Something’s rotten in the state of PGSS

Most of us spend little to no time thinking about our graduate students’ society because we expect that leadership will carry out its responsibilities in good faith. Yet something is definitely wrong with the state of affairs at the Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS). Some members of the PGSS executive, without soliciting feedback from Council, took it upon themselves to produce a 50-page package of vitriol under the guise of “reforming” our national union, the Canadian Federation of Students. In response to this package, distributed across the country with an aggressive missive, the president of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) called our actions “wholly inappropriate” and motivated by “a desire to cripple” a forward-thinking national students’ group. Then he asked to be removed from our mailing list. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) replied that: “While this package of motions is being touted as bringing about democratic reform, the not-so-hidden agenda here is to hogtie the CFS.”

Besides jeopardizing the advocacy work that CFS undertakes on behalf of PGSS, the executive has gone one step further and is embarrassing McGill graduates nationally. Given that this institution prides itself on its reputation, what do they think they are doing? How are they forwarding our interests through these actions?
The PGSS executive needs to cease and desist. Start turning to Council for counsel on how to go about engaging with the external world, start practicing consultative democracy rather than acting on personal vendettas, and start doing the jobs we elected you to do.

Grads want to keep their heads down and get on with their work. They want to go to Thomson House to grab a pint, not to hear the latest about the negative reputation our grad society is gaining.

James Wallace
PhD Candidate
Department of History