News, SSMU

SSMU BoD meets for first time since court proceedings over Policy Against Genocide in Palestine began

On March 28, the Students’ Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) Board of Directors (BoD) held its sixth meeting of 2024. At the meeting, the board discussed topics ranging from plans to amend the Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy (GSVP) to ratifying the approved winter 2024 referendum questions.

Following the presentation of the executive committee’s public report—which encompassed all motions that had been approved since the previous meeting—SSMU President Alexandre Ashkir presented a report from the Governance Reform Committee (GRC). Ashkir outlined the two largest motions that have passed through the GRC this year: A revision of the internal regulations of governance to align the written documents with active practices and reforms to the Accountability Plan and Accountability Motion.

Ashkir went on to present a motion on behalf of SSMU’s equity and policy specialist, Sal Cuthbertson, who was absent from the meeting. The motion pertained to the amendments to the GSVP. Ashkir spoke to the inadequacy of the current policy, highlighting how it is an outdated approach to current needs and practices of SSMU. 

“As a whole, this update of the GSVP will allow the policy to more strongly assist students on our campus when it comes to gendered and sexual violence by ways of training and by way of reactions to instances,” Ashkir said. 

Vice-President (VP) Student Life Nadia Dakdouki asked about the urgency of the amendments. Ashkir clarified that the renewal of the current policy has mediated the urgency of the amendments, allowing for its postponement.  

Dakdouki then motioned to postpone the vote over the amendments to the GSVP to the next week’s meeting due to the time required to read the document in full. Director Eliot Bergeron seconded the motion and passed the board vote with no opposition.

Speaker Jonathan Dong went on to inform the board of email approvals that had happened since the previous meeting. An interim provision to the internal regulations of Student Groups and Clubs Committee and a ratification of the legislative council motion regarding SSMU’s special by-election for the president and VP Finance roles were both approved over email. 

The approved questions for the winter 2024 referendum were also ratified following minimal discussion. While VP Finance Amina Kudrati-Plummer described the approved nomination of the auditor for the 2024 fiscal year as standard, other board members expressed some concern. 

“This past year, there were unprecedented costs relating to the auditors […] and I was just wondering if that’s something that’s already been anticipated for or handled, or if we’re expecting the same costs as this past year,” VP Sustainability and Operations Hassanatou Koulibaly asked. 

After assurance from Kudrati-Plummer that the quoted price had been negotiated down from a higher figure, the ratification passed the board vote with no opposition.

Additionally, Dakdouki spoke about the court proceedings that began Monday, March 25, spurred by a McGill student filing for confidentiality and an injunction against the Policy Against Genocide in Palestine. The policy passed in the fall 2023 referendum but has been suspended since Nov. 21 due to the lawsuit and has not been ratified.

“The judge didn’t make any decisions yet and said that he would give us something by Thursday at 4:15 p.m [….] The only decision the judge made today […] was basically that the safeguard order continues to be in place until the decision is made,” said Dakdouki. 

Moment of the Meeting: 

The nomination window for SSMU’s special election for VP Finance and President is currently open with committee director spots also to be filled by new board directors. 


“I was just talking to a few people, and it was brought up to me that the relations between Macdonald Campus Students’ Society (MCSS) and SSMU could be better and there were people that weren’t benefitting from all the resources and services and everything that SSMU offers.” — Bergeron on the necessity for relations between the downtown and Macdonald Campus student societies.

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