The Tribune’s endorsement for Students’ Society Vice President internal goes to Todd Plummer. Plummer’s varied experience and connections, strong platform, and ability to communicate and negotiate effectively make him the strongest candidate for the internal position.
Plummer’s platform is tangible and practical, as well as innovative. In addition to plans to revive a high-profile guest speaker event and an end-of-year concert, Plummer’s ideas for a permanent student art gallery and a “DUSTED” event to bring Montrealers into SSMU life are all excellent and realistic.
Importantly, Plummer plans to build on relationships between SSMU and the various faculty associations. This is a significant role for SSMU, and particularly for the VP internal, but has occasionally been overlooked. With his experience on one of McGill’s largest faculty associations, the AUS, Plummer is well-poised to effectively undertake such a project.
By far the biggest challenge facing next year’s VP internal will be implementing the major changes to Frosh, now called Orientation Week. This will require a careful balance between negotiating with administrators and advocating for students’ interests. In his role on the AUS executive, Plummer has already interacted with many of these administrators, and we are confident he will be a forceful yet reasonable voice for student concerns.
Plummer has seen the AUS go through one of the toughest years on record for a faculty organization at McGill. He has been an integral member of an executive that has taken every challenge in stride and responded impressively. Plummer has also been consistently open and accessible to the student press. With this experience under his belt, Plummer is well-prepared to handle any of the challenges or conflicts that he will inevitably face as a SSMU executive.
Candidate Kady Paterson, with her experience on SSMU Council, work in the First Year Office, membership in SSPN, active participation in this year’s process of negotiating changes to Frosh, and experience with one of the school’s smaller and often overlooked faculties, Education, is also highly qualified and would likely do an excellent job in the position. We are concerned however, that she is the only candidate for internal who failed to mention the importance of sustainability in her platform. This, along with Plummer’s concrete, innovative new ideas, as well as his experience on an executive that has overcome significant challenges, makes him stand out.
Candidates Christina Sfeir and Natalie Talmi have experience and good ideas. They are familiar with event planning through their work on Orientation changes and SSPN, respectively. Talmi’s plans to include clubs in SSMU events and Sfeir’s interest in bringing in political speakers are both commendable. But neither candidate has the broad experience possessed by Plummer and Paterson. Ultimately, Plummer probably has the best ability to engage a diverse community in a wide array of events.
In a school not traditionally known for its spirit, current VP Internal Tom Fabian has made significant strides, particularly through building ties to McGill Athletics, a process initiated by 2008-2009 VP internal and former Tribune editor Julia Webster. We hope Plummer will continue these efforts, as they provide important benefits to SSMU, Athletics, and the broad McGill community.