On Oct. 1, the Bachelors of Arts and Science Integrative Council (BaSIC) asked its students what stance they wanted to take on the MUNACA strike.
When the results came in, the favoured response, with 44 per cent of the vote, was to maintain neutrality. Supporting the strike was selected by 37 per cent. The remainder, 19 per cent, were against the the strike.
As a result, BaSIC decided to remain neutral on the strike.
“We didn’t even discuss it in the executive. At AUS council, our VP external abstained. We would just go with whatever the surveys said,” Hubie Yu, BaSIC’s president, said.
In addition, the survey had an optional and anonymous comments section in which students could post their thoughts about the issue. Some questioned the validity of having a stance on this issue as a student group, while others criticized the lack of a fourth option condemning the strike. One commenter simply said they would rather see the money MUNACA might eventually get put towards more valuable uses like keeping tuition fees down.
Some students were pleased that BaSIC conducted the survey and consulted students before taking a stance.
“It’s just amazing that BaSIC, as an organisation, is willing to engage its membership and find out their views on a controversial topic such as this; it would have been unfair of them to assume their constituents are for the strike,” Brendan Stevens, a U2 political science student and member of Conservative McGill, said.
Other students wondered why more organisations did not conduct similar surveys.
“Student groups should consult their constituent members, which SSMU did at the General Assembly, but there were only 100 people out of the huge amount that represents SSMU at that and they tend to be the ones who are more politically engaged anyway and more likely to support the strike so it really depends on the organisation,” Grace Khare, a student at McGill, said.
AUS and SUS have not taken positions on the strike due to opposition.
“We haven’t taken a position: there was a motion put forward two councils ago saying that we take a position on the strike, which did not go through,” Jade Calver, President of the AUS, said.
SUS President Akshay Rajaram noted that while the society has not taken a stance, this is as a result of a lack of information on how the strike affects their students.
“We discussed the issues affecting students in general council and with our dean but we haven’t formally taken a stance,” he said. “Depending on the year [at McGill], students are being affected differently in regards to the strike.”