The Tribune’s GA endorsements

McGill Tribune

Resolution regarding democratic reform of the SSMU Board of Directors—YES  

The SSMU Board of Directors is the highest decision-making body at SSMU and must consist of only Canadian citizens or permanent residents. This motion would increase the Board of Directors from seven people to 16, and give more power to the legislative council, who are currently underrepresented on the board. Due to the intricacies of Quebec’s liquor laws, this would also allow the SSMU to retain its liquor license. The Tribune fully endorses this motion in favour of representation, so show up to the GA, vote, and get the job done.

Resolution regarding accessible education—YES, with reservations

The Quebec government has announced tuition increases of $325 annually over the next five years for Quebec residents, and will soon announce the increases for out of province students. SSMU is currently mandated to actively oppose all tuition hikes and actively promote accessible education. The Tribune endorses this motion and its long-term goals, but encourages  SSMU to investigate and support alternative funding models, including a more extensive financial aid fund for students most affected by the increased tuition. Although aiming for free post-secondary education is a noble cause, it might be unrealistic given the tuition trends across the province. The Tribune hopes that the aims of this motion are attainable in the long term, but recognizes that other solutions may be better for current students.

Resolution regarding the Sustainability Assessment—YES

This motion mandates that SSMU update the Sustainability Assessment annually. The assessment will include, among other things, an overview of green student groups’ projects, evaluation of the year’s progress, and recommendations for the following year. This assessment was performed in 2008, but has not been updated since then. The Tribune endorses this motion and sees it as a vehicle for transparency between students and sustainability efforts on campus. Turnover is inherent in a campus community, and an annual sustainability assessment which provides reports on past projects and future goals will undoubtedly prove useful for future McGillians.

Resolution regarding reappointments—YES

This motions argues that students should be represented on the consultation committee for reappointments of the provost, deputy provost, and vice principle, and that SSMU should employ all measures at their disposable to change McGill’s policy on the reappointment committee. As it stands, student representatives are only involved in the initial appointment of these members. Students are represented in the appointment and reappointment of faculty deans, and for good reason—all of the above positions affect student life. Therefore, students should be consulted in the case that a member may  not warrant reappointment. For the love of student-consultation, the Tribune fully endorses this motion.

Resolution regarding labour disputes—YES, with reservations

This motion would mandate SSMU to extend and modify its current policy of standing in solidarity with  workers on campus. The updated policy would require SSMU to collect varied perspectives on campus union strikes, disseminate this information to the student body, and support workers in their strike. The Tribune endorses the SSMU’s support of campus unions and its collection and dissemination of much-needed information regarding disputes. It is in the best interests of students to be well informed of campus workers’ disputes. While the SSMU may counter information brought forth by the administration—as was the case at the start of the   MUNACA strike—students deserve an unbiased account of these disputes. The Tribune is concerned that SSMU’s blanket statement on all future labour disputes could cause conflict. Although many students support the MUNACA strike, this may not be so in the case in future disputes.

The Tribune is glad to see that students have put forth motions more serious than installing a stripper pole in Gerts or holding a bake sale to rescue AUS from its debts.

The SSMU General Assembly will be held at 4:30 on Monday, Sept. 26 in the Shatner Ballroom (third floor, SSMU building).

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