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SSMU Council approves Midnight Kitchen referendum questions

On Oct. 10, the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Legislative Council met to discuss two referendum questions regarding Midnight Kitchen and an amendment for allowing councillors to sit on committees as members-at-large. Principal Suzanne Fortier also attended council where she spoke on the importance of SSMU.


Midnight Kitchen existence and fee increase referendum questions

SSMU approved two questions for the Fall referendum period in relation to the Midnight Kitchen. The first question will ask students to support the Midnight Kitchen’s existence and the second asks for a fee increase of $1 from the current fee of $2.25. Wade Walker, a representative of Midnight Kitchen, said the increase would help Midnight Kitchen improve and expand its current services.

“We want to create a new breakfast service, and there are ongoing needs to improve the kitchen, as a lot of student groups, both internal and external, also use it,” Walker said.

The student body will be able to vote on both questions during the Fall Referendum period, which runs from Nov. 6 to 15.



Amendment allowing councillors to sit on committees as members-at-large

Council also voted against amending the Accountable Leadership Policy to allow council members to sit on committees as members-at-large, which are usually filled by students who are not affiliated with Council. Vice-President Internal Brian Farnan spoke in favour of the change.

“I feel like the Accountable Leadership Policy places some restrictions on councillors in a way that does not reflect the original spirit of the motion,” Farnan said.

He continued that allowing councillors to sit on committees as members-at-large would provide committees with enough people to meet working capacity that could otherwise be lacking.

Clubs and Services Representative Zachary Rosentzveig expressed concern that this change would negatively affect the ability of other students to fill members-at-large seats.

“Members-at-large are an important way of engaging the community, and this would only be watered down by letting councillors apply,” Rosentzveig said.

He also said the amendment would reduce a committee’s incentive to advertise for members-at-large to sit on committees.


Suzanne Fortier speaks to the Council

Principal Suzanne Fortier spoke at Council, where she affirmed the value of SSMU, its initiative, and said that the university values student interests above all.

“I’ve been here often at SSMU, because you are a very important part of the life here at this university,” Fortier said. “You have taken extraordinary leadership, not just recently, [but] over a hundred years that SSMU exists [….] I’m very impressed with the initiatives that you’re taking, with the leadership, with the engagement.”

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