A closer look at your candidates for all specific Vice-Presidential positions
Josh Scott EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Liam McConnell MANAGING EDITOR
Photo: SMCSU logo.
Voting for your 2018–19 SMCSU is already well underway. The St. Michael’s College Student Union (SMCSU) is currently holding an election for next year’s council, which will consist of the following nine positions: President, Vice-President (VP), VP Finance, VP Academic Affairs, VP Community Life, VP Communications, VP Athletics, VP Arts, and VP Religious and Community Affairs (RCA).
There are 12 candidates running for 8 positions. There are no longer any candidates for VP Community Life. Sarah Morgan withdrew her candidacy on April 6 because she was hired as a USMC Residence Don — a role that precludes her from running for or holding a position on SMCSU.
The election began last Wednesday, April 4, and will continue until 11:59 p.m. this Saturday, April 14. Eligible USMC students can vote here.
Since keeping up with SMCSU can be overwhelming, we’ve created the following comprehensive guide to your 2018–19 candidates. With this, we hope to give all of you University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) students a better idea of what you can expect and hope for from each. Check out all of your candidates for VP Academic Affairs, Arts, Athletics, Communications, and Religious and Community Affairs (RCA) below and make an informed decision.
Prijanga Ahilan, The Mike’s own Managing Online Editor, is serving as the SMCSU election’s Chief Returning Officer (CRO). For more information on the election itself or its process, students can contact her at [email protected].
VP Academic Affairs — 1
- Nicholas Pagano is a first-year USMC student studying Math and Human Biology. He currently works with USMC’s Director of Student Services, and has experience with organizational councils. He would like to maintain communication with students in order to bring their ideas to faculty attention, and would strive for USMC community growth by helping “diverse” new clubs efficiently apply for recognition. He believes new clubs will encourage involvement and equality of opportunity. He would like students to view SMCSU as “helpful and personable,” and would implement ways to help students connect with SMCSU such as establishing greater representation at campus events and through social media. Through more open and consistent communication, he believes that SMCSU will remain transparent, student voices will be heard, and students will be alerted of changes or decisions that affect them.
VP Arts — 1
- Aisling Baroey is a second-year USMC student studying Socio-Cultural Anthropology. Baroey has a strong background in dance, visual arts, and music, as well as some experience with theatre. She hopes to bring greater “promotion of the arts to St. Mike’s.” If elected as VP of Arts, she plans to have “a larger number of Kelly’s Korners. Additionally, she wants to host more showcases to elevate USMC students who want to display their visual arts, dance, and music-related talents. She views the introduction of a multi-faith room and the advertisement of Brennan and The Coop as an LGBTQ+ safe zone “[would] be a great way for more students to feel welcome.”
VP Athletics — 1
- John Russell is a second-year USMC student specializing in Chemistry. Russell is SMCSU’s current VP of Community Life. He has “a passion for athletics at USMC, a strong initiative to enhance participation in intramurals, and an idea for the future of athletics and what it means to be a student athlete at USMC.” He has been a part of a number of intramural teams, and organized as well as captained the USMC dodgeball team this winter. If elected as VP of Athletics, Russell hopes to facilitate “better communication” between SMCSU, USMC students, and the captains of USMC teams. He wants to continue the work he has already begun with the formation of the Athletics Committee, which will have CCR-recognition and work to promote intramurals and other athletic events — a role he believes will be “vital to the function of athletics at USMC.” According to Russell, ensuring that intramural teams “are filled and signed up on time” will be the committee’s top priority. He hopes to do so early in the academic year. He also wants to grow the existing SMC Athletics Facebook page. He intends to have a table at Orientation Week, and considers forming an SMC Athletics-related Instagram and/or Facebook account — options that might be made possible by the Athletics Committee. In terms of non-intramural-related programming, he would like to take USMC students to Blue Jays, Raptors, or Toronto FC games, stream live sporting events at USMC, and make community trips to University of Toronto Varsity Blues games an option.
VP Communications — 1
- Seijoong Chu is a second-year USMC student specializing in Political Science. He has contributed to The Varsity, volunteered for SMCSU, and considers himself well connected to the USMC student community. Chu, if elected as VP of Communications, hopes to improve SMCSU’s outreach. He believes that this can be remedied, in part, with “more offline efforts, and more efficient online communication” to both connect with and better inform USMC students of SMCSU’s presence and happenings. He proposes an “attention-grabbing” online approach, and promises increased “office hours.” He hopes to work to hold events that bring USMC residents and commuters closer together, and more targeted SMCSU outreach early in the year, such as during Orientation Week. He intends to use the new SMCSU website, SMCSU’s Facebook page, and SMCSU’s Instagram page — all of which he views as key “use it or lose it kind of platforms” in the sense that they need to have a consistent presence to maintain student interest. SMCSU’s problem platform-wise, says Chu, “is not quantity … but quality” and consistency. “[SMCSU] needs to use [its] platforms [more] frequently” and “in a more interesting way.” He also wants to make as much information concerning SMCSU meetings, finances, and operations as public as possible.
VP Religious and Community Affairs (RCA) — 2
- Sam Gearing is a second-year USMC student, pursuing a double major in History and Political Science. Gearing is a Catholic with experience with government and administration and familiar with the USMC community and faculty. If elected as VP of Religious and Community Affairs (RCA), he hopes to introduce a sense of belonging and cooperation between all students at USMC regardless of their faith. He would like to implement volunteer programs for the less fortunate, a monthly lecture series which would increase interfaith dialogue, and celebrations for holidays of different religions. He wants to be a voice and representative for all students of faith at USMC and connect them with others, ensuring everyone feels welcome. He plans to make himself available on campus or online as often as possible, to serve students who may have any concerns, questions, or ideas. His goal is to increase involvement by hearing any and all students who wish to contribute to SMCSU’s office of RCA.
- Paul Nunez is a third-year USMC student, studying English and Classical Civilizations. Nunez was an executive with the Classics Students’ Union, and he self-describes as “a Catholic who is open to diversity, and enthusiasm in community service.” He wants to help all students feel accepted at USMC regardless of their religion, sexuality, or race. If elected as VP of Religious and Community Affairs, Nunez plans on working closely with St. Mike’s United (SMU), instilling charitable volunteer programs, and hold office hours to better connect with and hear the voices of USMC students in pursuit of a better community. He also intends to connect with students both in and outside of USMC through social media, and making local and commuter students feel welcome by implementing events on campus during orientation and beyond. He hopes to increase SMCSU’s outreach “through [his] diverse jobs on campus and new social media platforms.”