At this time last year, the Tribune voiced concerns with Students’ Society Vice-President University Affairs Rebecca Dooley’s lack of experience. Before her tenure as VP UA, she’d been Queer McGill’s political action coordinator, which, the Tribune believed, was insufficient training for the portfolio. We were wrong. Since the beginning of her tenure, Dooley has demonstrated a firm understanding of the university’s inner workings, and thanks to her hard work, she has succeeded in most areas of her portfolio.
In the first semester, Dooley worked closely with Jonathan Glencross to promote a new $7.50 student fee for the Sustainability Projects Fund. She also formed an undergraduate student taskforce, “The McGill We Want,” which will ultimately draft a report suggesting ways to improve the undergraduate experience.
At SSMU Council meetings, Dooley spoke frequently, defending her opinions while forging compromise between disparate factions of councillors. At University Senate meetings, though, Dooley appeared timid, and sometimes outmatched by other senators. Behind closed doors, however, Dooley was a strong student advocate. In committees, she fostered strong relationships with professors and administrators, tackling issues such as McGill’s problematic research policy draft.
This past semester, Dooley led a series of meetings between the Equity Committee and Choose Life, the embattled pro-life club, retooling the group’s constitution. Though the meetings were hostile, in the end, Choose Life and the Equity Committee compromised, coming to terms on a document. This was a major victory, and Dooley deserves a large portion of the credit.
Dooley is affable and approachable, and she thoroughly understands the role of the VP UA. We can only hope that next year’s VP UA, Joshua Abaki, emulates Dooley’s work ethic, amiable demeanour, and willingness to compromise with both the administration and other students.