Commentary  SSMU and AUS respond to the GA

An open letter to all Arts undergraduates

Dear students,

The AUS and SSMU Executive Committees would like to provide further clarification regarding communication between our respective Associations concerning the AUS General Assembly of March 13, 2012.

An open letter to the AUS Executive from the SSMU Executive was released on March 14 as a result of conflicts between SSMU Clubs and Services and the AUS Executive during the event. The letter was released as the SSMU Executive felt it was their responsibility to protect their Clubs and Services from such treatment, and to identify concerns about negative impacts on the SSMU Building and SSMU staff. The AUS Executive subsequently found the letter to be unfair in both tone and in its demands, and have experienced personal attacks spurred by its contents. Consequently, AUS issued a statement at SSMU Legislative Council on March 15, 2012.

Together, we would like to acknowledge that the manner in which the letter issued by the SSMU and the statement given by the AUS were unfair and not conducive to a positive working relationship. On March 19, our executives met to discuss this issue and to determine how to move forward. At this meeting, the SSMU Executives apologized for the tone of the letter issued to the AUS and indicated their regrets that the letter had fueled personal attacks.

Regarding the demands outlined in the open letter to the AUS Executive from the SSMU, we would like to assure students that the Nuit Blanche will go ahead as planned on March 22. The AUS has accepted the additional costs associated with its General Assembly held on the 13. The SSMU accepts apologies made on behalf of the AUS Executive in various fora, and recognizes the efforts made by members of the AUS Executive to reach out to groups affected by the General Assembly. Lastly, the SSMU would like to note that the hold on room bookings for departmental associations of the AUS is no longer in effect.

We acknowledge that many of the issues stemming from the AUS General Assembly are a result of the lack of clarity between our two Associations, as all AUS members are
simultaneously members of the SSMU. While political diversity exists both within each respective Executive Committee as well as between our two Associations, we affirm our respect for each other as colleagues dedicated to representing our constituents to the best of our abilities.

The AUS and the SSMU look forward to a positive and respectful working relationship. Any student who desires further information regarding this issue is invited to contact AUS President Jade Calver at and/or SSMU President Maggie Knight at

Yours Sincerely,

Arts Undergraduate Society Executive Committee

Students’ Society of McGill University Executive Committee