McGill Tribune: How does your experience qualify you for the position of VP UA?
Sam Gregory: [There are] two experiences which I bring to the table that I think qualify me the best: the first is this year I’m working as … an ombudsman … for McGill food and dining services. McGill Food and Dining Administration recognized me as someone who was able to work and both represent students and understand where the administration was coming from. We had to find compromises or solutions that would work for everyone when issues arise for McGill Food and Dining. Secondly, this year I’m working at SSMU as the Senate and Committee Secretary General for Haley Dinel, the current VP UA. I’m in the office almost every day, I know the key issues I know the methods to address them, I’ve got a very good understanding of the university and the different communities that exist, what they do, and what they’re supposed to address.
MT: In your opinion, what is the significance of consultation fairs and how do you see SSMU getting more students to attend?
SG: This is difficult. The issue is how do you get students involved and engage them. We need to bring the consultation fairs back to the university-wide level. I think there are two ways we can make it more effective. One, we can have a day with two consultation fairs, one where students can just attend and a second where students are invited by the administration to bring their points of view and maybe the administration selects students of lower academic rankings, higher academic rankings from each faculty, so that they can get a broad perspective of students and so they can move forward on issues like that. The second thing I think we should do is move consultation fairs to a much more accessible location. What about the new group study area in Redpath? Locations that are open to students, where students who are just walking by in their day-to-day life can come in and participate in the consultation fair.
MT: What do you consider to be the most important part of your platform?
SG: I think it’s very hard to pinpoint one. One of the things that I really want to try to work on next year, though, is trying to make SSMU relevant for all students. That’s one of the things that we really struggle with, when it’s more controversial issues, and then students become disengaged because of that. I know it’s a little bit dry and boring for students, but we need to find ways to communicate it, so they realize that SSMU is more than just debating controversial issues and I think that will really engage students more in the conversation.
MT: Do you have a plan for the communication aspect of it?
SG: I think using the social media outlets that already exist; if you look at the SSMU Facebook page, it’s very much to do with events that are going on with SSMU. I think it could also use a once a week update, maybe the VP UA portfolio itself could do a short video of what we’ve done this week, and it could be posted to the Facebook account. One thing that existed last year was a website called “Senators Corner,” but it was separate from the SSMU website, and this year it has been taken off, so trying to find some way to reincorporate that.
MT: If you had a super power, which one would it be?
SG: My first thought was laser eyes but maybe like, to fly? Then I could go around the world.
MT: And what were you for Halloween?
SG: I was a palm tree. I had this big thing on my head and like hula stuff.
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