As a former SSMU Councillor, two-time meal plan holder, and frequent visitor of the Shatner Building, I was extremely disappointed to read of the current SSMU executives’ plan to delay the creation of a Student-Run Café in the Shatner building. A Student-Run Café is about social and environmental sustainability; it’s about equity, and offering cheap, healthy, vegetarian-friendly food to hungry students; it’s about further entrenching McGill students’ efforts in supporting local and sustainable food systems; it’s about creating a culture of students doing it ourselves and building community as opposed to being reliant on others. It is about mason jars, cheap coffee, rice and beans, food co-ops, local farmers, comfy couches, and good vibes. It would be nice if we turned a profit, but it would be even better if we refused to pay increased utility fees or otherwise found a way to make the project viable.
I am confident McGill students will continue to push for the development of this project, as seen through the tremendous enthusiasm the Sustainable Case Competition had last year, the anger around the Architecture Café’s closure, and general awesomeness of cheap, vegetarian food cooked by students in the Shatner building. I very much hope the SSMU Executives reverses their decision, turning our stumbling blocks into stepping-stones. I hope students play an active role in pushing their elected representatives to fight for this delicious, worthy cause!
— Eliyahu Freedman, U3 Arts, Former SSMU Councillor 2010-2011