The General Council of the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) held its first meeting of the semester on Sept. 6. During the meeting, SUS executives reported on their initiatives for first-year students and announced upcoming events, including an Executive Orientation, Grad Fair, and SUS Charity Month. Representatives from science departmental associations were also present; members of the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Arts and Science, and Biochemistry associations made brief statements reporting beginning-of-year updates.
Initiatives for first-years
SUS executive members began the meeting with presentations on several initiatives and resources for first-year Science students, including the First-Year Handbook designed by the SUS. The sixty-page booklet is a comprehensive guide to all parts of life for science students at McGill, with sections on resources and student services at McGill, picking U0 courses, and Montreal. The Handbook is now available for students to pick up for free in the SUS office, located in the basement of Burnside Hall.
“If you have first-year constituents, you can direct them to [the Handbook],” SUS Vice-President (VP) Communications Reem Mandil said. “It has a lot of good information about SUS, the councils, Montreal, and courses.”
Council members also remarked on the success of Science Frosh, which had concluded just two days prior to the meeting.
“The city, the police, and the Dean of Students were really pleased with us, and they emailed us to thank us on our work,” SUS VP Internal Soud Kharusi said. “[It was the] first year that we sold out Science Frosh, so that was really big for us.”
The surplus from Frosh will be added back to the Society’s budget, so it will be capable of organizing more events than expected over the course of this year. ECOuture, a sustainable fashion show run by the Society’s Environment Committee (SUSEC) that was held annually as part of Green Week until its discontinuation after 2016, will be restored.
“We’re projected to make a significant surplus, which we’re planning on investing back into SUS infrastructure, resources, as well as bringing back old events, such as ECOuture,” SUS VP Finance Susan Ding said.
Grad school initiatives
Other initiatives on the agenda were intended to help graduating students prepare for applying to graduate school. For example, Ellie Joung, SUS VP Academic, announced the completion and release of Redbooks, a website that compiles application requirements for science graduate programs within and outside of Canada.
“Redbooks is a website that has information about grad schools, so you can search grad schools by area or location, or topics and departments,” Joung said.
In addition, Joung announced that school registration for the upcoming Grad Fair has hit its cap of 65 universities. The event, to be held on Nov 2nd in the SSMU Ballroom, is now in the process of recruiting student coordinators.
SUS President Jasmine Leung announced that the SUS Fall General Assembly (GA) will be incorporated into the Society’s first annual Executive Orientation on Sept. 16. All Science undergraduates are eligible to attend the GA to propose and vote on motions. However, the results of these votes are only binding if the quorum of 100 members present is met.
“Hopefully the GA […] hits quorum, and we can bring to the fore exciting things, and also make it a precedent that GAs hit quorum, because we’ve never had one hit quorum in the past,” Leung said.
In addition, the SUS will hold its annual SUS Charity Month in November, with proceeds going to the Children’s Wish Foundation. VP External Michelle Guo announced that the month will include bi-weekly samosa sales, a Halloween party, an apartment crawl, and a concert. Medals will be awarded to the departments that raise the most money.
SUS Council next meets on Sept. 20.