News, off and on campus.

Law Students’ Association considers cutting ties to SSMU

The Law Students’ Association Council recently voted to establish a committee that will evaluate its relationship with the Students’ Society, opening the door to the possibility that the LSA will disaffiliate from SSMU. The motion, put forward by LSA President Alexandre Shee, requires the new five-person committee make suggestions as to how its relationship with SSMU can be improved.

Students failing language exams

The University of Waterloo is one of the few institutions in Canada to administer a language proficiency exam as a degree requirement. Although the university has used the test since 1976, students’ writing problems just appear to be getting worse. “What we do know is that our pass rate is declining,” said Ann Barrett, managing director of the English language proficiency exam at Waterloo.

Understanding Wednesday’s General Assembly motions

Undergraduate students will gather tomorrow beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Shatner cafeteria to participate in the Winter General Assembly. With seven new motions on the table there is a wide variety of SSMU policy to be decided. Motion Re: The Defense of Human Rights, Social Justice, and Environmental Protection Put forward by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, this motion has emerged as perhaps the most controversial Genderal Assembly motion.

Level II varsity teams face dramatic funding cuts in 2010-11

With a proposed 67 per cent funding cut for the upcoming year, McGill Athletics’ Level II teams will face some drastic changes in the near future. Funding for McGill varsity teams is based on a three-level tiered system. The 2010-11 McGill Athletics and Recreation budget proposal, released last week, would cut Level II funding by $147,871, making the total amount $73,163, compared to $221,034 last year.

Hébert talks Canadian politics

In 2003, Stephen Harper, then the leader of the Canadian Alliance, and Peter MacKay, the Progressive Conservatives’ leader, shook hands to celebrate the merger of their two right-leaning parties. That handshake, political commentator Chantal Hébert argues, changed the Canadian political landscape more than any other event of the decade.

U of T prof discusses AIDS

Despite the heavy snowfall outside, students and professors showed up last Friday to hear Antoinette Handley discuss how the AIDS epidemic has shaped the moral and political economy in South Africa. Handley, a political scientist at the University of Toronto, is well-known for her research on the subject.

As more students opt out, campus groups face budget shortfalls

Last Thursday concluded the Winter 2010 student fee opt-out period, which had begun two weeks earlier on January 14, and the current academic year has seen the highest level of opt-outs ever. Each semester McGill gives students a two-week window during which they can, through the online Minerva service, opt out of several fees that support Students’ Society and faculty association groups and funds, as well as a pair of independent student groups: the McGill chapter of the Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) and Radio CKUT.