The Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) held its first meeting of the semester Wednesday night. Items on the agenda included enacting a new voting requirement, discussing the recent outage of the AUS website, and electing an interim Arts Representative to SSMU Council.
A large portion of the meeting revolved around voting to add a new by-law to the AUS Constitution that would require ten per cent of the Arts student body to vote on AUS referendums regarding student strikes.
After lengthy debate, Councillors voted in favor of the new by-law. The decision comes as students are beginning to mobilize to support a general Quebec student strike this semester in opposition to impending tuition increases.
A student petition for AUS to hold a second General Assembly on January 24 was submitted last week for Council to consider. Despite wording in the document that specifies a date, Council set a tentative date for January 31, which coincides with the next AUS Council meeting.
In light of the AUS website having been down over the past several weeks, Matthew Chung, VP Communications, explained that this outage was due to an unpaid fee for the web server. As of Tuesday night, the issue was resolved and the website is back up and running.
To replace Arts Representative to SSMU Micha Stettin, Council elected Justin Fletcher as interim representative. Fletcher is currently the East Asian Studies Students’ Association representative to the AUS. Stettin resigned his position at the end of the fall semester.
Orientation Week Theft
The AUS Executive revealed to Council near the end of the fall semester that $12,000 of Orientation Week money was stolen from the AUS office. VP Finance Marlene Benavides discovered the theft on September 1.
Benavides said that AUS is “aware of small thefts, especially during Orientation Week, but not to this magnitude.”
She described the time around Orientation Week as “extremely hectic, and where we have an unusually large amount of cash in the office, which makes us an easy target for theft,” as well as a period of “high traffic in and out of the office.”
McGill Security and the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal conducted an investigation into the theft. Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson said that the administration is unable to comment due to the investigation.
According to Benavides, AUS has taken the steps of purchasing a new safe and changing an alarm code for the office.
Despite the theft, Benavides reported that AUS made a profit of approximately $6,000, a significant change from 2010 Frosh, which posted a $30,000 deficit.