On Thursday, the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Council met for the first time this year to highlight recent events on campus, and to discuss the creation of ad-hoc committees.
Approval of motion regarding the creation of ad-hoc committees
Council approved a motion proposing the creation of seven different committees to address issues within SSMU such as club consultation, student engagement, internal regulation review, and finances. The committees will disband once their goals are achieved.
VP Internal Affairs Lola Baraldi, however, spoke in favour of the committees becoming permanent additions.
“This was mandated for Council last year and was never really followed through with, so I hope that after this year there will be Standing Committees,” Baraldi said.
SSMU President Kareem Ibrahim clarified the decision to make the Internal Regulation Review Committee a temporary one.
“The reason that [the Internal Regulation Review Committee] is Ad-Hoc is because we strive to have general regulations that are consistent and viable and make a society that doesn’t necessarily undergo overhaul on a consistent basis,” he said. “Every time we review [the regulations] there is a little bit of instability that ensues because of having to function with different regulations on a regular basis.”
VP Finance and Operations, Zacheriah Houston, expressed concern over the creation of an Ad-Hoc Finance Committee, as past finance committees were disbanded due to lack of expertise among councillors.
“I feel that the committee was misused in the past,” he said. “[It reviewed] the investment portfolio, which you would need […] accounting experience to do. I would rather see this committee [help] advise the VP Finance regarding resource allocation, for which you don’t need a degree or experience to do.”
Reports by SSMU Executives
VP University Affairs Chloe Rourke shared the results of an earlier survey of the student body with regards to instituting a Fall Reading Week.
“The results of the survey sent out in the winter semester showed that approximately 70 per cent of students were in favour of a Fall Reading Week after reviewing the tradeoffs,” she wrote in her report.
According to Rourke, the most preferred tradeoff to makeup for the school days missed as a result of the Fall Reading Week was to have exams held on Saturdays. A proposal will be brought forward to suggest a five-day break that will coincide with Canadian Thanksgiving but will likely not be implemented for another two to three academic years.
Baraldi reported changes in management of this year’s Orientation Week. This year saw an emphasis on inclusive programming and minimization of the impact of Frosh on the community surrounding McGill. Although most feedback was positive, logistical shortcomings occurred on Beach Day causing many students to arrive late to the event.
“The students who got to Beach Day late were contacted and were offered something to make up for their inconvenience, but they kindly declined, acknowledging the logistical difficulties of running such a large event,” Baraldi’s report said.
Following of SSMU General Manager Jennifer Varkonyi’s resignation the SSMU office has experienced instability according to Ibrahim. Varkonyi will remain with SSMU until Sept. 29, after which an interim general manager will be hired and staff will work on tasks that are normally assigned to the general manager.
“A lot of my work has unfortunately been put on the back burner and may remain that way for a long while,” Ibrahim said.
An external hiring firm will be used to hire a new general manager.