Without a “sexy” issue like defederation or tuition hikes during his tenure, Students’ Society Vice-President External Sebastian Ronderos-Morgan has spent much of his time working behind the scenes to establish student representation and bolster community relations.
SSMU’s Legislative Council has had, by many accounts, a disappointing year. Although it’s difficult to evaluate the performance of a body of this type, the Tribune feels that this year’s Council deserves a below-average grade. Although there were some councillors who were proactive, well-informed, and contributed in a constructive manner to debates, there were too many councillors who seemed to revel in making mountains out of molehills, and speaking mainly to hear the sound of their own voices.
Although her portfolio has quieted down in the second semester, Sarah Olle has had an extremely successful term as vice-president clubs and services. The Tribune had high expectations for Olle, who came into the position after serving as interest group coordinator last year.
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.
When Ivan Neilson was elected last year, the Tribune was confident that he would be a competent president. We thought his pragmatic nature would allow him to work effectively with the vice-presidents and build a good relationship with McGill’s administration.
After a semester of meetings on the future of Choose Life – the controversial pro-life group whose club status was suspended last semester – the Students’ Society Council officially reinstated the group’s club status last Thursday. Choose Life’s club status was suspended last year on November 12 in light of the conflicts surrounding the club’s “Echoes of the Holocaust” event.
What were your biggest accomplishments this year? I was happy with the style of management that we had this year. The individual vice-presidents started new initiatives and new projects, assisting one another. I’m also thrilled that we were able to reform the committee structure.
Vice-President Finance and Operations Jose Díaz began his term in the most difficult position of any of the executives. Tobias Silverstein, his predecessor, had resigned midway through his term, leaving the rest of the executives to handle his portfolio. Despite this initial disadvantage, Díaz stepped confidently into his position and has handled his portfolio well throughout the year.
Twenty McGill students went hungry for a day at Macdonald campus in an effort to raise money for impoverished countries. The McGill chapter of Engineers Without Borders held 24 hour famine to educate the community on world poverty and to help send two McGill students to work with NGOs overseas.
The academic year is back in full swing, and Students’ Society executives are for the first time facing oversight of their actions from SSMU Council. Two notable summer projects have come up so far, the Harm Reduction Centre (HRC) and the Flying Squad. Both are still in the larvae stage, and there are many details that remain to be worked out concerning their structures before they can be given full approval.