Legislative Council postpones adoption of new Harm Reduction Policy, discusses four new motions

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On March 25, the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Legislative Council met to discuss the Motion Regarding the Adoption of the Harm Reduction Policy, and four new motions were brought to notice to be discussed at the next Legislative Council meeting.

Motion Regarding the Adoption of the Harm Reduction Policy

VP Student Life Maheen Akter, standing in for the absent VP University Affairs Brooklyn Fizzle, answered questions about this motion, moved at the last Legislative Council meeting. The policy is aimed at creating a framework for “meaningful harm-reductive approaches in Residences,” with a special focus on drug and alcohol use.

During the debate period, Councillor Chip Smith moved to postpone the vote on this motion until the next Legislative Council meeting, citing a lack of consultation with the relevant entities: Walksafe, Drivesafe, and Greek letter organizations. Smith read an email from the McGill Student Emergency Response Team which said that the motion promotes an incorrect approach to Naloxone training, and criticizes the Student Hub and the SHHS (Student Housing and Hospitality Services). The motion to postpone was approved unanimously.

Notice of Motion Regarding the Adoption of the BACoN-AToR Plan

BACoN-AToR stands for the Board Ad-hoc Committee on Naming, Accelerating Towards our Renaming. The plan, proposed by Fizzle, organizes a town hall meeting before the end of the Winter 2021 semester to officially unveil the new names proposed for the University Centre and the 3501 Peel Building. If the motion is passed, next year’s SSMU President and VP UA will work with the McGill administration on creating a new student fee to fund a scholarship tied to the renaming of the University Centre. Should the fee be campaigned for and implemented successfully, there will be an official renaming ceremony during the Winter 2022 semester.

Notice of Motion Regarding Amendments to the Internal Regulations of Governance 2021-2022

The Internal Regulations (second only to the Constitution in terms of guiding SSMU operations and responsibilities) has not been reviewed or amended since April 2020. President Jemarck Earle’s amendments, to be discussed at the next meeting, aim to be an “accurate reflection of feedback, operational factors, and feasibility” considerations over the past year.

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

Similar to above, the Internal Regulations of the Society’s Finances have not been amended since November 14, 2019. Of note is the “increase[d] accountability in the approval of new fees and fee increases” that VP Finance Gifford Marpole is aiming for in his amendments.

Notice of Motion Regarding the Re-Adoption of the Equity Policy
Citing the “disjointed, inaccessible, and at times unenforceable” nature of the long-standing Equity Policy, Fizzle is planning a massive overhaul of the policy. Most of the changes are based on reorganizing and expanding procedures for equity complaints, as well as adding sections on training, consultation, judicial board appeals, and more.

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