SSMU Election Endorsement: VP University Affairs – David Lipsitz

Opinion by

The Tribune strongly endorses David Lipsitz for the position of vice-president university affairs. While we were impressed with the content of Joshua Abaki’s interview with the Tribune and with his performance at the candidate debates, the editorial board ultimately decided that Lipsitz’s familiarity with the UA portfolio and the tangible, practical nature of his platform goals make him the stronger candidate.

While Abaki’s commitment to transparency and his readiness to ensure the administration follows through on funding projects is laudable, the Tribune believes that Lipsitz’s practical views on tuition, study abroad programs, and library hours are more achievable in the short term.

Lipsitz has been a senator since the beginning of February, and has demonstrated a firm grasp of the issues in his portfolio. He has worked with multiple faculty groups and associations, and his work as the chair of SSMU’s External Relations Committee will serve him well in his role as leader of Senate caucus.

The Tribune has been especially impressed by Lipsitz’s ability to learn the ins and outs of university affairs in a relatively short time. In his interview with us and in the candidates’ debate, Lipsitz (who sits on the Tribune board of directors) impressed us with his thoughtful and articulate answers to questions.

However, the Tribune has reservations about Lipsitz’s ability to make himself heard: he will need to show greater confidence in public speaking if he is to successfully lead SSMU’s Senate caucus. Abaki – for better or for worse – is a forceful presence, and a more commanding speaker than Lipsitz. While we’re sure Lipsitz will excel with diplomacy, we hope that he can be outspoken when the situation demands an authoritative voice.

Dealing with the administration requires a mix of confidence, flexibility, and patience. We strongly believe that Lipsitz will be in the best position to develop a strong rapport with university officials and act as an advocate for students’ concerns and interests next year.