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Joint committee is overseeing optional fees implementation: Et Cetera

New details surrounding the SCI.

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Eli Ridder | Report

A joint committee made up of stakeholders from Humber College, the University of Guelph-Humber and the IGNITE student union is providing oversight for the implementation of the Student Choice Initiative on campus, Humber Et Cetera reported on Tuesday.

“Every ancillary fee that a student pays is overseen and administered by a committee and this committee has IGNITE people on it and it has members of Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber administration on it,” IGNITE Executive Director Ercole Perrone told the Et Cetera.

Perrone said the meetings will determine with all the parties ensuring they’re approaching the intent of the policy correctly, “and what’s going to stay, what’s gonna go, what’s going to be mandatory, and what’s going to be optional.” The existence of the “fee protocol committee” has not been previously reported.

The SCI leaves IGNITE with a level of uncertainty over how much funding it will receive, as previously reported by The Avro Post. Student unions across the province are scrambling to find out more information.

The optional student fees coming into play this fall after being introduced by the provincial Progressive Conservative government earlier this year has received backlash from student unions, campus publications and other organizations normally funded by fully mandatory fees on top of tuition.

The average Humber College and Guelph-Humber undergraduate student pays $75 in fees to fund largely the medical insurance offered by IGNITE but also events, clubs and other services provided by the student union. The campus does not have a funded student newspaper.

The Et Cetera interviewed the IGNITE executive director who had told students during the Annual General Meeting in March that they could come to the student union’s offices to get more information on finances. Peronne never responded to two requests for meetings from The Avro Post or its staff.


Image of Humber College North Campus from The Avro Post.
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Factbox: Every decision made by the Board this term

A fact box regarding the Board of Directors.

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This is a specific list of every known decision made by the current term of IGNITE’s Board of Directors, since May 2019.

The items are organized by significance, but are accompanied by time stamps.


Who’s who?

Ercolé Perrone is the executive director of IGNITE and the top paid staff. He has worked at the student union for over a decade.

The Board of Directors is a governing body made up usually of nine directors, but this year it is 10 because, for the first time, there is an Orangeville director.

The executives are made up of one president and a vice president from North and Lakeshore Campuses as well as the University of Guelph-Humber.

Kristin Gavlan is the Leadership Initiatives Coordinator.

IGNITE is the student union for members at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber.


Major items first:

  • Sept. 11, 2019: Directors pass package of seven bylaw amendments that change the structure of how IGNITE will govern. More on these proposals here.
  • Nov. 13, 2019: Directors pass Board policy update banning all non-members of the Board from attending meetings, a move highly unusual for a student union. More here.
  • Oct. 9: First talks in minutes regarding closing off the Board of Directors meetings and the proposed “Media Days”.

  • At each meeting the minutes of the previous one was passed. IGNITE is then, according to its bylaws, to post the approved meeting minutes from the month previous. However, the student union has been late, sometimes by over 50 days, each time this academic year.
  • May 9, 2019: Neto Naniwambote chosen as chair of the Board and Nav Sidhu chosen as vice-chair. More here.
  • May 9, 2019: Motion to approve the appointment of Vanessa Silaphet as the Board Secretary for 2019-2020. More here.
  • May 9, 2019: Motion to approve the appointment of Monica Khosla – President and Megan Roopnarine – Vice President Guelph-Humber, as the alternate signing authorities.
  • Sept. 11: Approval of May 9 meeting minutes. However, these minutes will not be posted for some time. More here.
  • Sept. 11: Approval of hired Vice President Shay Hamilton after election Simran quit over the summer.
  • Sept. 11: BDO issues a clean audit report. 2018-2019 Audited Financial Statements approved.
  • Sept. 11: Executive Director Ercole Perrone presents an update for the revised budget with students currently interacting with optional fees. October meeting will have update.
  • Oct. 9: Budget approval, revealing the opt-in rate for optional student fees. More here.

Below is a link to each set of Board of Directors meeting minutes that have been released so far.

May 9

Sept. 11

Oct. 9

Nov. 13 ■

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IGNITE ramps up promotion ahead of Special Meeting

A new poster was released on Friday.

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Photo of IGNITE banner in the North Campus Student Centre on Jan. 16, 2020/TAP.

IGNITE on Friday ramped up its promotion of a critical Special Meeting of the Members with new posters calling on students to “voice your opinion” and vote on a package of proposed bylaw amendments that would bring significant changes to the structure of the student union if passed.

Any Humber College or University of Guelph-Humber student with their post-secondary identification is allowed entry into the meeting taking place in North Campus’ Student Centre, with a live stream taking place in Lakeshore’s K Building. It starts at 11 a.m. on Jan. 22.

Photo of IGNITE poster on Jan. 17, 2020.

Beyond the new poster, encouraging students to “amplify your voice”, IGNITE has in the past week published a blog post giving “three reasons” for its members to show up to the Special Meeting, or SMOM, and posted a formal, though scarce agenda. Also, freshly printed literature was first seen on Thursday that outlined what the new structure of IGNITE would look like with hired executives.

An email went out on Friday afternoon to all students from the student union encouraging students to attend the SMOM. “IGNITE will propose policy updates to align ourselves with the Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act,” the email read.

At the Special Meeting, several bylaw amendments previously approved by the elected Board of Directors will come forward to the student body at-large for approval. The proposed changes include hiring executives instead of an election process and giving more unilateral power to the Board, among five other items.

The amendment to end executive elections and other policy moves being made by the student union to cut off Board of Directors meetings are part of a process to move IGNITE towards a more corporate future that officials claim is in the “best interest” of students and align the organization closer with the Ontario Non-for-profits Corporations Act. ■ ■

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Photos: Vigil for Iran plane crash victims at Humber College

Photos by The Avro Post.

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Photo by Joelle Awad on Jan. 16, 2020.

Humber College on Thursday held community gatherings at North and Lakeshore Campuses.

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