assembly (GA) reform. As Speaker Nida Nizam reminded Council, this motion was intended to address some quick questions about the process of GA reform. Nevertheless, Knight was faced with big picture questions regarding concerns with the reform’s structural process. 

“Unfortunately, there hasn’t been the level of involvement in this process that I would have liked,” Knight responded. “Please do your job … and I’m not implying that that people haven’t been so far, but please take the next two weeks to do your job and really bring forward what you want to see for Dec. 1. [Otherwise], we’ll yet again fail to reform the GA.”

SSMU Council time limits

Engineering Councillor Alexander Kunev presented a motion to limit council sessions to seven hours in an attempt to standardize time allocation for the meeting. Concerns were raised regarding council’s ability to deal with time-sensitive issues, as well as travel time for students who live far away from downtown Montreal.

“Council always has the ability to vote to table a motion … and perhaps it should simply be a right that council utilizes more effectively,” said President Knight.

Annual budget approved

VP Finance and Operations Shyam Patel presented his plan for SSMU’s 2011-12 budget. Major changes included allocating funding to the Sustainability Case Competition and an increase in the Ambassador Fund to $34,000. The budget was passed unanimously. 

 Letter to education minister

VP External Joël Pedneault introduced a letter written by MUNACA to the Minister of Education, Leisure, and Sport. The letter called for the Minister to take action “to ensure a respectful learning environment for all members of the McGill community,” and cited tumultuous events such as the MUNACA strike and the deployment of riot police on campus. MUNACA would not entertain any changes to the letter, stylistic or otherwise, so council debated three available choices: signing the letter in conjunction with MUNACA, not signing any letters, or sending a revised version.

Many councillors cite concerns over the letter’s allegations regarding the events of Thursday, Nov. 10. Ultimately, a vote of 2-6-17-1, with an abstention and six councillors opposed to sending any letter at all, mandated council to send its own version of the letter, to be drafted by Pedneault.

JoÃl Pedneault – VP External Affairs

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What are the main issues you’ll be focusing on this year?

As people know, the government announced that there will be a massive tuition increase starting September 2012. So my immeditate priority is to inform as many students as possible of that fact, what the effects of that might be, and hopefully to get as many people as possible out to marches and demonstrations. There will be a General Assembly at the end of September where people will be able to take a position on the most recent increase and decide where to move forward. There will be a big demonstration on Nov. 10, for which we hope to organize a McGill contingent. The overall goal for the year is to make McGill students’ participation in what will be a student mobilization against tuition increases as big as possible. More immediately, as well trying to inform as many students a possible about the MUNACA strike, what it means, why they’re on strike and to get them out on picket lines, and to make the strike as short and as successful as possible.

What are your expectations for this year?

I get the feeling that mobilization and involvement in student activism at McGill has been picking up; the ball got rolling last year thanks to my predecessor Myriam [Zaidi]. My expectations are that more and more people are going to be involved; I expect large McGill contingents in student demonstrations this year. I’m also expecting participation in various events—panels, discussions, workshops—that I, and a lot of other people, are going to be organizing to ensure people know about tuition increases and to think about issues in post secondary education as well.

Something new you’re bringing to the role?

I’d like to work a lot on doing a lot more research and a lot more advocacy for specifically international and out-of-province students this year. The Quebec Student Movement represents mainly the concerns of students who pay Quebec fees (which makes sense, as most people in Quebec pay Quebec fees). What we want to do is basically advocate for those excluded students and make sure the student movement does as well.


Never have I ever not skinny-dipped in Lake Ontario.

Stefan Prokopetz – VP Finance & Operations

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What experience do you think you bring into this position?

I'm currently doing work for the assistant director of finance here at McGill, I'm doing research on IPOs. So people definitely trust my financial expertise, I understand financial statements, I did budgeting this summer for work. I did a lot of journal entries, low level accounting this summer for a Winnipeg company.

I want to meet with all the heads of clubs and services at McGill just to go over their budgets, my position is definitely not apolitical, but I feel it's more apolitical, so yes the Council site is extremely important I realize that, but it's more important to be able to deal with the 3.3 million dollars in a financially stable way and that's crucial, we're talking about the sustainability of SSMU.

What plans do you have for the Book Bazaar?

Definitely online, I think there were initiatives to start it this year, there's definitely McGill classifieds but I don't think it gets used enough, it's not user-friendly enough. And that would be also a one time fixed cost instead of continually paying every year, you set up a website, and then it lasts forever.

What is your vision for Gert's?

Depending on how much power I'm given or how much sway I have with council, I'd like to renovate it now. But if not, definitely keep up with the promotions, so as much as I can do, I definitely don't want to delegate the responsibility away, and I think that's unique to me.

How will you work to make sure that the investment decisions that are made by SSMU's VP Finance are represented by the entire student body?

I'm not going to be investing a hundred percent to the equities of something like Goldman Sachs, to somebody who is tearing up the rainforest, again I said I'm here to make money but definitely I'm going to be working very closely with FERC and I'm bringing back the investment advisor at Council.

If you were a mixed drink what would you be and why?

I like a gin and cranberry juice, because cranberry juice is so innocent but gin's got a little bit of fun too so I think it's a pleasant mix.


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