Sustainability fund approved

Students approved fees for the Sustainable Projects Fund, the McGill Legal Information Clinic, and the Ambassador Fee in last week’s SSMU referendum.

Polls closed on the Fall referenda questions at 5 p.m. Thursday. The results revealed the second largest voter turnout on record, with around 5,300 students, or one quarter of the downtown campus undergraduate body, participating.

The non-opt-outable Sustainable Projects Fund, which would be supported by student fees matched by administrative funding, and run by an equal parts student and administration committee, passed with 79 per cent in favour.

The referendum at Macdonald campus had 27 per cent turnout, and voted 88 per cent in favour of the Sustainable Projects Fund.

For Jonathan Glencross U3 Environment and Sustainable McGill coordinator, this was the successful end of a long fight for a well-financed Sustainable Projects Fund with students and administrators on an equal footing. “Having that many people vote, with such a huge majority voting yes, means students are not only excited about the types of change this fund will bring, but also the way that change will be governed – by consensus – a collaborative model, breaking the culture of us versus them [with the administration],” Glencross said.

The question of whether to renew student fee funding for the McGill Legal Information Clinic, which will also be non-opt-outable, passed with 74 per cent in favour.

The question establishing an opt-outable Ambassador Fee to help fund extracurricular and academic trips passed narrowly, with 51 per cent in favor.

The non-binding plebiscite question asking students what they thought of moving coursepacks online received 52 per cent in favour.

The other non-binding plebiscite question, asking students whether or not it was a good idea to shorten the add/drop period in order to facilitate the early release of the finals schedule, lost with only a 30 per cent approval.