Motion re: Support for the Social Equity and Diversity Office – YES
This motion requires SSMU to foster partnership with the Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) office and to call on McGill to commit permanent funding for this crucial resource. The SEDE office helps to hold the University accountable to its policies on diversity and equity on campus, and creates a safer working environment through its education initiatives. The SEDE office’s projects include issues we should all be talking about, including mapping gender-neutral washrooms on campus, holding workshops on issues relating to equity, and running the Indigenous Education Series; the office is also a key player in the fight for an Indigenous Studies program at McGill. The motion outlines SSMU collaboration with the office, a concrete proposal that will be beneficial to all involved.
Motion re: Support for Indigenous Peoples and Allies – YES
This motion asks SSMU to issue a statement supporting Idle No More and SSMU First Nation and Inuit members of the Society, to lobby the McGill administration to identify and divest holdings in companies involved in business on Native land without permission of those communities, and for SSMU to research and divest from those same companies. A motion regarding Plan Nord was discussed at the Fall General Assembly, though loss of quorum meant that it was passed to Council, where it was voted down. The fact that this motion reiterates the main point of the Plan Nord motion – that we should avoid investing in and supporting companies who do not consult with Indigenous communities – means that students value this idea and want SSMU to take a strong stance. Some people have tried to claim that this motion discusses issues external to SSMU, but the integral part that the University plays in supporting these companies and their oppression of Native peoples means that this issue is one that SSMU should absolutely be discussing and acting upon.
Motion re: Conflict Minerals – YES
The Daily supports a ‘yes’ vote for this motion, with amendments. While it is admirable that SSMU would come out against the use of conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in consumer products, and consider conflict minerals in its Five Year Ethical Investment Plan, the scope of the motion should be broadened. For example, U.S. Conflicts Minerals Law refers to the DRC as well as nine adjoining countries through which minerals from DRC are shipped and are otherwise involved in the mining process; narrowing the motion to the DRC limits its strength. Mining practices are incredibly harmful in conflict areas all over the world; these practices, too, should be taken into consideration in SSMU’s investment plans.
–The McGill Daily Editorial Board
Editor’s Note: The Daily Editorial Board highly encourages all readers to attend the General Assembly on Wednesday, February 27, at 5:00 p.m. in the Shatner ballroom, and to stay as long as possible so that quorum is maintained.