Thursday’s SSMU Legislative Council meeting was held at Macdonald Campus as part of the newly implemented “Roaming Council” initiative.
Developed in a joint executive meeting between SSMU and the Macdonald Campus Students’ Society (MCSS), the Roaming Council initiative seeks to increase the visibility of SSMU and expose the councillors to the greater University community.
According to SSMU President Josh Redel, “The SSMU Legislative Council makes decisions on a regular basis that impact student life across the University, and I think it is a shame that we operate out of a single building.”
“By going to different places across campus, it allows councillors to gain perspective of other students at McGill and allows other students to…ask questions at Council in the comfort of a familiar environment,” he continued.
SSMU VP External Robin Reid-Fraser added, “We hope that this will encourage people who wouldn’t normally come to Council to pop in and see what their student government in action actually looks like.”
With the exception of in-camera, or confidential, sessions, SSMU Legislative Council meetings are opened to the members of the gallery.
Council’s trip to the Macdonald Campus was the first in the Roaming Council series.
“Since [MCSS] operates inside the same university as us and since many of their students partake in SSMU clubs and services and spend at least some time in their academic career at the downtown campus, I thought it would be great for the councillors to gain perspective of the challenges Mac students face,” said Redel.
“Future [Roaming Council] locations will include residences, faculty, student areas, and certain interesting venue across campus,” he added.
Council will not meet outside of the University.
MCSS VP Finance Nicolas Chatel-Launay concluded the Council meeting with a short presentation on the Macdonald Campus constituency. SSMU executives were also invited to tour the Macdonald Campus’s student spaces after the meeting.
“In terms of having relationships with SSMU, our goal is to work together when we tackle issues that affect both our memberships such as University-wide policies,” said Chatel-Launay. “We also organize some social events – including frosh events – in common, where both our members attend. Our goal is to make this sort of relationship a bit more efficient than it is right now.”
MCSS does not currently have any plans to attend the SSMU Legislative Council at the downtown campus.
Twenty-one councillors and Chatel-Launay attended the meeting, which included a presentation by SSMU Sustainability Coordinator David Gray-Donald.
Council was also joined by newly elected Arts Undergraduate Society representative Claire Stewart-Kanigan, Inter-Residence Council VP External Sarah Southey, and Medical Students’ Society Representative Pedram Mossallanejad.
The councillors voted on the “Motion Regarding Referendum Question Regarding Increase of the SSMU Base Fee Towards the McGill Student Emergency Response Team,” which passed with 21 approvals, two oppositions, and one abstention.
The first SSMU General Assembly of the academic year takes place today.