Statement Regarding Recent Social Media and Legislative Council Concerns
February 11, 2017
To all McGill Students,
The SSMU would like to comment on the ongoing controversy regarding a tweet made by an Arts representative to our Legislative Council. We would like to reiterate the statement made by the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) Executive in that we condemn physical, emotional, and institutional violence, and do not condone racism, discrimination, or prejudice in any form. We regret that some members of our community, including those present at the Legislative Council meeting on February 9th, have felt personally attacked or unsafe due to the nature of the discussion or the original tweet.
The SSMU would like to clarify that as elected representatives, members of our Legislative Council are expected to represent the views of their constituents, and that a diversity of beliefs are welcome in these roles. However, we apologize if the abilities of any Councillor were questioned on the basis of their personal identity. The SSMU recognizes that this is an emotional and contentious issue revolving around differing interpretations of historical and cultural contexts. However, it is our priority to promote non-violent discourse on campus, with the recognition that systems of oppression also impact the ability of many individuals to participate in these debates as equals. Going forward, we will work to better moderate such discussions and ensure that all of our members feel comfortable expressing their opinions.
Finally, the SSMU would like to keep the community informed of ongoing actions. The AUS Executive has formally requested the resignation of the Arts representative, while his role as a member of the SSMU Board of Directors will be discussed by the Board at their meeting this Monday, February 13th. We ask our members to respect the governance procedures that are in place in order to respond to such situations.
We want to remind you that the SSMU is here to listen and will act when called upon. We apologize to any of our members who feel that we have let them down. We are committed to upholding your rights and earning back your trust.
For any members of our community who feel personally affected by this situation, we would like to highlight some of the support resources available on campus:
McGill Students’ Nightline (confidential listening service)
Phone Number: 514-398-6246
Hours of Operation: 6pm-3am, Monday – Sunday
Peer Support Centre (face-to-face student support)
Location: SSMU Building, Room 411
Drop-In Hours: 1pm-7pm, Monday – Friday
To book an appointment: http://pscappointment.wixsite.com/pscbooking
Counselling & Mental Health Services (professional care)
Location: Brown Building, Suite 5500
Phone Number: 514-398-6019
Urgent Care Hours: 11am-1pm, Monday – Friday
Ben Ger, President
Erin Sobat, Vice-President (University Affairs)
Elaine Patterson, Vice-President (Student Life)
Niall Carolan, Vice-President (Finance)
Sacha Lefebvre Magder, Vice-President (Operations)
Daniel Lawrie, Vice-President (Internal Affairs)
David Aird, Vice-President (External Affairs)