NATHAN CHAN/THE VARSITY

Following a tumultuous year, work is being done to bring forth a new student government to replace the St. Michael’s College Student Union (SMCSU).

In December, SMCSU councillors voted to temporarily prorogue and reconvene in late January. Last Friday, a meeting took place between SMCSU councillors and the University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) leaders to discuss the future of the union.

“We met with members of the most recent SMCSU administration to seek their help in designing a survey that will ask our students for their ideas to reimagine student government at USMC,” USMC wrote in an email statement to The Varsity.

The university’s statement revealed that the USMC is putting together a committee and said that there was a “broad consensus… to pursue this course” at the meeting.

“We will set up a committee that will include significant student representation to implement the results of the survey and pave the way for an election in March,” a portion of the statement reads.

Georgina Merhom, who serves as SMCSU’s University of Toronto Students’ Union representative, attended the meeting and explained that the survey is “intended to start a conversation” with students whom the union had “failed to engage with in the past.”

“My understanding is that USMC is in the process of creating a new Student Government at the University of St Michael’s College,” she said. “This decision was not one that was voted on by the Council of SMCSU, however all SMCSU Council members were invited to help create a survey.”

SMCSU had been marred in controversy since July, when USMC announced that it conducted an audit into the union’s finances. In September, USMC President David Mulroney introduced intentions to govern the college’s relationship with its student groups, in response to a history of alleged financial mismanagement within the union.

Further controversy brewed after a series of Snapchat videos involving then-current and former SMCSU council members and depicting jokes about Islam were leaked onto social media in December.

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