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News brief: Mac campus grads pass referendum

On Friday, the Macdonald Campus Graduate Student Society (MCGSS) voted to separate from the Macdonald campus’ undergraduate society and remain only a member of the downtown Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS).

The referendum passed with 176 in favour, four against, and four abstaining. 184 out of 563 Macdonald campus graduate students voted, representing a turnout of 32.7 per cent.

As a result of the referendum, the Macdonald Campus Students’ Society (MCSS) will contact the Deputy Provost’s office and ask them not to collect fees from graduate students at the Macdonald campus for the Winter 2013 semester and future semesters, according to PGSS Secretary-General Jonathan Mooney.

Next semester, MCGSS students will pay $60.91 in fees, the same amount as all other graduate students downtown, according to MCGSS President Lucy Lu. This represents a decrease of $51.75 for full-time students, $44.25 for part-time students, $51.75 for half-time students, and $36.75 for additional session students.

“We expect it to go through with no problems,” Mooney told The Daily. “We have a pretty clear contract with MCSS about what the obligations of MCGSS and MCSS are given this outcome.”

“Theirs are to go forward and contact the Deputy Provost to cancel the fees and to announce that they no longer consider graduate students to be part of MCSS. Our obligation is to work with [MCSS] to finalize the contract for services that MCSS will continue to provide to graduate students so that the situation at Mac campus won’t change,” he added.

Mooney said that the negotiations for the contract with MCSS are still in progress, but that both parties will be meeting this evening to continue work. They expect to have the contract finalized by the Winter 2013 semester.

“I really appreciate how cooperative MCSS has been through this whole process,” Lu told The Daily. “I look forward to working with them and PGSS to finalize an agreement regarding the terms of separation.”