News, SSMU

SSMU VP Finance Alice Fang resigns

Alice Fang, who was elected Vice President (VP) Finance of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) last semester, left her executive position on Aug. 18. Fang handed in her formal resignation to the Board of Directors on Aug. 7, citing personal reasons unrelated to SSMU. The remaining executives have split the work of VP Finance as they await a by-election, which fills a single vacant position during a government term. 

Under Section 10.8 of the SSMU Constitution, an executive whose term ends due to resignation may either be replaced through a by-election called by remaining executives or their position can remain vacant and their responsibilities can be delegated. Additionally, Section 1.8 of the SSMU Internal Regulations of Elections and Referenda states that to fill a vacant position, “the Legislative Council may call a by-election, fill the vacancy by appointment, or delegate the responsibilities to a sitting representative.” 

The Tribune talked to Amelia Whitcomb, VP Finance of the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS), to discuss the responsibilities of a VP Finance. While SUS operations are smaller-scale than SSMU’s, there are similarities among the executives’ roles. Whitcomb shared that as a VP Finance, she takes care of the legal responsibilities of the society, as well as ensuring that all departments and initiatives under SUS have the financial resources they need. 

“I do a lot of work with reimbursements [and] paying invoices. Especially with Frosh just finishing up, I just paid all the people who were involved with that,” Whitcomb said in an interview with The Tribune. “Basically, it’s just making sure that the right people get their money at the right time.” 

Whitcomb also explained that the day-to-day responsibilities of the VP Finance can be handled by remaining staff in the short-term while an election is yet to be held. 

“It’s feasible for the finance staff and for other executives to handle [day-to-day operations], especially because they all have really relevant experience within SSMU already,” Whitcomb said. “In the long-term, waiting for a by-election for a month or so, I think that’ll be fine. My only concern would be if they don’t fill the position for six months or a year.” 

Antonina Nikolaev, VP Finance of the History Students’ Association and President of the McGill Polish Students’ Association, shared a similar sentiment that student clubs and associations should not be greatly affected in the interim. 

“In terms of departmental associations, I don’t think it will affect us as we deal with faculty-specific student unions for our funding,” Nikolaev said. “For our clubs, I think we’ll be okay as long the VP Student Life and club finance coordinator can help us when we set our yearly budget.”

SSMU President Alexandre Ashkir plans to present a motion for a by-election at the first Legislative Council meeting of the school year, on Sept. 11. The motion will include a schedule outlining the desired timeline to fill the position. As the date approaches, Ashkir shared in a written statement to The Tribune that SSMU executives have distributed Fang’s responsibilities—including overseeing club funding and health and dental insurance—to ensure that students continue to have their needs met. 

“While it is extra work on the already very heavy executive workload, we have managed to spread tasks in a manner that allows SSMU to run unhindered and that in the short term won’t be too detrimental to our other responsibilities,” Ashkir wrote. “This distribution is temporary and once a new VP Finance is elected, they will be returned to them gradually to ensure there [are] no interruptions of service on the student end.” 

Alice Fang could not be reached for a comment.

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