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Fall 2018 referendum endorsements

Editorial/Opinion by

Motion regarding changing the Redmen name: ‘Yes’

Since 1929, the McGill men’s varsity sports teams have been known as the ‘Redmen.’ The name represents centuries of systemic oppression of indigenous peoples, and its negative impacts on indigenous students supercede its debated intent. With repeated calls for a name change by McGill’s Indigenous Task Force, current and prospective indigenous students, and allies, The McGill Tribune stands in solidarity with indigenous voices and believes that this is a simple yet meaningful step toward truth and reconciliation.

Motion regarding the Arab Student Network fee: ‘Yes, with reservations’

The Arab Student Network (ASN) is a Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) service that provides opportunities for all students to engage with Arab culture through programs including internships, workshops, and SSMU mini-courses. The ASN was at the centre of an extensive social media dispute with McGill Students in Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) after hosting a Q&A with Nas Daily, a vlogger whose portrayal of the Israel-Palestine conflict SPHR contest. For the vital opportunities and services the ASN provides to students, the Tribune endorses the creation of a $0.50 opt-outable fee to support its operations. However, in light of their mishandling of a public conflict with another student group, the Tribune hopes to see the ASN better engage with its constituents moving forward.

Motion regarding the SSMU Charity Fee renaming and renewal:  ‘Yes’

Formerly the Community Engagement Fund, the Charity Fund is critical to building community in the Milton-Parc neighbourhood between students and permanent residents. The Charity Fee funds initiatives like the biannual Photofund gallery, which donates its yearly proceeds to a local charity. The Tribune endorses the $0.52 opt-outable fee to support the Charity Fee, but would like to see more available information about how its funds are distributed.

Motion regarding the SSMU Environment fee renewal: ‘Yes’

The Environment Fund (Green Fund) is designed to provide financial assistance for sustainable initiatives on campus. It is available to all student organizations to assist with the cost of improving their environmental practices. Following the adoption of the SSMU Sustainability Policy in 2013, the Environment Fund falls within SSMU’s mandate to foster sustainable practices on campus, as it supports initiatives such as the Flat Bike Collective, the Union for Gender Empowerment, and Midnight Kitchen. The Tribune endorses the opt-outable $1.25 fee to allow SSMU to continue to support student groups in implementing sustainability initiatives.

Motion regarding the Plate Club fee: Yes’

The Plate Club is a campus service that loans out reusable dish-ware to community groups in order to curb students’ use of disposable paper or styrofoam items. The Plate Club supports student groups, such as  Midnight Kitchen, by providing reusable dish-ware and cutlery. This motion seeks to add a $0.14 opt-outable fee to provide the Plate Club, which currently receives no funding, with a reliable source of income. While they are displaced from the University Centre during the closure, it is important to support the Plate Club, and this motion is an easy way to do so.

Motion regarding SACOMMS Discretionary funding: ‘Yes’

The Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Student Society’s (SACOMSS) motion requests that the organization be allowed to spend 10 per cent of their budget on external affairs. This fund will aid their mandate of supporting and advocating on the behalf of survivors of sexual assault across the city and will fund services that SACOMMS itself cannot administer, like lodging an official complaint. The Tribune endorses SACOMMS’s request to support external causes in recognition of their financial transparency and excellent work providing integral services to the McGill community.

Motion regarding the Anti-Violence Fee Levy: ‘Yes’

The Tribune supports the approval of the SSMU Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy (GSVP), as the implementation guide is thorough, specific, and concrete. While the notion that students’ money would be used to fund survivors’ protection poses ethical questions, it is essential that the policy be provided with funding as soon as possible. Because SSMU is a student organization, whether the GSVP’s is funded by a fee levy or from SSMU’s general budget, students will be paying for its implementation regardless. The Tribune endorses the $0.45 levy as a necessary step toward the GSVP’s implementation.

 

A previous version of this article stated that the fee for the Plate Club would be $0.12. In fact it is the proposed fee is of $0.14. The Tribune regrets this error. 

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