On January 16, SSMU Legislative Council reconvened for the first meeting of the Winter 2020 semester. On the agenda were several items that carried over from sessions prior to the break, as well as new business.
During announcements, VP External Adam Gwiazda-Amsel mentioned the strikes taking place regarding Law 21, as well as the recent decision of McGill’s Board of Governors (BoG) to implement a “decarbonization plan” rather than divest from fossil fuels. Gwiazda Amsel called upon councillors to keep their constituents aware of both of these changes, as well as the difference between decarbonization and divestment. Additionally, he mentioned an upcoming series of information sessions in collaboration with Community Affairs on students moving into the Milton Park Community. Councillor Darshan Daryanani announced that the annual “Work Your BA” series, hosted by McGill’s Career Planning Service, will be taking place from January 20-31, related information can be found via Facebook. VP Internal Sanchi Bhalla announced that tickets to the Faculty Olympics “hype night” had opened up, and that further information could be found on the SSMU website. SSMU President Bryan Buraga noted that the Winter General Assembly will take place February 24 at 6 p.m. in the New Residence Hall Ballroom, as well as mentioning the upcoming McGill BoG Student Forum on January 30 at 4 p.m. Additionally, SSMU Speaker Husayn Jamal announced his resignation, effective January 31, upon which a motion was introduced and passed unanimously, expressing gratitude to his three years of service. Finally, a moment of silence was observed to honour the 175 victims of the recent plane crash in Iran.
Regarding motions, there was a Motion to Endorse the Student Mobilization Against Bill 21, which passed unanimously; a Motion Regarding Plan on Clubs and Services as SSMU’s Highest Priority, which was committed to an ad-hoc committee composed of members of the clubs and finance committees; a Motion Regarding a Provincial Student Assembly that passed; and a Motion Regarding Changes to the Committee Terms of Reference that passed. Additionally, there were a number of notices of motions, including one Regarding Amendments to the Internal Regulations of Student Groups, one Regarding Amendments to the Effective Committees Policy, one Regarding Adoption of the SSMU Mental Health Policy and Plan, and finally, one Regarding the Adoption of the Gendered and Sexual Violence Committee Terms of Reference.
Finally, there were two additional discussions that took place which took a significant portion of the meeting. Firstly, there was the Report of the Comprehensive Governance Review Committee, which involved changes to seat allocations. Councillors debated moving to one seat per faculty maximum, two seats maximum, or remaining at the default of four seats as a maximum. In addition, a generative discussion took place regarding SSMU’s Relationship with UTILE and Potential Financing Models, which pertained to future collaboration with UTILE to create affordable housing units for students.