Eli Ridder | The Avro Post
The Academic Reform Group lost its status as an IGNITE club on Monday for breaching the rules of the student association due to transparency issues, putting the association in negative light and committing offences.
The action follows violations of the IGNITE Clubs Policy and complaints received by IGNITE from the University of Guelph-Humber faculty and the association’s employees over the group’s actions, the ARG told student reporters.
The ARG was formed to advocate on behalf of students for academic policy reform and address on-campus issues.
The group said it would continue as an unaffiliated student organization in a press release published Monday afternoon.
The group also recently carried out a course investigation in partnership with The Avro Post where students came forward over a grade drop and “unreasonable” teaching methods used in a third year psychology program.
The reform group said the “de-ratification” of the club was effective immediately.
Any dissolution of an IGNITE club can be appealed by its members at the Board of Directors, but the ARG has not yet signalled whether it would be taking that step or not.
Executives from the Academic Reform Group say they will release a statement explaining further beyond what was released to reporters from The Avro Post and Humber Et Cetera on Monday.
The ARG has invited press to its public general meeting starting at 3 p.m. in the Leadership Lounge where it will be meeting “as an unaffiliated student organization on campus.”
The ARG said that it received a warning on Mar. 15 from IGNITE over a meeting it held in the University of Guelph-Humber’s Leadership Lounge on Mar. 12, the second public gathering the group held after it was founded in January.
When it was told on Monday that the club was dissolved, one of the reasons was due to holding the Mar. 12 meeting without permission, but the group showed media the email it had sent in response to the initial violation where they said they weren’t aware of the rule.
“When you mentioned notifying you of club activities, we understood that to mean larger events, like the disability awareness event that we discussed during our club training meeting,” the reform group told the IGNITE clubs coordinator.
IGNITE had told the ARG that it was disappointed in the lack of transparency, an allegation that the reform group said was “unfounded.”
“The meeting was open to all students, openly publicized, and attendance from all parties on Humber North campus was strongly encouraged,” the group emailed in return to the violation email.
“In fact, we feel that our conduct as a student organization has been far more transparent than the conduct that many students have reported with the APR services at the University of Guelph-Humber.”
Overlap with APRs
The Academic Reform Group said one of the reasons listed for the dissolution of the group from official club status was that it covers some of the roles of the Academic Program Representatives.
The ARG noted in an email given to its press pool that “perhaps our Constitution does overlap in a few of the roles” that the IGNITE APRs are tasked with carrying out, but said that ARG “will go above and beyond the limits of this role”.
“The [ARG] aims to cover all policies that apply to the University of Guelph-Humber and Humber North Campus students; including provincial and federal policies that may affect these campuses.”
More details to follow. Image of the University of Guelph-Humber from Eli Ridder/The Avro Post.