The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Legislative Council hosted the Fall 2019 General Assembly (GA) this Monday, October 28, in the New Residence Ballroom.
Because there were not nearly enough attendees present to reach the required GA quorum of 350 people, Speaker Husayan Jamal announced that the meeting would instead be deemed a “consultative forum.” As a result, all decisions on motions were non-binding and will be passed on to the next Legislative Council meeting on November 14. The Council was also not permitted to approve the Fall 2019 GA minutes.
Following a land acknowledgement, the council members approved motions to nominate the Board of Directors and an auditor for the 2020 fiscal year. Finally, the SSMU executives each delivered a report concerning their respective portfolios.
Nomination of the Board of Directors (BOD)
The council voted unanimously, with six abstentions, to approve the Motion Regarding Nomination of Directors for the 2019-2020 Board of Directors.
Council Representatives include Arts Representative Adin Chan, Science Representatives Rohan Bhuktar and Jordyn Wright, and Engineering Representative Mustafa Fakih. Members-at-Large include Paige Collins, Jack Kline, Jonah Levitt, and Ana Paula Sanchez. The eligible executives include President Bryan Buraga, VP Internal Sanchi Bhalla, VP External Adam Gwiazda-Amsel, and VP Student Life Billy Kawasaki.
The individuals appointed will serve on the board from November 15, 2019 to November 14, 2020.
Nomination of the Auditor
VP Finance Sam Haward moved the Motion Regarding the Nomination of the Auditor for the Fiscal Year of 2020, which passed unanimously with three abstentions.
Following online ratification, accounting firm FFL Fuller Landau LLP will remain the SSMU’s auditor.
Question Period Highlights
Chan asked if there were any updates since last Thursday’s meeting regarding the recent suspension of samosa and other prepared food sales. Haward responded that clubs will able to re-commence sales soon, but clubs selling perishable foods will need to follow certain regulations. Bhalla further clarified these regulations for SSMU clubs in an email to the student body on October 29, outlining the new SSMU Sale and Service of Food Policy.
Senator Andre Lametti posed a question to Jamal, specifically in reference to Jamal’s position as SSMU governance researcher. Given that the quorum has rarely been met over the past few years, Lametti asked whether the high quorum necessary for the GAs might be a factor that discourages participation and the solution of motions.
Jamal responded, “In my capacity as Chair of the Comprehensive Governance Review Committee, I can share that there are a lot of big things being considered by the committee as under review.”
Jamal referenced the committee’s October 24 report to the Legislative Council, which outlined a plan to reform the structure and composition of the Legislative Council, saying,“We hope to move… to what I would consider other barriers to meaningful student engagement, and I expect the general quorum number to be raised at some point during those discussions.”
Board of Directors Report
Buraga delivered a presentation on the recent work of the Board of Directors (BOD).
Addressing the closure of the University Center since March 2018, he said, “We have taken the extraordinary step of funding and actively searching for external spaces and leases for student groups and services that we are able to provide to our members.”
These external spaces include locations on 680 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, 3471 Rue Peel, and an office building on Avenue Robert-Bourassa. According to Buraga, renovations on 3501 Rue Peel to transform the location into a Student Wellness Hub are currently on track for completion next fall.
Buraga also explained that a new hiring time frame for a BOD General Manager by the end of November is currently taking place.
Additionally, the Conflict of Interest Policy passed at a previous Legislative Council meeting has been ratified by the BOD.