SSMU Council votes to re-run University Centre Building Fee in Fall 2014

The implementation of a University Centre Building Fee will be the subject of a referendum question in Fall 2014, following approval of the referendum question at the April 10 meeting of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Legislative Council.

Students voted against implementing a University Centre Building Fee during the Winter 2014 referendum period. SSMU President Katie Larson said the details of this new referendum would be up to next year’s Council.

“They could mandate a special [referendum] earlier in the semester,” she said. “They will have options, which we will be passing onto the new executive.”

Clubs and Services representative Zachary Rosentzveig spoke against the motion.

“I think it’s problematic that this Council wants to vote on a referendum question that next year’s council will be tasked with defending and presenting,” he said.

Vice-President Finance Tyler Hofmeister defended the motion, noting that without the fee, access to the SSMU Building would be limited next year.

“All-hours building access has been cut for the building, given the current amount that we can afford,” he said. “In that case, it’s very likely that the future Council would want to pass a referendum early in the year, so as to keep the building open for all-hours access.”

Council also approved the 2014-2015 budget, which reflects the changes SSMU would make to its operations should the building fee fail to pass once again. Besides the removal of after-hours access to the SSMU Building, other changes include an increase to the price of mini-courses to run a $10,000 profit, as well as an increase in prices at Gerts to run a roughly $17,000 profit.

Library Improvement Fund Committee Report

Erin Sobat, a representative of the Library Improvement Fund (LIF) Committee, presented a plan to allocate approximately $756,000 worth of funds to various library projects this year.

The LIF is funded by student fees which are matched by the university.

These projects include the renovation of the Redpath washrooms, an expansion of the Redpath group study zone with new seating areas and computers, an increase in seating options at the Schulich library, and the purchase of group study room presentation equipment for McLennan Library. Other allocations include an increase in student employment at the library through work-study programs.

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