Aire McCall (they/them) is a second-year Master's student in Animal Science at McGill's Macdonald campus. They were recently elected to take the Macdonald Campus Officer position.
Where did you grow up?
I come from Beautiful British Columbia, as the license plate calls it, and it is so true.
Lakes, rivers, streams, forests, mountains, all right there for you whenever you need
What is the focus of your academic research?
My research is on the molecular mechanisms of ovulation. I am currently breeding some mice to knock out a gene to see what’s up with it. It's fun!
What do you like doing for fun?
It depends on if I’m feeling social or not. I love hanging out with friends no matter what we’re doing, from relaxing drives to clubbing in the Gay Village. If I want the night to myself though, I’ll probably end up listening to music and nerding out about D&D or something.
Favorite place in Montreal?
If I’m being honest, I don’t go down to Montreal much. I spend most of my time over here, in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, and my favorite place here is definitely by the water--or better yet--on the water in a kayak. If we really want to talk Montreal though, I love the various bars that host drag shows around the Gay Village, especially the ones that go
out of their way to get new talent
What is your favorite thing about AGSEM?
My favorite thing about AGSEM is that we feel like we’re putting our hearts into it. That what we do matters, and that the team is passionate.
How long have you been a TA at McGill?
I am only one year into my Master’s, so I have been TA-ing for a year now. I am looking
forward to doing it more, though, since it is something I love.
Why did you first become interested in getting involved with your union? Any past experiences that made you realize the importance of labor organizing?
I find it weird to think that anyone wouldn’t be interested in union activity in light of all
the stuff going on now, especially since Covid hit workers hard, while corporations had
Why do you think having a strong labour union is important for Teaching Assistants, Invigilators, and other groups of employees at McGill?
Trick question, unionizing is good for literally anyone! That said, historically McGill
is not known for its fair treatment of everyone, so we gotta stand up for ourselves.
How were you involved in AGSEM before occupying your current position?
I was the Animal Science delegate for about 30 minutes before I became the Mac Campus
Officer, which is to say I got both positions in the very same meeting! I still have a lot to
learn, but I have a great team to help me!
What has been your favorite part of working as a TA?
I love teaching, I always have. I love sharing what I know with students to help them make it through. I love to see when something tough finally clicks for them, so it’s always my pleasure to help them get there.
What has been the biggest challenge in your work as a TA so far?
A lack of care from the higher-ups about the quality of education the students get. This manifests in decisions that hurt education but save a couple bucks, overall budget
cuts, and no effort made to pass knowledge on when an instructor leaves McGill for any
reason. It is incredibly infuriating when an educational institution doesn’t care to actually
give a quality education.
What does your role as Macdonald Campus Officer entail?
Everything that the union does downtown, it’s my job to orchestrate that at Mac, too. That includes hosting important events like General Assemblies, but also includes getting people hyped for the union, spreading news and information, organizing Mac campus delegates, and most importantly making sure the Mac's workers' voice gets heard.
What will be your top priority as Macdonald Campus Officer for the 2023-2024 academic year?
Covid really did a number on union involvement here at Mac, so my goal is to revitalize the connection between Mac TAs and the union, and get people to care about AGSEM's fight, so I can make sure the union is fighting for our needs, too.
Hopes about the upcoming TA negotiations? What should absolutely be improved about the current TA Collective Agreement?
Moneyyy! Also, very important to me as a transfem individual is that we win rights for
improved trans healthcare.
Are you involved or interested in other activist or political movements/organizations at
Interested, absolutely, but not involved (yet). It's been a long journey for me to get where I am now, and I want to make sure everyone has as many barriers as possible removed, so they can have every chance they need.
Would you like to add anything?
Never forget all the rights unions have won for you. Memory erasure is their best tool to keep us down.
Thank you, Aire!
"Get to Know Your Delegate" is a series of blog posts introducing AGSEM Delegates in a Q&A format. Are you an AGSEM Delegate interested in being featured in the series? Email your External Communications Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org