Connect with us

IGNITE

Journalist denied entry to Board of Directors meeting

The journalist was enrolled for the fall.

Published

on

Staff | Report

There was no independent media coverage from the critical IGNITE Board of Directors meeting on Thursday evening because a student journalist with The Avro Post was denied entry due to not starting classes at Humber College until September.

The Humber Et Cetera, Humber News and Skedline were not seen entering the Board gathering, and so only IGNITE meeting minutes available later on will specify what took place in Room 6167, which was down a long hallway past a sign that read “employees only past this point”.

Hallway to LRC6167.

The directors were expected to define for the first time the framework of the Student Choice Initiative mandated by the Ontario government that will introduce optional student fees come this fall. Now, it is unclear how the information will be passed along by the student union.

The journalist, TAP’s Editor-in-Chief Eli Ridder, accepted Humber College’s offer-of-admission for the fall semester and was verified as a student via email from the college. He was previously a student at the University of Guelph-Humber.

First-Person: What Happened

When he knocked to enter the meeting room on the administrative sixth floor of the Learning Resource Commons of North Campus, Executive Director Ercole Perrone denied him entry, saying that he was not a student.

This went against the status quo that allowed the same reporter to attend a Board of Directors meeting earlier this year to report on it. There were no complaints in February over his attendance at the meeting where directors passed a budget that will get overwritten by summer.


Image of Humber College from The Avro Post. ■

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Campus

Once again, reporters barred from IGNITE Board meeting

The meeting takes place at Lakeshore Campus.

Published

on

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.
Continue Reading

Campus

Factcheck: IGNITE's claim over executive chats

IGNITE’s president makes an incorrect claim.

Published

on

Graphic by The Avro Post.

FACTCHECK

IGNITE is preparing to make several changes to how the student union operates, pending approval by a minimum quorum of students at a public Special Meeting of the Members in January.

In comments to the Et Cetera last week, President Monica Khosla said that the executive team — made up of herself and three vice presidents from Humber College campuses and the University of Guelph-Humber — has been speaking to dozens of students about the incoming changes.

The Board of Directors on Sept. 11 approved a series of bylaw amendments that significantly alter the way the student union governs and operates. These amendments are changes that will need to be approved by students in January.

The president, who was elected to a second term last spring, said that the changes were part of many discussions her and the vice presidents have with students.

Khosla then claimed that the executives had “not found one” student that disagreed with those proposed changes.

This is incorrect.

A screen capture of the Humber Et Cetera article where the inaccurate claim is made.

There was at least one student who formally met with Vice President Megan Roopnarine and disagreed with the bylaw amendments.

The student confirmed to The Avro Post that the meeting happened, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

These amendments could end executive elections and give more power to the Board, among other items.

A second student, also speaking to The Post on the condition of anonymity, offered opposition to the changes in casual conversations with executives earlier this year.

This means that the statement that there has been no opposition by any student is factually incorrect.

IGNITE will look to win students over to the proposed changes, however, a series of interviews with students around campus reveal that most are unaware that the changes could even happen.

For those that do, there is a mixed response.

Many students are concerned that student democracy could be undermined by the end of executive elections but others agree that hired presidents and vice presidents will be more effective for finding the right students for the job.

Only the Jan. 22 meeting when students will vote on the proposed amendments will reveal the opinion of students. ■

Continue Reading

Campus

Journalists make Board meetings 'unproductive', IGNITE says

Staff told the Et Cetera that Board meetings are cut off.

Published

on

File photo.

IGNITE’s Acting Communications Director Unika Hypolite said that the “participation of a journalist has the potential to make [B]oard meetings unproductive” in recent comments to the Humber Et Cetera, also confirming clearly for the first time that journalists are not allowed.

Staff told the Et Cetera that journalist attendance at the meetings where decisions are made on the fees collected from students would be uncomfortable for the elected directors.

IGNITE recently cut off students from Board meetings, starting with the first one of the semester on Sept. 11, breaking their own bylaws. Because the student union has given at least two sets of conflicting rules regarding attendance at the meetings, it is unclear exactly what the procedure is.

The student union posted a memo on its Governance page after that first meeting saying that students would need permission from the executive director to attend. Executive Director then told Post reporters at the October press briefing that it is actually a vote by the democratically elected directors that block attendees from the meetings.

He added that the Governance page would need to be updated to more accurately reflect the true procedure.

The reason they do not want journalists or students in general at the meetings, officials say, is because there are oftentimes sensitive topics discussed that they do not want in the public eye.

At virtually every other student union in Ontario, Board of Directors meetings are open with the exception of moments when they vote to go “in-camera”, a portion of the meeting that is private.

When Post reporters asked about this technique instead of cutting off the meetings entirely, Hypolite said in October that the organization would “take it under advisement”.

If reporters were allowed inside the September Board meeting, the changes to the

IGNITE also plans to do away with executive elections should a package of bylaw amendments be passed at a January Special Meeting of the Members on Jan. 22, a new date reported by the Et Cetera after reporting earlier that it was taking place on Jan. 16.

Interviews with several current and former student union officials with Post reporters have revealed that the way IGNITE has been operating this semester is highly unusual and out of step with the majority of its national counterparts.

IGNITE officials in October cut The Avro Post off from requests for comment or interviews saying that the reporting carried out by the publication after an Oct. 4 press briefing was inaccurate. Stories since by the Et Cetera appears to confirm much of that reporting.


Journalists not allowed

On Oct. 4, IGNITE officials told The Avro Post that student journalists could attend meetings but they could be asked to leave in a majority vote of directors.

However, reporters have been unable to even find the meetings because the exact locations and times have been deleted from their previous location online, breaking IGNITE’s own bylaws.

Now, it appears that journalists will be permanently cut off from the Board.

If the bylaw package coming to the Special Meeting of the Members in January is passed, the Board’s new unilateral powers will allow them to make decisions without the public being aware until meeting minutes are posted.

Meeting minutes are approved at the next meeting and are supposed to be posted online. However, IGNITE has occasionally taken longer than usual to post them this semester.

Without journalists being at the Board meetings, executives being hired instead of elected and the only other public meetings taking place only annually, some are concerned that there will be a further lack of transparency in the organization. ■

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.