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IGNITE behind counterparts in digital opt-in promotion

The Avro Post publishes a special report.

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SPECIAL REPORT

In comparison to counterpart student unions at three separate institutions, IGNITE has significantly less digital promotion encouraging students to not opt-out of the services and programs it provides when the Student Choice Initiative comes into play for the fall of 2019.

Instagram posts were compared between the student unions at Humber College, the University of Guelph, George Brown College and the University of Toronto.

Since the optional student fees were announced on Jan. 17, The Avro Post found that IGNITE posted three times regarding changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program in the form of less grants and more loans and the their response to the SCI.

What is the Student Choice Initiative or SCI?

It allows for students to opt-out of certain fees they were previously forced to pay when attending post-secondary institutions. Most of these fees power student unions, on-campus publications and other programs or services.

IGNITE’s executive director told The Avro Post he expects the student union to have “”nine to 10” options for students to un-select come fall.

Between Jan. 17 and April 24, @ShareIGNITE account made 63 posts on Instagram. There were five categories that The Avro Post broke each post down into: Regarding OSAP or the SCI; an event or related to event; story promotion; meme related to a story; and another type of promotion.

IGNITE and the University of Toronto Student Union both posted three times on the changes to student financial life. George Brown College’s Student Association made seven. Guelph’s Central Student Association made over 30.

Detailed Statistics
What IGNITE posted on Instagram:

On OSAP or SCI: 3
Event or Related: 16
Story Promotion: 8
Meme Related to Story: 28
Other Promotion: 8

During a series of interviews with IGNITE Executive Director Ercole Perrone, he refused to directly address the status of the student union’s outreach, digitally or otherwise. IGNITE’s executives only formally participated in one rally at Queen’s Park.


Image of IGNITE from The Avro Post.

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Campus

Nominations open for 2020 IGNITE elections

Nomination packages are due by Feb. 14.

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File photo.

IGNITE on Tuesday posted details and nomination packages for its 2020 elections on social media, setting up its first ever election without executive positions.

There are 10 positions open for students to run for, all on the Board of Directors.

There are four positions open at North Campus, three seats at Lakeshore, two open at Guelph-Humber and a sole position available at Orangeville.

All nomination packages are due by Feb. 14 and can be filled out on the elections webpage. ■

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Campus

A new era for IGNITE

The next generation of directors will have new challenges.

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File photo of the IGNITE symbol.

With the passing of several bylaw amendments on Wednesday at a Special Meeting of the Members, IGNITE on Thursday strides into a new era with five months of decision-making behind it.

Elections will start in a matter of weeks and, for the first time in its history, the student union will not be electing executives. There will only be candidates for the Board, which sits at the top of IGNITE. 

There will be open seats at Humber College’s North, Lakeshore and Orangeville Campuses as well as at the University of Guelph-Humber. This next generation of directors will preside over a very different student union then the one the current term was handed last April.

In some ways, there will be more certainty.

They will enter a student union that has been reset with a new, more corporate direction moving forward through a new base rule: By-law No. 1 — which resets the rules for IGNITE with the bylaw amendments that students passed at the Special Meeting of the Members, combined with the skeleton of the previous Constitution.

That is not to say there will not be challenges. Chief among them will be the ongoing legal struggle over the Student Choice Initiative. Currently, the province is looking to appeal the decision made by the Ontario Divisional Court to strike down the initiative.

Several student unions, including the University of Toronto Students’ Union, have cancelled opt-out portals, ending its optional student fees and returning to the previous status quo of 100 per cent mandatory fees.

IGNITE reiterated its position on Wednesday that it would not end optional student fees while the SCI was in essential legal limbo.

If the Ford administration is successful in repealing the court ruling, student union officials said they would not want a scenario where they would have to flip-flop between mandatory and optional fees.

Directors will also have to manage hiring and overseeing the new student engagement coordinators, who will replace the current executive model.

They will be hired staffers within the student union and sit below the executive director and alongside part-time staff, according to graphics released by IGNITE. ■

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Campus

Constitution formally replaced with ‘By-law No. 1’

It awaits AGM approval.

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File photo.

Following approval by the members of new bylaw amendments on Wednesday, IGNITE has replaced its Constitution with “By-law No. 1”, though it still needs confirmation by the members at the Annual General Meeting.

By-Law No. 1 contains eight pages of rules, a full five pages less than the previous Constitution. It states it will need confirmation by the members on Mar. 22, 2020, a potential reveal of the date set for the AGM, a normal timeframe. ■

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