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AUS Council – November 26, 2014

29 Nov 14
Jessica Drozd
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Hey guys! Most importantly, this week the AUS Council passed a motion to increase the max hours per week an AUS Executive can get paid if they are under Work Study. The limit was increased for 10 hours per week to 20 hours per week. Though a similar motion was previously withdrawn by its movers, this motion followed an equity complaint that was received by the AUS Equity Commissioners, which stated that AUS Council should not be the body judging matters of financial equity and accessibility. Though I was strongly in support of the issue going to referendum (so that the entire AUS student population could vote on it), AUS Council passed the motion as it was, and the number of hours the Executives was increased through Council. To say the least, this is a convoluted and multi-layered issue, so I highly encourage you to e-mail me at external@mcgillbasic.com if you have concerns or questions about the motion. Moreover, feel free to come to my office hours on Thursdays at 10-11 if you want to chat about what happened!

The following motions were also passed at this week’s AUS GC:

1) Motion Endorsing Imposition of FIOs for CLAS 348 – This motion will impose an extra non-tuition fee for students registered in CLAS 348. The fee will cover the students’ trip to Greece.
2) Motion to Ratify Accountability Bylaw Book – This will impose a variety of accountability measures of AUS Executives, including a requirement to make their schedules public. Look forward to updates regarding the accountability bylaws, and pass on any potential accountability measures you may think of to Jessica at external@mcgillbasic.com. The Bylaw Book can be amended at any point through AUS Council.
3) Motion to Adopt Standing Rules at AUS Council – Through this motion, Council can be made more efficient without restricting anyone’s voice. Most importantly, new business will now be presented before the Executive reports so all motions are assessed properly.
4) Motion for Amend IDSSA Constitution – Amendment to article 3.4: IDSSA members no longer require permission to sit in on IDSSA executive meetings. Moreover, IDSSA Executives will now be mandated to attend IDSSA events.
5) Motion to Convene Ad-Hoc Human Resources Committee – this committee will consist of Councilors and the general student population. The committee will be reviewing AUS’s current HR practices. E-mail Jessica at external@mcgillbasic.com if you’re interested in joining, and I’ll be able to pass your name on to the appropriate parties!
6) Motion for Departmental Association to Send Budgets to Constituents – An email regarding all important budget information will be sent to all constituents of each department. This email will include: a link to the current budget, a summary of the greatest expenses and a summary of executives’ expenditures. The AUS VP Finance will also look to have AUS budget sent out to all constituents by January 23, 2015. In light of this new requirement, the BASiC VP External will be passing an amendment to BASiC’s Financial Bylaws at the upcoming Arts & Science Assembly on Tuesday, December 2 at 7:30 pm (in the McLennan 5th floor meeting room), so come out if you have anything to say on the matter!
7) Motion to Oppose Quebec Government’s Austerity Measures – Considering the Quebec government’s recent budget cuts, is likely that some departments will experience course cuts, so AUS Councillors have decided to take a stand against current austerity measures.
8) Motion Not to Cap Work Study Hours – currently, the Work Study decides on the hourly caps of student workers based on the number of hours per week a professor applies for. Council has does not want to appear as though we are more aware of students’ financial situation than Work Study.

Here’s some other important info discussed at Council:

• AUS FMC members are retroactively going through receipts and fixing the Frosh budget.
• Further information about the potential Arts Internship Office (AIO) fee was presented by Dean Manfredi at the AUS Town Hall (which occurred right before AUS Council). Dean Manfredi highlighted how the AIO does not just provide internship opportunities to AUS students, but it also provides students with work at the AIO while they are studying at McGill and after they graduate. $1.5M will be generated from student fees, while the remaining $3.5M will be generated from donors. The Dean hopes that the fee will start being collected as of September 2015. Many concerns were brought up about the size of the fee ($67) and how few students actually benefit form the fee; Council will continue to discuss how to tackle the size of the fee (possible mention of extending the fee collection process beyond 5 years).
• Lastly, a new AUS VP Social was voted through an appointment at Council. Congratulations to Johanna, the new AUS VP Social!

Hope studying is going well for everyone! 🙂

– Jessica Drozd (BASiC VP External) & Jessica Ojiaku (BASiC External Affairs Committee Member)

SUS General Council – November 19, 2014

20 Nov 14
Jessica Drozd
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Hey guys! The following six motions were passed at this week’s SUS GC:

1) Motion Regarding the Creation of a Constitutional Affairs Committee – This committee will be comprised of 2 SUS Executives, 3 representatives from departmental councils under the SUS, 2 members at large, and 1 representative from the SUS General Council. If you’d like to get involved in the whole process of revising the SUS’s constitution, look out for more info on how to apply to the Committee as a member-at-large in upcoming SUS listservs! Voting on Committee members will be done at the SUS GC that is taking place in two weeks (Dec 3rd).

2) Motion to Approve the Revised SUS Election Dates – The dates for the election of the 2015-16 SUS Executives have been moved up to February, so that incoming executives have more time to choose Committee members and be transitioned by outgoing executives. SUS elections had been previously held in March.

3) Motion to Update Financial Bylaws – Any clauses in regarding the 21st Century Ambassador Fund, which exists to fund students who go to and/or plan conferences, were amended to ensure that any student under the SUS is able to apply to the Fund (and not just departmental executives as the previous bylaws stipulated). P.S. The deadline to apply to this Fund is December 1st, so get your applications in to the SUS VP Finance soon!

4) Motion to Increase the Science Undergraduate Base Fee – This fee increase will be further explained in a referendum question that will go out to all SUS members this semester, but feel free to e-mail me at external@mcgillbasic.com if you’d like more information!

5) Motion to Introduce the Student Space Improvement Fee – This fee creation will be further explained in a referendum question that will go out to all SUS members this semester, but feel free to e-mail me at external@mcgillbasic.com if you’d like more information!

6) Motion Regarding Endorsing AGSEM’s Unionization Campaign – The SUS now endorses the AGSEM campaign, which advocates for undergraduate TAs and note-takers to be given the opportunity to be part of the AGSEM union (currently solely comprised of graduate TAs). For more information on the campaign, check out the presentation given by AGSEM to SSMU Councillors: http://ssmu.mcgill.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Presentation-AGSEM-2014-09-25.pdf

Lastly, Science Games team spots are filling up fast! The Arts & Science team is nearly full, but don’t hesitate to contact any BASiC Executive ASAP if you’d like to be added to the free agents list (where you’ll be added to any team that’s not full) or to find out how you can apply to be a Science Games O-Staff!

Till next week <3 ,

Jessica Drozd
VP External

Arts & Science Student Senator & Senate Caucus Representative to SSMU

19 Nov 14
Chloe Rourke
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Hey all!

I thought I’d start by introducing myself and some of the projects I am working on this year. First off I am the Arts & Science Student Senator, this means I go to monthly McGill Senate meetings along with 12 other undergrads, professors and McGill administration. My Senate duties also include sitting on Senate committees (Committee for Student Services, Counselling Advisory Board & Grievances). Having a strong student voice at these committees is crucial in ensuring that all major decisions and academic policies are aligned with student priorities. Unfortunately the structure of Senate is so that it usually takes semesters if not years before change can be made that has a tangible impact on student life. This means many of our projects are long-term and ongoing.

One of our major on-going projects is improving the Mental Health climate on campus. We recently hosted an Open Forum to discuss mental health at McGill. Some key discussion points included the challenges students face in seeking support and accommodation as well as the factors that contribute to mental health issues in the first place. We are planning to send out a survey and collect student testimony to further guide our advocacy efforts and identify practices/policies that could be improved upon to make McGill more mental health-friendly.

Another major project Student Senators are working on this year include the Know Your Rights Campaign. The goal is ultimately to ensure that students’ academic rights as described in the Charter of Student Rights & Freedoms and the Assessment Policy are adhered to. The problem is many students are not aware of their rights and it is not always clear who to go to when those rights are transgressed.

Additionally, I am one of 3 Senators who double as a SSMU councillor! As a councillor I am also really excited to be part of SSMU’s Community Engagement Committee and the Mental Health Committee. I am also really concerned with ensuring that SSMU is adequately communicating with and representing its constituents. There have been numerous criticisms of SSMU in recent years and I would really like to hear your opinion on how SSMU can be more relevant and useful to you moving forward!

Please PLEASE don’t hesitate to contact me about anything Senate, SSMU or McGill related. My email is artscisenator@ssmu.mcgill.ca! I am always open to hearing your opinion so that I can represent you to the best of my ability. I will try to post blog updates like these more regularly in the future.

SUS General Assembly – November 5, 2014

10 Nov 14
Jessica Drozd
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Last week’s SUS General Council was cut short by the long SUS General Assembly that preceded it, so I’ll be focusing on the SUS GA in this blog post! Most of the agenda items that were to be put forward at Council will be brought at the next Council on Nov 19, so I’ll have more updates then.

First off, thank you to everyone that came out to the SUS GA! Though we unfortunately did not hit quorum, the students that showed up acted as an advisory body for the SUS Council in 2 weeks, during which Councillors will be looking at the motions put forward at the GA and the debate that surrounded them. The full text of the motions and the official minutes from the GA can be found at: http://sus.mcgill.ca/your-sus/governance/.

In essence, both motions discuss potential referendum questions that students would be asked during the Fall 2014 Referendum period. The first is about an increase to the base fee paid to the SUS, while the second is about the creation of a fee that would help improve student space for SUS members — as always, feel free to e-mail me at external@mcgillbasic.com if you have questions/concerns!

Till next week,

Jessica Drozd
VP External

AUS Council – October 29, 2014

03 Nov 14
Jessica Drozd
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Hey everyone, hope you had a great Halloween weekend! Last year’s AUS Council was close to 4 and a half hours, so I have to update you on! We passed the following motions, all of which I supported, but definitely let me know if you have any concerns about the motions or the way I voted:

1) Motion to Approve the AGSEM Unionization Campaign – The AGSEM Unionization Campaign is a campaign that encourages undergraduate TAs, graders, note-takers, etc. to join AGSEM, the TA union that currently solely consists of graduate students. Students are by no means forced into joining the union, but the campaign simply aims at giving students who would like to join the opportunity to do so. Both SSMU and PGSS have already passed motions in support of the campaign.

2) Motion to Amend Equity Policy Bylaws – This motion simply changed the deadline for students to submit equity complaints for events that occurred in the summer from Sep. 30th to the end of the Fall semester.

3) Motion to Approve Referendum Question Re: the Renewal of ASEF – This motion was mainly procedural, as all questions that students will be voting on in the AUS Fall Referendum have to be passed at Council. In essence, you guys will be voting on whether to renew the Arts Student Employment Fund (ASEF) – how you vote is up to you, but feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions about the fee!

4) Motion to Convene Ad-Hoc Frosh Bylaw Committee – This committee will be working on institutionalizing important aspects of Frosh. One spot on the committee will be reserved for an interfaculty rep, so it will go to either an Arts & Science representative (yay!) or to a Social Work representative, as both have some involvement in Arts Frosh. There will also be another spot reserved for a “Finance” rep – whether this will be the VP Finance or someone associated with any of the AUS’s financial committees was left intentionally vague.

5) Motion to Amend the Electoral Bylaws – We got rid of bylaws mandating the AUS to publicize elections in paper versions of campus newspaper, deeming it an inefficient and costly way to be marketing elections. Though this wasn’t in the motion, we discussed having more social media advertising and handing over some of the advertising responsibility to the VP Communications’ Marketing Committee.

Here’s some other important info discussed at Council:

• We had a long discussion about the SSMU GA and the outcome of the controversial Israel-Palestine motion. Councillors mentioned that both Robert’s Rules and policies about re-entering the room should be publicized beforehand, and that the space limitations of having a GA in the SSMU Building mean that GAs are run on the assumption of student apathy. If any of you have any other comments/questions/suggestions on how to create more efficient GAs, e-mail me at external@mcgillbasic.com and I’ll pass on your concerns to our lovely Arts Sci SSMU Councillor!
• The AUS Grad Fair will be taking place on Nov 4 from 11 am – 3 pm. Check out the FB event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1402277423328083/!
• Check out the AUS Equity Commissioners’ report on this year’s Arts Frosh here: http://bit.ly/1twTLnj

Jessica Drozd
VP External

SUS Council – October 22, 2014

27 Oct 14
Jessica Drozd
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Hey Art Scis! Last week’s SUS General Council was a short one, as the SSMU GA was occurring at the same time. However, we did pass one motion – a motion adopt an Indigenous territory acknowledgement statement and to repeat it at at least one Council/semester. It’s a motion that has also been passed by other large student bodies at McGill, but feel free to e-mail me at external@mcgillbasic.com if you want some more info about the motion. The full text of the statement can be found at the bottom of this post. Here are some other important deets from the Council:

• The SUS General Assembly (GA) is on Wednesday, November 5 at 6:30-7:30 in Leacock 232. Motions are due on October 29 at 6:30 pm, and anyone is allowed to submit a motion! We strongly encourage you to attend!
• The Science Games Hype Night will be on November 12th, and it’s looking like it’ll be a ton of fun. E-mail president@mcgillbasic.com or communications@mcgillbasic.com to join the Arts ScI team, or to get more info about Science Games!
• Indigenous territory acknowledgement statement: “SUS would like to acknowledge that McGill University is situated on the traditional territory of the Kanien’keha:ka, a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst nations. SUS recognizes and respects the Kanien’keha:ka as the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which we meet today.”

Jessica Drozd
VP External

Latest with BASiC

29 Sep 14
communications@mcgillbasic.com

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