There was widespread confusion on the McGill campus today as the student body learned that, without the University Centre Building Fee approved, the things paid for with the University Centre Building Fee could no longer be paid for.
One McGill undergraduate remarked, “I don’t really understand what’s going on. SSMU asked for money, I didn’t want to give it to them, and now they’re saying that they can’t pay for stuff? This is ridiculous, they should just figure it out.”
M-SERT, the Student Run Café, and Gerts Bar are among the services that could be discontinued. When asked about the future of these institutions, the same student replied, “obviously we want to keep all these important services but we also don’t want to pay for them.”
The majority of McGill students have expressed confusion over the imprecise language used in the most recent Winter referendum question regarding an increase in the student fee levy to continue funding SSMU operations. U1 Economics student Christian Brown commented, “the referendum said ‘Without this fee, the SSMU would have to cut services to students.’ What does that even mean?”
Obviously, the biggest concern for most students is the potential shutdown of Gerts, the universally beloved campus bar. While many are worried about the possibility of losing their favorite bar, few students are rethinking their choice in the referendum. U2 Management student Corinne MacNamara remarked, “of course we’ll miss Gerts, but six dollars? That’s like an entire smoothie at Liquid Nutrition. I really couldn’t spare it.”
Other students were perplexed as to why these cuts would even need to be made. One U2 Sociology student asked, “why don’t they just put it on a credit card? Whenever I need something I just use my parents’ Amex – hasn’t SSMU thought of that?”
When asked about the matter, SSMU spokesperson Daniel Johnson commented, “it seems we took too much for granted when phrasing the referendum question. Expecting millennials to understand that money is required to pay for goods and services is definitely something we should have considered more thoroughly.”
With the impending special referendum for the University Centre Building Fee, SSMU has considered simplifying the question. Johnson continued, “we’re thinking of just having two large, red buttons that read ‘GERTS’ and ‘NO GERTS’. If the fee remains unapproved after that, we may have to be more precise and use ‘ALCOHOL’ or ‘NO ALCOHOL’.”
Students have been unanimously in favour of the change in wording. “Alcohol is something I understand,” noted U1 Arts student Kathleen Robinson. “A fee and something about services is just too complicated.”
The special referendum is expected to take place before the end of the semester.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Bull & Bear.