Commentary | Referendum endorsements

Re: Body sovereignty in SSMU Constitution – Yes, with reservations
This motion asks students to modify the preamble of the SSMU Constitution to include respect for bodily sovereignty in addition to human dignity, without discrimination. While this motion is somewhat vague, we support it because SSMU’s official recognition of bodily sovereignty could be a step forward for the respect of trans students at McGill, as well as the right to medical privacy. However, if approved by students, this motion should not be used as a way to categorically ban either pro-life or pro-choice groups.

Re: Creation of Student Life Fund – Yes
This motion asks for the creation of a new fund to channel any surpluses from SSMU clubs and services, as well as the Club Fund, at the end of the year. The Daily supports this motion because the new Student Life Fund would allow funds to remain available for future student projects, rather than getting allocated to the Capital Expenditure Reserve Fund for investment.

Re: McGill Tribune as an independent organizations – Yes
This motion calls for the creation of a $3 non-opt-outable fee to fund the independence of the McGill Tribune from SSMU. The Daily strongly supports this motion because a no vote would lead to the dissolution of an important campus publication that helps foster to a plurality of voices on campus.

Re: Policies on matters external to the Society – No
This motion asks for a quorum of 500, a vote of 2/3, and a simple majority to pass resolutions on matters external to SSMU at the General Assemblies. While it is true external policy should be representative of the study body, this motion effectively silences all debate on external issues. The presence of 500 students at the last GA was unprecedented and primarily the result of two highly controversial motions. With the kind of barrier the current motion proposes, if students wanted to discuss other important external issues from lobbying to solidarity campaigns with other unions, they will likely be unable to get a motion on the floor for discussion. And walk-outs will be made that much easier: such a high quorum will be impossible to maintain. This question would place the burden of advertising the GA on a few individual students, rather than SSMU, or would lead to the inclusion of controversial and unrelated clauses into motions just to draw a crowd of 500. It’s true that the GA needs reform, but this is not the way to do it.

Re: WUSC Refugee Scholarship Fund – Yes
This motion asks that if there are no students eligible for refugee funding one year, the funds be reallocated to students from developing countries. While The Daily supports this motion, we’re certain there are refugees who want to come to McGill – if the University is having trouble finding them, maybe they should look harder.

Re: Environment Fee – Yes
This motion renews the $1.25 opt-outable SSMU Environment Fee. The Daily supports this motion and the renewal of this fee because it is used for important projects at SSMU, including the McGill Farmers’ Market, the Plate Club, Campus Groups, Gorilla Composting, SUS Green Week, the Unchartered Waters Conference, and other important projects.

Re: Funding the TaCEQ – Yes
This motion asks for permission to lobby the provincial government to provide funding for the Table de Concertation Étudiante du Québec (TaCEQ) – the new provincial lobby group that SSMU co-founded. The Daily supports this motion because it will help TaCEQ get off the ground and begin to lobby for students, a vital mission with big tuition hikes looming.

Re: Constitution Section III – Yes
This motion asks to remove a description of the Constitutional Review Committee, the Financial Ethics Research Committee, and the Nominating Committee from the SSMU constitution, because it is not in line with the current practices of the committees. The descriptions will instead be relegated to the bylaws. This motion will help committees run more smoothly.

Re: QPIRG-McGill – Yes
This motion would give QPIRG-McGill the freedom to change its bylaws through its annual general meeting (AGM), rather than by a McGill referendum, like any other non-profit. All students who pay their opt-outable fee can attend an AGM. The Daily supports this motion because only QPIRG’s members should dictate the group’s bylaws.

Re: TV McGill funding – Yes
This motion asks for a $0.50 opt-outable fee to fund TV McGill. The Daily strongly supports this motion because it will help finance a club that provides many opportunities for students interested in television and film at McGill – an important asset at a school with limited resources for televisual production. We hope this fee levy will help TV McGill increase accessibility by defraying some of the cost of joining.