Re: “Letter to the editor: Can we go too?” by Matthew Hodgetts (24.11.09)
Regarding whether the PGSS Executive has a firm foundation upon which to base reforms to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), here are a few examples illustrating that the PGSS does, in fact, practice the democratic basics on our home turf.
Are any of these true of the CFS?
1.) PGSS Council meetings and General Meetings are open to members of the press.
2.) PGSS’s governing documents, standing resolutions, meeting minutes, and audited financial statements are freely available on the PGSS website or upon request.
3.) PGSS’s Constitution mandates impartial review in several situations important to democracy.
4.) The PGSS’s policies respond to the will of its membership. I know this because I have seen my own department’s feedback incorporated into our policies. These include: the policies on University/Industry Research Partnerships, and Guaranteed Funding for Graduate Student Researchers.
5.) The PGSS practices transparency and accountability in its financial management. I know this because at the March 2009 Annual General Meeting, our membership voted to increase student participation and management expertise on our Board of Directors. Also see relevant portions of our Constitution.
The following site indicates a timeline of PGSS Council discussions regarding the CFS: pgss.mcgill.ca/EAC/rep/federal.html
Though the Council listserv is primarily a mechanism for advertising events and meeting dates, any councillor may be contacted via McGill email address, independently of our Executive, by consulting the directory on the PGSS website.
I look forward to further dialogue at our next Council meeting, January 13 at 6:30 p.m. in Thomson House.