McGill Tribune: How does your experience qualify you for this position?
Samuel Harris: Well, I’ve been on the external affairs committee of SSMU all year. I’ve gone to TaCEQ meetings. I’ve also had extensive discussions with this year’s VP External, Robin Reid-Fraser. I feel as I have a very good knowledge of what the position entails. And also, I’m fluently bilingual, so I think that’s an important communication skill, especially for this position.
MT: Based on your interaction with Robin Reid-Fraser over the course of the year, what would you say is the most important part of the position?
SH: I think that that would be somebody who can bridge gaps, who can really connect the reality of McGill undergrads to the rest of Montreal and Quebec society. It’s a pretty broad thing, but I think that’s generally the most important thing.
MT: How do you think you’ll be able to ‘bridge the gaps?’
SH: I mentioned that I’m fully bilingual, which I think is a big help. I’m Montreal born and raised, so I think have a unique perspective. As somebody who has grown up here my whole life, I’ve been immersed in Quebec politics, society, et cetera. I’ve sort of been an outsider from McGill for most of my life, but now I attend McGill, so I’m an insider; I’m more involved with SSMU, so I feel like a have a good understanding of [the issues] inside SSMU and outside SSMU.
MT: You are running unopposed for this position. Why should students vote for you anyway?
SH: Well, I think that I’m qualified, for the reasons that I’ve mentioned above. I decided months ago that I was running, so regardless of the fact that other people decided not to run or decided to run and then retracted their nomination, that has nothing to do with me. I think that regardless of me running unopposed, I have the qualifications.
MT: What’s your overall vision for the VP External portfolio?
SH: I see it as generally all relations external to McGill undergrads, more specifically what that means is relations with the government, with other universities, and even with the Montreal community and specifically, Milton-Parc. I think that on each of those levels, we want to strengthen and build on those relationships. One thing I haven’t mentioned so far is that I want to have discussion workshops with other Montreal universities, especially the francophone ones, but even Concordia. We’re very geographically close to them, and yet we don’t have [close relationships] … last spring we had different opinions, but why didn’t we ever sit down together to discuss them?
MT: If you had a superpower, which one would you have?
SH: Levitating—so that I could lie down anywhere with enough resistance that I could basically just sleep anywhere on air.
Click here to see the Tribune’s endorsements, and here to see TVM’s interview with Harris.
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