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Exclusive: Student group says cannabis ban promotes stigma

Student group takes strong stance on harm reduction.



Eli Ridder | Report

The Humber College and University of Guelph-Humber chapter of the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy believes that the full campus-wide ban on recreational cannabis consumption only serves to stigmatize those that are users, the president told The Avro Post in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

Possession and use of recreational cannabis was legalized nationwide as each time zone ticked 12 a.m. overnight across Canada, but the policy for campus is that students are not allowed to consume pot in any facilities or on their residences.

However, the CSSDP argues that “the issue of cannabis use on campus is a dynamic and multi-faceted one” and its president, Emelia Maceášik, said that the group advocates for “reasonable and realistic policies”, and recognized that students will smoke cannabis on residence regardless of the ban.

“The solution is that we either provide a safe consumption space for students to use cannabis legally, or students who are already smoking it will continue to do so in their dorm rooms, or elsewhere on college property,” the CSSDP president said.


Image of Maceášik.

Campus chapter president Maceášik, who recently ran as a candidate in the Guelph Senate by-election, is running a CSSDP Cannabis Legalization Information Day booth to be set up in the Guelph-Humber atrium on Thursday.

While answering questions about the booth, Ms. Maceášik said “the CSSDP believes that full, campus wide and residence bans on recreational cannabis consumption only serve to stigmatize users.”

“Colleges need to keep the wellbeing of both faculty and students in
mind; with a goal to offer harm reduction resources that may potentially reduce cannabis use and help current users to consume cannabis products in a safe manner—with respect to themselves and others,” the psychology student said.

In regards to creating specific areas on campus for cannabis consumption, Maceášik said the CSSDP will refrain from giving an official stance, but will monitor the solutions developed by other universities and take input from students on campus.

When asked to describe the CSSDP in one sentence, the president said “eliminating stigma”.

Maceášik said this “means acknowledging that people with substance use disorders and individuals who choose to consume substances should be treated with the same dignity and respect that you would give to anyone else.”

“Drug users are friends, family, teachers, students and mentors. They are members of our community, and their wellbeing matters.”

The Avro Post has reached out to IGNITE student leaders, the University of Guelph-Humber and Humber College administrations and the provincial government for comment.

More details to follow. Image of the CSSDP from their website. ■

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Rainn Wilson visit postponed

Any updates will be posted by IGNITE.



File photo of Rainn Wilson via Wikimedia Commons.

A 2020 visit to Humber College by Rainn Wilson — who played Dwight Schrute on The Office — originally scheduled for January has been postponed due to an “unforeseen conflict with his production schedule”, IGNITE said in a statement posted on Friday.

“We appreciate your patience as we work towards a new date,” the student union, which has scheduled the actor as a guest for its Real Talks series, posted to its Instagram Story, adding that any updates will be published on IGNITE’s social media and on its website.

Although The Office has been off the air for a few years at this point, the legacy of Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. still has a strong grip on pop culture and television as a whole.

The jokes of Dwight Schrute, Michael Scott, Jim Halpert, Pam Beasley and all of the wild and wacky employees from Scranton, PA can still be heard quoted both in-person and online.

Wilson won the SAG award for Performance in an Ensemble Cast for comedy series for The Office in 2004, 2007 and 2008 which he shared with his costars of the show.

In the time since The Office left TV, Wilson has founded the website and YouTube channel SoulPancake. The channel tackles the human experience and focuses on those who have the ability to change the world.

Wilson has also been part of numerous movements that focus on the betterment of the planet and has recently switched to a vegan lifestyle. He was involved with Justin Wu’s UN Climate Change project in order to bring aware to the crisis that the global community is facing for the foreseeable future.

Tickets for the event were to go on sale on Jan. 2 and would have been $5 for Humber and Guelph-Humber students and $15 for non-Humber students and guests. Only one guest would have been allowed per Humber or Guelph-Humber student. ■

Reporting by Nicholas Seles;
Editing by Eli Ridder.
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Andrew Scheer resigning as Conservative Party leader

He will remain as an MP.



File photo of Andrew Scheer via Wikimedia Commons.

After failing to claim a win in the federal election and amid revelations that he used party money to pay for his children’s private schooling, Andrew Scheer said on Thursday he will resign as leader of the Conservative Party.

Scheer said he will remain as leader until a replacement is chosen in remarks to the House of Commons after the news broke, adding that he will ask the party to start the process of a leadership contest. He will remain the member of parliament for Regina–Qu’Appelle.

“In order to chart the course ahead in the direction this party is heading, the party needs someone who can give 100 per cent,” Scheer, who led the Conservatives in winning the popular vote. Because the Tory ballots were concentrated in prairie provinces, the party was unable to win the most ridings.

His resignation comes as a direct result of new revelations that he was using party money to pay for his children’s private schooling, according to Conservative sources who spoke with Global News. The money was spent without permission from the Tory fund board.

Though the decision to resign was not made lightly, Scheer cited conversations with his loved ones, and said he “felt it was time to put my family first”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked Scheer for his service in parliament and said “I wish him all the very, very best in his next steps” while acknowledging the sacrifices made by the families of politicians. ■

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Once again, reporters barred from IGNITE Board meeting

The meeting takes place at Lakeshore Campus.



IGNITE logo on a Lakeshore Campus building on Dec. 11, 2019.

Two student reporters from The Avro Post were told they could not enter a Board of Directors meeting at Lakeshore Campus on Wednesday evening by Chairperson Neto Naniwambote, once again breaking the student union’s own bylaws.

The bylaws state that Board meetings are open to members — all students — unless the directors then and there pass a motion to exclude the members from the meeting.

Because reporters arrived at what was scheduled to be the beginning of the meeting, it is clear there was no such vote for Wednesday. Minutes released from September and October show no such vote took place.

IGNITE broke its own bylaws when an official told a student journalist in September that she could not enter what turned out later to be a critical Board meeting and continues to do so each time it blocks students without a vote.

In October, four reporters from The Post attempted to find a meeting scheduled to take place in North Campus. Despite being early to the location of where they typically occur, the reporters were unable to find any directors

The November meeting was scheduled to take place in the University of Guelph-Humber. It appeared as though it was taking place inside a conference room on the first floor of the Atrium but reporters were unable to verify.

The organization also removed the exact times and meeting locations that were posted in the summer sometime between Aug. 14 and Sept. 11 — another violation of its bylaws that they have not addressed.

As pressure mounts from student journalists and those that follow student politics to create more transparency, IGNITE has been holding Board of Directors meetings without allowing access.

The Board meetings were set for 6 p.m. before the time was deleted from the IGNITE website. Room numbers were also given and can still be previewed via a website cataloging service.  ■

Reporting by Kristy Lam, Eli Ridder.
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