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Philosophy students vote for accreditation

Association waits for Quebec government approval

McGill’s undergraduate Philosophy students voted on Friday in favour of creating an independent, accredited student association.

The Philosophy Students’ Association (PSA), which represents all undergraduate students in the department, currently exists under the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS). The PSA started the process of accreditation in October 2012 to gain more control over its finances.

In February, the PSA finalized the first step of the accreditation process – incorporation – when it created an independent bank account.

Following incorporation, the PSA was required to hold a vote in which Philosophy students would decide whether they wished to accredit the PSA.

After a week of voting, the PSA announced on Friday that it received enough “yes” votes to continue with the process. The provincial government requires student associations to receive a “yes” vote from at least 25 per cent of its constituents; the PSA needed 92 students to vote in favour.

According to PSA President Jonathan Wald, the final vote count was of 107 votes total, with 105 “yes” votes and two “no” votes.

Until the provincial government approves the voting procedure, the results will be unofficial.

“We are not accredited yet; the Quebec government still needs to give its approval on everything, make sure that everything was done in accordance to their students, it will be, of course, official as of that moment,” said Wald.

The votes were counted on Friday at 5 p.m., after which the PSA sent emails to different campus groups to deliver the news.

“We alerted the AUS, SSMU, and the McGill administration that the vote has taken place and the results of that vote just to start that discussion,” said Wald.

AUS VP Internal Justin Fletcher told The Daily that the AUS has yet to discuss the issue, and will wait until the decision is official before they discuss their relationship with the PSA.

However, he did say that, “it is important that we respect that their students voted for it and it’s something they have been working hard on all year.”

The next step for the PSA, if the provincial government approves the vote, is to hold a GA in which students will create a constitution for the organization.

“The next step for us is to be holding a general assembly, which we are tentatively going to say is in two weeks, and that would be setting our fee and approving a constitution,” Wald said.