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Natalie Talmi – VP Internal

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As you know, there are going be some major changes happening to Frosh next year. How do you feel about these changes, how do you feel that they’ve been handled by Tom Fabian, the current VP Internal?

If they’re done correctly, which I feel I could do, then they could be amazing.   I think the new schedule is really great in that it really embraces student independence.  But I don’t think [Fabian] is being nearly as vocal or as involved in getting faculty societies involved in the decision-making.  He hasn’t formed an opinion or stood up for student independence, which I think is really important.


The VP Internal position is often criticized as being nothing more than party planner. Do you see the role as more than that?

I absolutely do. One major way that it is is that the VP internal should be there to represent clubs, societies, students on campus. One of my ideas is to get clubs more involved in the planning of events. Being there for support and promotion of student-run initiatives is a major goal that is sometimes overlooked.


That being said, do you have an ideas for new events?

I don’t know if it would be possible to really coordinate this, but I would love to have the clubs and societies run … a big field day. It would be sort of like Street Fest, but more interactive.  


Another challenge often faced by the VP internal stems from McGill’s location. How do you engage students in SSMU events when your competition is the city of Montreal?

 I don’t see the city of Montreal as a competition, I see it as amazing, and you can work with that. Why not embrace [it] and spread more people into the community?  


If you had a hot tub time machine and could travel back to any time or place in history and high-five one person, who would it be and why?

Rosalind Franklin, the woman who got kind of screwed out of her Nobel Prize.  She’s helped [Francis Crick and James Watson] with [the discovery of] DNA.  She was a scientist back in a day when there weren’t a lot of female scientists and she didn’t try and use her femininity to get help from people, she tried to really try to find facts on her own. 

Kady Paterson – VP Internal

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The VP internal gets criticized a lot for just being a party planner, would you agree with that assessment or do you see a bigger role and if so what else?

Well, I definitely agree with the criticism of it being too often a party planner, because I think that is largely what it is now, which is a problem, no question. My actual intent in internalizing the internal portfolio would be to just relate more to the faculties and actually try to build campus community. Break down apathy and create more engagement on campus. Engage politically, engage socially, engage with more students, and actually do something aside from just studying.

Frosh is going to be changing next year, how do you feel about the changes and how the process to change and accommodate SSMU to the changes has been going on right now?

The process has been good, I’ve had the opportunity to work fairly closely on it, I do work for the first year office, so it’s currently my job to recruit people and convince them that this is actually a good idea. I think it’s a step in the right direction in that it is a more inclusive event, it’s not just the crazy Frosh party that it can be, so I think that by having people be Discover McGill tour leaders, academic advising leaders, as well as being Frosh party leaders, it gives people the chance to actually make friends and remember who they met more than a week afterwards.

If you could accomplish one thing next year, what would it be?

Getting orientation off the ground and making sure that it is something people want and people are interested in, we’re trying to use it as a spring-board both at the administration level and at the SSMU level, to start engaging through the entire year, so having that actually work, and having people be pleased about the event, and see the advantages. It will also help build relationships with the Milton-Parc community, so having a successful Orientation Week, and getting people behind that idea and in support of how it works.


If you were a drink what would you be?

I’d probably be an Old Fashioned because has a lot of parts to it, it’s not something that you can just get thrown together, it’s something that actually has a lot of parts that make it a tasty drink and it’s also something that has passed the test of time as far as mixed drinks can go.

Todd Plummer – VP Internal

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How do you feel about the changes to Frosh?

I believe it’s too soon to take a stand on how we feel about Frosh, but I am totally in favour of how this year we are working more closely with the administration. I’m working hard to keep the parts of Frosh that we like alive.


In general, would you say that open dialogue is a big part of your platform?  

Yes, with the administration. In all aspects.


Anything else that you’re especially going to promote?

I hope to foster a sense of community among the students. I feel like this year’s VP internal has done a fairly good job of catering to a small section of the student body, but I look forward to engaging with the smaller cultural groups on campus, the faculty associations, working more with Athletics, and especially working with people from Montreal that still live at home.

Tom has an excellent relationship with SPIN, his events planning committee, and that’s really crucial. But I think he’s stepped on the toes of faculty associations a few times.   


Do you have any ideas for new events?

I want to make a permanent student art gallery happen somewhere on campus. I’d also like to do some off-campus events to engage the people that live at home.  


How do you plan to engage students when your competition is Montreal?

By working with off-campus bars and organizing cultural events off campus.


What are your strengths?

I bring a lot of experience to the table, working on small events, working on large events, completely conceptualizing events on my own and making them happen, like AUS Charity Week.  

I’m really good at damage control. I came into AUS Frosh right before it [ran a large deficit] and tried to minimize the damage, and also was an AUS exec. this year with our whole tax situation and financial situation. I’m really good at negotiating with the administration, and I think that’s something I bring to the table that the other candidates don’t.

As much as this is a job, I don’t see it as a nine to five thing. I see it as signing up to do this 24/7. If it means working 20-hour days, I will. I have an idea of the amount of dedication it takes. 

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.


Kady Paterson

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I’m running for VP Internal of SSMU because I feel that my diverse array of experiences allows me to both have a solid grasp of the current portfolio and of effective possible improvements. I have experience planning events with the Education Undergraduate Society, McGill Athletics, The McGill Daily, and SSMU – both through my current involvement as a SSMU councillor, and as a member of the Students’ Society Programming Network, a subcommittee of the VP Internal portfolio.

  My plans for the portfolio consist of diversifying the events run by SSMU to target a broader group of students, while emphasizing the Internal title through greater inter-faculty, and inter-club relations within the Society.

Carol Fraser

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Please note that Carol Fraser has been sanctioned for putting up unapproved campaign posters. 

I’m Carol Fraser, and I’m running for VP Clubs and Services because I’m passionate about student life and student-run initiatives. As VP I’d improve Midnight Kitchen’s new 302 space, foster the development of community-building clubs and services, continue sustainable renovations to Shatner and above all support the groups that make McGill more than just about academics. I’m friendly, organized and committed, qualities I’ve used this past year as MK’s volunteer co-coordinator, and as an active member of Mobilization McGill, at the forefront of student voice on campus. I will work collaboratively with my fellow students, especially transparently explaining policies and procedures.

Mahmoud Almasri

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 My name is Mahmoud Almasri, and it would be an honour to be your Medicine Senator. My aim is to establish two-way communication between Senate and our Faculty, while also building a platform upon which the different topics and decisions discussed at senate level are made accessible to the medical student body. In light of the new curriculum to be implemented, we need to have our best interests represented while securing the full support of the Senate so that our academic goals can be achieved. I am both willing and eager, and I hope to be your choice for Senator.

JoÃl Pedneault

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Hi, my name’s Joël. I’m originally from Ottawa and I’m a fourth-year Arts student. As current vice-secretary general of the Quebec Student Roundtable (a provincial student lobby group representing over 65 000 students, including SSMU) and as SSMU Councilor in 2009-10, I’ve developed the experience needed to work closely with student associations in other universities and coordinate a campaign for accessible education here at SSMU.

As VP External, I plan to work on a province-wide strategy to lower tuition fees for all students and increase access to financial aid.

 Vote for experience and vision, vote Joël for VP External!

Bonjour, je m’appelle Joël.

En tant que vice-secrétaire général actuel de la Table de concertation étudiante du Québec (un regroupement étudiant représentant plus de 65 000 étudiant-e-s, y compris le SSMU) et en tant qu’élu au conseil législatif du SSMU en 2009-10, j’ai acquis le savoir-faire qui me permettra de collaborer étroitement avec d’autres associations étudiantes tout en mobilisant la population étudiante de McGill pour le droit à l’éducation. En tant qu’externe, j’ai l’intention de contribuer à bâtir une stratégie pan-québécoise pour contrer la hausse actuelle des frais de scolarité et ce, pour les étudiants d’ici comme d’ailleurs.

Tom Zheng

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Please note that Tom Zheng has received a sanction for putting up unapproved posters.

As someone who truly wants to use this opportunity to make a difference, I speak to you from the heart. I don’t believe in the rumor that “there is less help available in university” nor am I content with the fact that “lower year students are distant from what the school has to offer” I dare to dream of a day when we are no longer frustrated with the limited number of academic advisers and students can truly find help whenever they need. I dare to act upon it, and I need your help. We can make it happen.

Raphael A Dumas

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Raphael Dumas is a U3 Civil Engineering student. His path through McGill has given him a taste of 4 faculties and 3 different programs. In none of them did he find a chance to get his hands dirty through Applied Student Research. His primary goal is to increase accessibility to projects so that Engineers and all undergrads can get credit for research that interests them. If you’ve read his recent letter in the Daily, he’s also big on integrity and consultation, so he is open to forwarding ideas engineering undergrads might have. He is also bilingual, see below.

Né d’une Française et un Sud-Africain à Kingston, Raphael Dumas est un étudiant en 4e année de génie civile. Son trajet lui a permis de prendre connaissance de 4 facultés et 3 programmes différents. Par contre, nul ne lui a donné la chance de recevoir crédit pour des projets de recherches personels. Il aimerait augmenter l’accessibilité à la création de ses projets pour les ingénieurs et tous les autres sous-grad. Le Fonds des Projets de Durabilité (SPF) est une bonne début, mais il veut faire continuer de promouvoir une culture de durabilité et de recherche étudiante appliquée sur le campus.

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