Merging Main & West councils

Presidents of residence councils seek consultation on proposed amalgamation

Two residence councils could soon be joined if a new proposal is successful.

Main Campus Residence Council (MCRC) and Jean Royce Hall Council (JRHC) are currently in the consultation process over the proposed amalgamation.

On Oct. 25, MCRC President Tuba Chishti joined JRHC President Matt Sheculski at AMS Assembly to discuss the effects of the possible merge, which they’d been considering together since the summer.

The councils oversee the peer-based residence disciplinary system and organize events for those in residence.

Because the two councils perform virtually the same duties, they see little reason for them to be kept separate.

Although the AMS will have no formal vote in the process, the councils’ presidents agreed that their input would be valuable in compiling a comprehensive plan to bring back to their councils.

“We’re looking at whether or not it is beneficial for us to [amalgamate],” Chishti said.

Students were presented with the proposal and had an opportunity to provide feedback at last night’s MCRC constituency meeting and tonight at JRHC’s.

Sheculski and Chishti have also consulted the Senate Residence Committee and members of administration.

“The reason we’re really looking at that is because it means a consistent residence experience regardless of where first years are placed,” she said.

Chishti noted that some paid positions available to students on Main Campus aren’t available to those on West.

“Getting assigned a room is literally a lottery process and that shouldn’t affect whether or not you have opportunities for paid positions or whether you have more volunteer opportunities, or the kinds of services you get in residences.”

The amalgamation would look to increase first-year positions, while executive position salaries would go up about 5 per cent, Chishti said, due to their overseeing larger constituencies.

Budgeting for the possible union is still in the process but should the amalgamation be voted in, both councils will be able to utilize their carried over funds from previous years within their own residences.

However, a budget encompassing the entire amalgamated council will be put into place as well, Matt Sheculski, JRHC president, said.

Sheculski also noted that the idea of amalgamation has been considered for at least three years. He said there was never any stated reason why the merging failed to go through.

The majority of AMS assembly members, in a non-binding vote, were in favour of this amalgamation.

Each council will eventually hold a vote with its members in residence to determine if they’re in favour of combining the councils.

This vote could either come in the form of a referendum or the vote could go to the floor representatives from each residence or house council.

Chishti said she hopes to see the amalgamation process have a clear direction in the next two weeks.

She also hopes the final decision will be made by the end of the term to allow for a proper election process considering many positions may be changed or cut.

“We’ve put a lot of thought into it and we’re really open to either way happening, but it’s going to depend on what our residents think.”

A final report will be compiled on Wednesday and brought to the residents as the last report before the official voting process begins.

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