Last Wednesday, Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) councillors discussed motions about the opposition to Quebec’s budget cuts, the Daily Publications Society (DPS), accessible education, and opposition to war on Iran.
Of the five motions on the agenda, only two were actually debated, as one was resigned, one was tabled until the next council meeting, and one was tabled indefinitely.
The council meeting began with a presentation by Associate Dean (Academic Administration and Oversight) Gillian Lane-Mercier about a new initiative named “People, Processes, and Partnerships.”
According to Lane-Mercier, the initiative aims to re-organize the administration to ensure that the Faculty provides the best possible services to students, faculty members, and each other.
Due to a new ruling of the Parti Québécois (PQ) government, for every two administrative or general staff members that leave McGill, the University is allowed to hire only one.
“It’s really difficult to find back-up people to fill striking staff members’ positions,” said Lane-Mercier, alluding to the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA) strike. “Some managers turned out not to even know processes they were supposed to be doing,” Lane-Mercier told the councillors.
The administrative re-organization will be both physical and structural. In order to create a seamless experience for students, the Faculty of Arts is planning on creating hubs, whereby it will be easier for students to reach services such as advising.
Lane-Mercier ended her presentation by emphasizing the amount of student input that is part of this initiative, and asked the AUS councillors to volunteer their support.
As part of her report on external affairs, SSMU VP External Robin Reid-Fraser reported on SSMU’s projected involvement in the PQ government’s much anticipated education summit, slated to happen in February.
McGill Environment Students’ Society representative Christian Elliott, and AUS VP External Brian Farnan moved the motion to oppose the provincial budget cuts required for McGill University, which passed with a single abstention and no votes against.
AUS VP Communications Yasmeen Gholmieh and AUS VP Finance Saad Qazi moved a motion to endorse a yes vote for the Daily Publications Society’s (DPS) existence referendum. The motion was passed.
During deliberations, most councillors pointed out a previous article that was published and subsequently retracted by The Daily that openly attacked a member of the AUS council. “[The] thing about journalism is that they criticize, so we’ll take [the criticism],” Qazi said.
In response to a suggestion of conditional endorsement, Arts senator James Gutman asked, “Is this the AUS or the Communist Party of China?” however he quickly retracted his statement.
The motion regarding the opposition of the war on Iran was tabled indefinitely, along with the motion on accessible education, which was tabled again until the next council meeting.