On February 11, the Students’ Society of McGill University held its third Legislative Council meeting of the winter 2020 Semester. Among the motions approved was a policy on SSMU’s stance regarding the funding of harmful military technology research, as well as the renewal of certain fees.
Motion Regarding a Policy on Harmful Military Technology
The Council unanimously approved the Motion Regarding a Policy on Harmful Military Technology, with one abstention. The motion set forward was not merely to renew the older policy, which expired last spring, but to update it in order to advocate for the university to maintain greater transparency in regards to its funding and development of military technology research.
This policy means that SSMU will advocate for science and engineering labs at McGill to be more open about the beneficiaries of their research, and transition their research to beneficiaries whose motives align with that of the student body. Prior concerns in the implementation of a stricter mandate included the possible infringement on academic freedom. VP External Ayo Ogunremi stated that “the funding of research isn’t necessarily something that can be justified on the basis of Academic Freedom.” The newly approved policy expires in spring 2026.
SSMU Membership Fee Increase
A motion regarding the increase of SSMU Membership Fee by $1.20 for fall semester 2021 was approved. The motion would contribute to the increase in salaries of Legislative Councillors and Student Senators. Thirteen representatives abstained from voting because they believed the motion represented a conflict of interest.
Several motions were passed regarding the renewal of fees for various services provided by SSMU, including fees that will benefit the McGill Writing Centre, the Safety Network, the Midnight Kitchen, TVM, and the WUSC Student Refugee Program.