Legislative Council passes motions on equity, harm reduction, and internal regulations

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On April 8, the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Legislative Council gathered via Zoom for their final meeting of the Winter 2021 semester. 

The council meeting started with the presentation of guest speakers from two organizations, namely ACORN Montreal, a grassroots organization that defends the housing rights of low and middle class people in Montreal, and Recovery Hack, an organization that argues for an alternative AA-treatment for alcohol substance abuse, shedding light on particular medical treatment typically given to victims of alcohol addiction.

Motion Regarding Amendments to the Gender Equity Position

This motion, moved by VP of University Affairs Brooklyn Frizzle, seeks to amend the title of Section 8: Gender Equality of the SSMU Position Book, to better reflect the contents of the section. The motion was approved unanimously by the council.

Motion Regarding the Adoption of a Position of Freedom of Religion 

 This motion, moved by VP External Ayo Ogunremi, was approved unanimously by the council. It seeks to expand SSMU’s previous commitments to condemn the Charter of Values, as well as Bill 62 and most notably Bill 21. This motion led SSMU, in consultation with other student associations, to adopt a permanent position on freedom of religion at McGill, rather than to continuously condemn the derogation of such fundamental rights over the past decade. 

Motion Regarding the Adoption of the Harm Reduction Policy

This motion, moved by VP University Affairs Brooklyn Frizzle, aims to strengthen SSMU’s commitment to harm reduction through the adoption of a formal policy, in consultation in particular with Greek-letter organizations and residences, enhancing the important role of floor fellows. This motion was approved unanimously.

Motion Regarding Amendments to the Internal Regulations of Governance 

This motion was approved, after being moved by SSMU President Jemark Earle, in order to review the Internal Regulations and Governance of SSMU since the last updated version of April 2020. 

Motion Regarding Amendments to the Internal Regulations of the Society’s Finances

VP Finance Gifford Marpole moved this motion, which updates the internal regulations of the society’s finances, not amended since November 2019. It has been approved and passed.

Motion Condemning Anti-Asian Racism and Violence

This motion, moved by VP External Affairs Ayo Ogunremi, seeks to advance SSMU’s commitment to social justice and human rights, condemning anti-Asian violence and taking concrete steps to stand in solidarity with communities of Asian descent, exacerbated by recent racist attacks in the U.S. and in Canada. This motion was adopted unanimously.

In this last SSMU Legislative Council, closing McGill’s 2020-2021 academic year, the council also approved many outstanding motions, particularly regarding human rights and wellness of students on campus, both physically and mentally.

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