Skip to content

SSMU supports Arch Café proposal

Council upholds students’ right to govern their space

SSMU Council passed a resolution Thursday affirming the Soceity’s support for a proposal to reopen the Architecture Café. The motion was tabled by the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) and the Architecture Students Association (ASA). Under the plan, the Architecture Café would become an EUS-run service.

Only three councillors abstained from voting on the measure: Nick Drew, Eli Freedman, and Spencer Burger, who admitted to being distracted while voting.

The resolution further stipulated that SSMU would be required to submit a formal letter in support of the proposal to both the EUS and to the McGill administration.

“The administration closed the Architecture Café due to financial reasons. It did not consult with students, and we now have Engineering and Architecture students who want to engage with the administration and try to solve this issue so that they won’t have to close the Arch Café,” said Gustavo Marquez, Engineering representative and co-author of the motion. “I think it’s extremely important that we recognize the effort and the time these students put into writing the report, and more importantly, to applaud their initiative.”

The proposal, jointly authored by members of the EUS and ASA before the latter organization officially joined the EUS as a departmental association, contained an elaborate outline of how the Arch Café would function under EUS, citing other successful EUS endeavours, such as Frostbite and Copi-EUS. The proposal was rejected by the administration on October 9 in a response from Deputy Provost Morton Mendelson, who explained that the University is shifting away from student-run food services.

Lauren Hudak, Science repre-sentative and co-author of the motion, addressed the administration’s rejection of the proposal, while maintaining that SSMU should support the student initiative.

“Mendelson said that even though he liked the effort that had been put into [the motion], it was ultimately rejected because the McGill administration has moved away from student initiatives. However, we [the authors] still think it’s a very important endeavour, because instead of just saying we’re going to support something – both the EUS and the ASA took an incredible amount of time to draft this document,” she said.

Responding to questions about whether or not a declaration of support for the proposal would be effective in re-opening the Café, considering the administration’s apparent lack of approval for such a project, Hudak stressed that, “SSMU’s support is critical, because [it] has a great deal of power and influence.”

SSMU President Zach Newburgh went on to note the symbolic nature of SSMU’s support for the proposal, saying “The motion exists simply to support the right [of student societies] to govern their own space.”