Even though most classes were out for the summer, McGill and Montreal saw its fair share of shake-ups and change. Here’s what you should know:
After Morton Mendelson’s seven-year term as the inaugural Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) (DPSLL), Ollivier Dyens was appointed to the position. The DPSLL oversees aspects of Student Life (such as Athletics and Recreation, and Student Services) and Learning (including quality control for programs and courses, and Exchanges and Study Abroad). The position has been controversial, but Dyens is determined to make amends and deal with budget cuts.
Life Sciences Library closure
The Life Sciences Library, formerly housed in the McIntyre Medical Building, will be moving all of its books – excluding reserve books and the books in the Osler Library – along with its librarians to the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering. This comes after a $1.8 million budget cut, which has also caused the number of support staff to dwindle and 24-hour access to the McLennan, Schulich, and Law libraries to be cut, with the exception of final exam periods.
Preferred name policy
As of June, students are now able to have their preferred names on unofficial McGill documents such as exam rosters, class lists, and ID cards. This policy change doesn’t extend to official documents like diplomas, e-bills, or official university transcripts. As for email, students may create an alias, but must still log into portals using their legal first name. Name changes can be done online over Minerva, but hurry up: the $25 fee for a new ID card will only be waived until September 30.
Montreal’s Mayor resigns
In June, former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum resigned amidst 14 charges of corruption. Applebaum had been elected as interim mayor after former mayor Gérald Tremblay resigned in November 2012. Laurent Blanchard was elected to serve as interim mayor until November 3, when Montrealers will take to the polls for municipal elections.
After eight years, Campaign McGill, the University’s fundraising campaign, came to a close with the announcement that just over $1 billion was raised. This money will not cover losses from budget cuts, but will instead fund student aid, the renovation of infrastructure, teaching and learning spaces, and research. Over 60 per cent of the funds are earmarked by donors – both Quebec-based and international – to go towards support for students.
AUS VP Academic resigns
At the end of July, the AUS Executive announced to the McGill community that former VP Academic Colleen Morawetz had resigned from her position due to personal reasons. The AUS Executive Committee has been fulfilling the responsibilities of Morawetz’s position since her resignation. A new VP Academic will be appointed during the first AUS meeting on September 4.
AGSEM ratifies contract for invigilators
On May 15, after over 2 years without a contract, the university’s 800 invigilators ratified an agreement between the Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill (AGSEM) and the administration. The invigilators are unionized under AGSEM, which also represents teaching assistants at the university. The contract establishes important improvements, including a paid 15-minute break for every four hours worked, and paid overtime and training. It will be in effect until April 2015.
Lola Rosa Xpress leaves the second floor cafeteria
Lola Rosa Xpress has closed up shop in the Shatner building after only a year. According to its owner, problems such as delayed repairs, high rent, and poor communication led to a year-long loss of $30,000. In the end, Lola Rosa’s focus on made-from-scratch vegetarian food proved incompatible with the space and ethos of the second floor cafeteria. By the time The Daily went to press, SSMU VP Finance and Operations Tyler Hofmeister reported that there was no information available on a replacement.