Inside the IRC shutdown

William Lou
February 12, 2015
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

[feather_share show="twitter, google_plus, facebook, reddit, tumblr" hide="pinterest, linkedin, mail"]

More than two months have passed since it was announced that the Inter-Residence Council, an organization that represents the voice of residence students through advocacy and programming, went on a temporary hiatus.

The hiatus was announced on Dec. 2 through an email to all residence students.

“The council has agreed to take some time to pause all aspects of the IRC and make improvements accordingly within the organization in order to strengthen our council,” the email said. “During this phase, there will be no council activities occurring including any meetings or events.”

During the pause, IRC members will still receive their honorariums and can continue to live in their assigned residence rooms. The IRC executive will be working with Housing and Conference Services and Sean Van Koughnett, Dean of Students, to determine their future direction.

At this point it is unclear what these changes will be.

“In terms of right now, we can’t say anything definitively,” said Michael Carrier, President of the IRC, in response to what the changes could be to the organization. “The key part here is we’re not going and making structural changes for the sake of structural changes. It’s that we’re going back to the drawing board and figuring out why it is that our organization exists.”

Kevin Beatty, Residence Life Coordinator, said the organizational review would look at areas such as mandate, governance, structure, finances, internal accountability procedures, and recruitment, compensation, and training.

It is also unclear why the organization decided to pause all activities.

“We had to address some important internal concerns at the beginning of the year that needed immediate attention and we took it as an opportunity for us to re-evaluate what we do, how we do it and why we do it,” said Carrier said about the reason for the pause.

When asked about the internal concerns, Carrier said “I can’t really get into details, but they were just issues of… I can’t really get into details.” He did mention organizational culture as an aspect that needed re-evaluation during the pause.

The organizational pause may be a much-needed evaluation, as the IRC has recently been involved in incidents that have been reported to security services.

Cathy O’Donnell of McMaster Security Services confirmed that an allegation of sexual assault involving an IRC member occurred on Sept. 12, 2014, but was unable to disclose any details about the incident other than that no charges were laid. O’Donnell was also able to say that this is not the first instance of the IRC being involved in campus crime in recent history, but that there is nothing security is investigating at this point in time.

But the IRC’s pause is not really a pause at all, as they have continued to operate and have hosted an event called “Presidents in Residence,” have held council meetings, and are in the process of conducting research in the form of surveys and focus groups. This is a stark contrast from the original email, which stated that there would be a pause to all IRC meetings and events.

Students in residence will still receive their yearbook and IRC clipboard, and IRC representatives in residence will continue to be a voice for residence students. MSU President Teddy Saull has ensured that a representative for residence students will sit on the residence-life committees while the IRC executive representative is absent.

[feather_share show="twitter, google_plus, facebook, reddit, tumblr" hide="pinterest, linkedin, mail"]


Subscribe to our Mailing List

© 2024 The Silhouette. All Rights Reserved. McMaster University's Student Newspaper.