On Sept. 20, the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) General Council held its second meeting of the academic year. On the agenda was the announcement of available positions within the Society, responses to the increase in club activity, and comments on upcoming academic initiatives.
New Student Positions to be Filled
SUS President Jasmine Leung began the meeting by addressing the need to fill the vacant position for the third Science Representative to the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU). She discussed the pros and cons of electing versus appointing someone to the vacant position, expressing her concern that an election would have a low voter turnout given SUS’ history of failing to hit quorum. Meanwhile, appointing a position would not require public opinion.
“Executives can decide to run elections again or appoint the position [if we don’t hit quorum],” Leung said. “There was an online application for the position…[but] we haven’t received any submissions.”
All but one representative were in favor of selecting the new Science representative to SSMU through appointment. The three representatives will convey the interests of Science students to SSMU.
SUS Vice-President (VP) Communications Reem Mandil noted that the departmental executive position on the SUS Constitutional Affairs Committee is available. The committee is responsible for reviewing changes to constitutions and bylaws by Science departments. Three Science departmental representatives showed interest in the vacant position.
Increase in Club Activity
Council members also discussed the management of student clubs. Both serving tables in the Burnside Basement are booked for the next few months by clubs holding food sale fundraisers. As a result, many student extracurricular groups won’t be able to reserve a table until as late as Nov. 1. To accommodate the high volume of table bookings, SUS Executive Administrator Joseph DeCunha is currently exploring the possibility of adding a spot for a third table to the basement.
“I think that [tables are booked] because online forums [make it] easier to see which dates [have been reserved],” DeCunha said. “Nothing is confirmed yet [but] if [a table] becomes available, I will let [SUS members] know.”
The SUS also plans to open up the application form for Interim Status Club Application for Science undergraduate-oriented clubs. Students wishing to create an SUS-affliliated club must apply through this form and providing their contact information along with the names of at least five additional interested members. SUS Executor of Clubs and Services Sebastian Morales will interview each prospective group's founder about the club's objectives; those approved for club status will be granted permission to include "SUS" in their name and use SUS funding for events/initiatives.
Though the application form was scheduled to be released with this the weekly listserv on Sept. 24, but Morales received several significant suggestions for the application, and has postponed the release of the form until reviewing and approving the amended application form at the next SUS Councill. approval from the ne
Changes From Senate
Science Senator Salma Youssef recapped the first Senate meeting held on Sept. 19, seeking SUS members’ opinions on potential changes. Such changes included the possibility of renaming the men’s athletic teams’ controversial nickname, Redmen. In addition, the Joint Board-Senate Committee on Equity has now implemented a preferred names policy, where one’s preferred names will be used on every McGill platform, including I.D. cards and exam rosters.
Other proposed changes include the continued development of the Indigenous Task Force, managing an increase of sexual violence claims, and assessing the new Counselling and Mental Health Services. The Senate would like to hear feedback from the student body on current developments and would welcome new recommendations to improve student life.
“The Senate would like to increase engagement with the community, see what students are thinking, and what they want us to look into,” Youssef said. “We were thinking of maybe a Reddit thread or a blog post [to increase student involvement].”
The next SUS General Council meeting will take place on Oct. 4.