Following the resignation of its Vice-President (VP) External Michelle Guo, the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) went over the details for its upcoming by-election. Councillors also discussed future events, the possibility of new study spaces during the final exam period, and equitable selections of executives between student departmental associations.
VP External by-election
Guo reportedly left her position for personal reasons, with her resignation taking effect on Sept. 26. The SUS approved dates for a by-election to fill her position and SUS President Reem Mandil has delegated the VP External’s responsibilities to other councillors in the meantime. Mandil encouraged students to run for the vacant VP External position and participate in the democratic process.
“[Running for VP External] is a great opportunity for students who are looking to get involved in SUS,” Mandil said. “If there is only one or fewer candidates running [for VP External] by the Oct. 29 nomination deadline, the whole election process has to be extended.”
Plans to increase available space for studying
Mandil will be meeting with the Dean of Science, Bruce Lennox, on Nov. 1 and hopes to discuss study space and scholarships. She is currently looking into opening additional study spaces on campus during final exams and encouraged departmental representatives to poll their constituents on the subject. Mandil also plans to convince the Faculty of Science to offer financial support for the SUS Scholarship Fund. The scholarship recognizes McGill Science and Arts & Science students who demonstrate leadership in their community.
“Everyone has had the experience of not finding seats [in the library…] so I’ll be compiling a small report [for Lennox] so that we can have more study spaces,” Mandil said. “[And], when [the SUS Scholarship Fund] is implemented, we can hopefully draft a formal application.”
Evaluation of SUS finances proposed
SUS VP Finance Dylan Wong suggested hiring an accountant to evaluate the society’s financial status and account information, like the Arts Undergraduate Society already does. Wong will assess the costs of accounting services before finalizing his proposal.
“For an organization of [SUS’s] size, it is very important to do financial accounting,” Wong said. “[Proper accounting] is something that a science student without official CPA [Chartered Professional Accountant] training can’t really do.”
Constitutional changes proposed
At the most recent SUS Constitutional Affairs Committee (CAC) meeting, SUS VP Communications Ianna Folkes assigned two committee members to meet with each of the 19 SUS departmental associations, including the McGill Environment Students’ Society (MESS) and the Freshman Undergraduate Students’ Society (FUSS). The CAC, which reviews constitutional changes for departmental councils, hopes to synchronize which executive roles are paid, elected, and appointed between departments to ensure equitable council member selections.
“I know that it’s uncomfortable to make changes [to departmental constitutions] but the changes [have been] suggested for a good reason,” Folkes said. “We are trying to get departments as [to be as equally-represented] as possible.”
Science Games to implement increased regulations
Council deliberated regulations for Hype Night, a social event held in anticipation of Science Games with historically minimal registration restrictions. This year, SUS VP Internal Zlata Plotnikova informed Council that registration for Hype Night is limited to only McGill students for increased safety and accountability.
Plotnikova also oversees Science Games itself, a four-day social event that features drinking competitions between Science Departments. She held a meeting on Oct. 22 for the 119 students interested in being Science Games captains and finalized the 16 Science Games teams on Oct 26. To ensure a safer Science Games, the Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support, and Education (OSVRSE) will train Science Games captains on how to respond to disclosures of sexual harassment.
The next SUS Council meeting will take place on Nov. 1.