AUS Council.

News | AUS holds first Council of 2017

ASEF proposal presented to councillors

On Wednesday January 11, the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) Legislative Council gathered for its first meeting of the Winter 2017 semester. Council voted on a motion regarding Winter general elections, tabled a motion to create a SNAX committee, and heard discussion about amendments to the Arts Student Employment Fund (ASEF). Council also heard announcements and reports from AUS executives, senators, and representatives.

Absences from Council

During question period, VP Internal Kira Smith raised what she called an “impromptu question.”

“You can get back to me in email or in person, but we’re noticing that there are quite a few absences from [AUS] council,” she said. “If there’s something that we can do that can make your time easier, so you’re not missing Council, or not forgetting reports, please let me know.”

“If there’s something that we can do that can make your time easier, so you’re not missing Council, or not forgetting reports, please let me know.”

“I don’t really want to have to follow up with you,” she continued, “and I’m sure everything will be fine in the end, but it’s really important to me that people are at Council, and you are submitting your reports, and you don’t have to be penalized, so let me know if there’s a way to make anything easier in regards to that.” Smith suggested deadlines as a potential measure to help councillors better manage their time.

New business

The motion to create a SNAX committee was tabled until next Council meeting. AUS President Becky Goldberg moved to table the motion to allow for “more consultation to reflect the committee membership.”

Council also heard a motion to hold the Winter general elections.

“Last year, we pushed up the elections for executives to give them more time to transition into their roles before the new year,” said the mover of the motion, “so we’ve kept that updated timeline for this election cycle.” The motion passed with no objections.

While new executives will be allowed to campaign between February 13 and 23, with polling stations open from the 16th onwards, departmental elections and the referendum period will remain on the same schedule, to better allow departmental executives to finish the projects they’ve been working on.

Changes to ASEF bylaws

AUS VP Academic Erik Partridge spoke about changes to the Arts Student Employment Fund bylaws.

“In the past, the Arts Student Employment Fund has given each new professor in the Faculty of Arts $5,000, […] to spend on undergraduate casual research assistants’ [salaries] for the first three years,” Partridge explained.

While new executives will be allowed to campaign between February 13 and 23, with polling stations open from the 16th onwards, departmental elections and the referendum period will remain on the same schedule, to better allow departmental executives to finish the projects they’ve been working on.

He then explained how, in the past, after those three years, those funds seemed to “have just been going back to McGill, into their bank account, and we [had] nothing to gain from those funds.”

Patridge said this seems to have been happening for a “shockingly long time,” and since those losses have been discovered, a great deal of that money has been recovered.

In addition to amendments to ASEF allocations and working with Associate Dean Engle-Warnick (Research and Graduate Studies) over the last nine months, Patridge says he’s been working on a proposal to make the ASEF “one general fund.” This fund would employ people at the discretion of a committee, headed by the Dean of Arts, which would include four student members.

Patridge said this seems to have been happening for a “shockingly long time,” and since those losses have been discovered, a great deal of that money has been recovered.

Partridge highlighted that under the new proposal, AUS would allocate money twice a year, once in November, and once in February. Eventually, however, AUS would reclaim money that wasn’t spent to benefit other professors. Partridge and the Speaker then invited people to discuss this proposal before it eventually makes its way to Council in the coming weeks.


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