The Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) held the first General Assembly (GA) in its history last Friday evening.
The first motion regarding accessible education passed by a wide margin with 81 votes. Quorum for the GA is 125. It was reached within one hour.
The motion was moved by U2 Physiology student Leif Halldor Asgeirsson and U1 Biology student Carl Dion Laplante. They are both members of the SUS Mobilization Committee, who started the petition for the GA.
The original intent of the motion was to make the SUS adopt a policy supporting accessible education, with a stance against tuition hikes and the long-term goal of free education for all Science students. It was amended three times.
The amendments focused the policy on the current Quebec tuition hikes instead of long-term goals.
After the first motion was passed, people started leaving, and quorum was lost.
The second motion, to recognize an SUS Strike Committee was withdrawn by the movers, U1 Mathematics student Aidan Drake and U2 Mathematics student Matthew Henry. They are also members of the Mobilization Committee.
SUS speaker Matthew Dolson adjourned the GA after the second motion was withdrawn.
Though quorum was brief, members of the Mobilization Committee were pleased with the outcome. “To be honest, I wasn’t excepting to reach quorum, so [having enough people show up] was good,” Asgeirsson told The Daily after the GA.
“On the other hand, the fact that we have to struggle at McGill to get 125 students to come to a GA is depressing,” he added.
Dolson spoke about the passage of the GA’s first motion. “That is as good as it can go,” he said. “It was good that people got involved and people had things to say.”
Although the motion regarding an SUS Strike Committee was not discussed on the floor, the Mobilization Committee members were positive about the impacts of this GA.
“If we use the momentum of [the] GA, good things can happen,” said Laplante.
He added that the Committee intends to continue working to mobilize for an unlimited general student strike.
There are currently over 91,500 Quebec university and CEGEP students on strike. The Art Undergraduate Society is holding a GA to vote to join the strike on March 13. The strike is in protest of a five-year, $1,625 hike in tuition fees scheduled to start this September.