Thank you all for reading the University Affairs listserv this year! We hope it's been a useful resource and that you'll continue to stay involved in student advocacy next year. Look forward to more updates in the Fall (including recruitment for SSMU portfolio committees) and be sure to follow our website and Facebook page. Have a happy summer!
Change at McGill University is most often defined by incremental progress rather than overnight transformation. During the 2016-2017 year, the SSMU University Affairs portfolio has successfully pushed forward numerous initiatives to address critical academic, equity, and support issues facing undergraduate students. The University Affairs Final Report highlights some of these collective achievements in the areas of mental health, sexual violence, student rights, accessibility, and more.
Thank you also to all those who gave their time to represent students on McGill committees. You can view the end-of-year committees report here.
The McGill Mental Health Working Group has received a formal response to their open letter from Martine Gauthier, Executive Director of Student Services. This summarizes various commitments regarding the working group’s demands, including improved consultation, communication, and funding for campus mental health and disability services. Concretely, this means hiring more therapists, directing government accessibility grants to the Office for Students with Disabilities, and the announcement of almost $2 million in donor funding for health and wellness projects.
Demands that have not been addressed include the elimination of overhead charges on Student Services, long-term university investment in mental health support, and improved accommodation and medical note policies. However, student advocacy has clearly made an impact and there is an opportunity for continued positive change so long as students are engaged in developing solutions. Thank you to all those who added their voice to our open letter demanding more from the McGill administration!
SSMU University Affairs has launched the Alternative Histories Timeline Project, intended as an account of McGill’s past that centers marginalized communities and experiences. The timeline is an evolving resource that documents both landmarks in social justice and the university’s complicity in historical dispossession and oppression. View it here.
Have you ever wanted to see how McGill works behind the scenes? Are you passionate about campus issues? Do you have a great idea to improve student life? Then apply to sit as a student representative on a university committee!
Seats are still available on the following McGill committees:
Advisory Committee for the Possible Reappointment of the Vice-Principal (University Advancement) – 1 seat
Are you wondering how else you can make change at McGill? Check out our new advocacy tools on the University Affairs website! Find info on university governance, past projects, research reports, and other resources to help you get involved or bring an issue forward to your representatives. Remember, student advocacy takes no vacations!