Legislative Council Discusses President’s Leave of Absence

Courtesy of Evelyn Dom

SSMU Legislative Council met for the fifth time this term on November 11, 2021. During the meeting, multiple councillor and executive member committee reports were presented and an extensive question period took place. 


Motion to Extend Referendum

A motion was passed to extend the voting period for the Fall 2021 referendum.  Members of the SSMU participate in a referendum once a semester to practice direct democracy. Referendums can either be student initiated, with 500 student signatures, or council initiated. The extension was partly because of an error in the first polling period, which resulted in multiple emails being sent to the student body. Polling period was open until Monday, November 15, 2021 at 5:00PM. Polling results can be viewed here


Question Period

During the question period many concerns were brought forward regarding SSMU president Darshan Daryanani’s absence. Daryanani has taken a leave of absence from his position on the SSMU for reasons that remain confidential. In response to backlash from the media and student body regarding the lack of transparency from SSMU to the McGill community, VP External Sacha Delouvrier responded by saying “it’s a matter of ethics [to refrain from questioning him about his leave]. We all remain humans, who get tired, excited, happy, sad like anyone else. It is important to keep this in mind [regarding the absence].”  

SSMU executives have refrained from sharing any new information about Daryanani’s absence, and have since divided up the President’s responsibilities among themselves. VP of University Affairs Claire Downie has been appointed for the time being to stand in for Daryanani. “I am excited to work to advocate for the needs of students until the president is done with his leave of absence.”


Committee Reports

Management representative Councillor Zhang outlined fundraising efforts from Winter Carnival, an annual MUS event that raises money for cancer, that raised over $30,000 charitable donations in under an hour. Additionally, trending actor and social media personality Noah Centineo was seen on November 9, 2021 at Tipsy Cow, where he apparently gave a $1,000 donation to Carnival. 

VP  Student Life Karla Heisele Cubilla mentioned in her executive report that the University Centre has now increased their capacity, allowing 1 metre social distancing rather than the previous 2 metre guidelines. Cubilla worked alongside health inspectors of Montreal and the SSMU’s legal council to ensure that 1 metre distancing is both safe for the community and legal under Montreal’s health guidelines. 

The Legislative Council will reconvene for their sixth and final meeting of the semester on November 25, at 6:00 pm over Zoom.

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