The Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) Council met on September 24 to discuss various issues, including changes to a departmental association’s constitution, an upcoming scholarship, and fundraising initiatives. The meeting also resulted in Council’s endorsement of a “yes” vote for SSMU’s building fee referendum.
Endorsement of Shatner building fee
Science Representative to SSMU Council Zacheriah Houston gave a presentation to Council about the building fee referendum question, urging students to vote “yes” to the fee levy.
Houston cited challenges that SSMU has already incurred due to a lack of funding. “The current budget has led to increases in prices at Gerts, increases in prices at the Nest. It has reduced building hours – the building is closed on weekends, it has cut the Club Fund in half,” said Houston.
If passed, the referendum question would institute a fee of $5.78 and $2.89 per semester, for full and part-time students respectively, in order to finance the increased rent and utilities costs for the Shatner building which SSMU occupies. The question previously failed to pass in the Winter 2014 referendum. Houston warned that, should the question fail again, an “increase in commercialization of the building” would occur.
VP Internal Emily Boytinck also voiced support for the fee. “SSMU is really important for student life on campus, and having a space is integral for us to do the things we want to do,” said Boytinck.
Council endorsed the vote, hoping to send a message to students in Science by publicly displaying its support. The polling period runs until October 1.
MUMSA increases U0 representation on the council
The McGill Undergraduate Meteorological Student Association (MUMSA) made an addition to its constitution to give a voice to incoming U0 students, who currently have little representation. The amendment called for a U1 student representing both the U0 and U1 student bodies to be elected to MUMSA’s council.
The representative in question will present at SUS council meetings in the future, giving U0 and U1 students an outlet from which to express their opinions. The amendment was introduced because members of MUMSA felt that incoming U0 students were not adequately engaged with the Science faculty, and hoped that this amendment would increase their involvement.
SUStainability week, conference funding
Boytinck announced that profits from this year’s upcoming Social SUStainability Week would be donated to AMI-Quebec, a Montreal-based organization that provides support to and advocacy for families of children with mental illnesses.
Social SUStainability Week is an annual event organized by SUS to raise funds for a local organization in Montreal; the week includes many fundraising events coordinated by different departmental associations within the SUS, and will be held from October 20 to October 26.
VP Finance Eileen Bui revealed a new initiative for this year – students in Science will be able to apply for scholarships to fund trips to attend conferences, or to host one themselves. The action was meant to enable students’ education by providing them with financial assistance to attend events that would otherwise be inaccessible.
The scholarships are available only to undergraduate students in the Science faculty, and can be on either a grant or reimbursement basis.