U2 Engineering student Tre Mansdoerfer was elected Students’ Society McGill University Presidenct on March 21 with 50.7 per cent of the vote. Mansdoerfer received only 69 more votes than his competitor, U2 Arts student Corinne Bulger, who garnered 49.3 per cent of votes. 32.8 per cent of the undergraduate student body voted in this year’s election, an 11 percentage point increase from last year’s voter turnout of 21.8 per cent.
Vice-President (VP) Internal Matthew McLaughlin, VP Finance Jun Wang, VP External Marina Cupido, VP University Affairs Jacob Shapiro, and VP Student Life Sophia Esterle will join Mansdoerfer on the executive team.
Mansdoerfer ran on a platform focused on accountability and advocacy. His campaign promises included to improve mental health services, build relationships with faculty executives, and lobby the university for a Fall reading week. In the immediate future, he plans to focus on SSMU’s more pressing needs.
“I’m literally shaking and beyond excited to be the next SSMU president,” Mansdoerfer said. “I’m looking forward to getting to work right away […] I’m going to be focusing on making the GA online and being a part of facilitating the building closure. But for the next month and a half, I want to meet all faculty executives and create those relationships for the year.”
In a statement to The McGill Tribune, Bulger expressed gratitude for the experience she gained during her campaign.
“I think that this year’s campaign season showed support, and had a positive nature to it that I think will be reflective of the years to come,” Bulger said. “A big congratulations to Tre, Marina, Jacob, Sophia, Matthew, and Jun. I wish you all the love and luck! This opportunity gave me the chance to meet new people, share ideas, and really engage with students on our campus—which at the end of the day matters most to me, and I will continue to do during my time here at McGill.”
Mansdoerfer is the only executive who ran opposed. Despite a vocal “no” campaign against her, Cupido won the election for VP External with 62.9 per cent of students voting in favour and 37.1 per cent against.
“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone who supported me through this process,” Cupido said. “I truly couldn’t have gotten through the past couple weeks without my campaign team and my friends, particularly given the toxic nature of some of the opposition to my candidacy.”
Coming into the position, Cupido plans to put more resources into the Indigenous Affairs portfolio, partner with a provincial student federation, and work with other Quebec universities to lobby against unpaid internships.
“I’m looking forward to the transition process a lot,” Cupido said. “I need to get up to speed with some of the organizing going on on campus, particularly around the indigenous affairs portfolio. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I didn’t give nearly enough space in my platform to the work indigenous student leaders are doing as we speak. Moving into the transition, I have to do a lot of listening and de-centreing of my own voice”
Currently a first-year student, McLaughlin will come into the position of VP Internal as the youngest member of the SSMU executive. Going forward, he plans to meet with representatives from faculties and the First Year Council (FYC) to ensure a smooth transition into his role.
“I’ll be hitting the ground running,” McLaughlin said. “I’ve already met with a number of executives from faculty student societies, and I’ll be meeting with many many more over the coming weeks [….] I’m excited to form a group to explore the best way to create the SSMU centralized calendar. I’ll also be focusing on working with the current FYC executives to prepare for a smooth transition to next year.”
Shapiro’s victory follows a candidacy based on ensuring continuity between SSMU executives each year and making SSMU more engaging for the average student. Noting his lack a competitor, he emphasized the importance of remaining open to students’ thoughts and concerns going forward.
“Despite the positive results of this campaign, at the end of the day, I received the votes of a mere 17 per cent of the student population, and this, crucially, is without having had a challenger,” Shapiro said. “I must continue to seek out and engage the feedback and opinions of others if I am to be successful and if I am to play a positive role in taking a step to build a stronger student union.”
President Tre Mansdoerfer: 50.7 per cent
VP University Affairs Jacob Shapiro: Yes, 90.5 per cent
VP External Marina Cupido: Yes, 62.9 per cent
VP Internal Matthew McLaughlin: Yes, 87.3 per cent
VP Finance Jun Wang: Yes, 82.6 per cent
VP Student Life Sophia Esterle: Yes, 88.4 per cent