I want to write about how great and emotionally powerful today’s protest was but since I had to leave once the general assembly started, I keep thinking about this picture instead.
This image is taken from Appendix 2 of the FY2012 McGill Budget Book. It represents the organizational chart for McGill University. What you are looking at is a chain of decision-making authority. Who is parallel to whom and who has authority over whom.
There was a lot of talk of democratic governance at today’s rally. I support it, but people need to know what lies ahead. Most senators will tell you that a large portion of that body’s work is symbolic. And if they don’t, this chart will since the senate is literally orbiting around in outer space, disconnected from any real power structure at McGill. Senate is at least nominally elected. All of the other positions are appointed or elected by a closed process.
If you want democratic governance with any actual authority, the organizational structure represented by this chart will need to change.
To borrow a line from my colleague Darin Barney, people often complain about governance, but they need to be ready to do the hard work.
Extra credit: redistribute wealth! Take a look at p70 of the budget book to start and figure out how to deal with budget shortfalls and pay MUNACA workers more (you’ll need to dig deeper but that’s a quick bird’s eye view to get you started and yes I have my own pet solution which is imperfect but a start). There is no legend as far as I can tell so you’ll need to interpret the map carefully on your own.