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Humber College outlines how student fees will work

It includes two categories.

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File photo.

In an email to students on Monday afternoon, Humber College detailed how tuition fees will work for the upcoming semester with the newly mandated Student Choice Initiative, breaking it down into two sections of ancillary fees and Enhanced Student Experience fees.

Ancillary fees are the compulsory and and “support student services and activities distinct from academic programming”, said the Office of the Registrar. At least several of these fees will fund some library services and sports.

The so-called “enhanced student experience” charges will fund IGNITE, the student union representing those enrolled at Humber and the University of Guelph-Humber, and its clubs. It also covers career planning programs, leadership development and the college’s alumni network.

The Student Choice Initiative, or SCI, was introduced by Premier Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservative provincial government earlier this year to allow students to opt-out of certain ancillary fees that were previously mandatory.

The announcement was made amid a 10 per cent tuition cut for domestic students and major slashes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program. The SCI and student financial aid cuts have caused significant backlash from student organizations, campus publications and students across Ontario.

The fees for the IGNITE student union break down into five categories: leadership programming, governance, events, career-focused programming and student financial relief. Each fee can be opted-out of individually and together cost $55.95.

The amount has previously been around $75 for all IGNITE fees but because the health and dental insurance plans are considered part of the mandatory bundle for those that do not already have it, this fee appears lower.

For full costs, the college encouraged students to sign into their MyHumber account and find more information through the “Student Account and Fees” tab. University of Guelph-Humber students can visit WebAdvisor.

The IGNITE optional fees apply the same to those enrolled at both Humber and Guelph-Humber.

Ercole Perrone, IGNITE’s executive director and top member of staff, told The Post earlier this year that the Humber College Board of Governors would have to approve the SCI process, following strict rules from the provincial government.

Perrone will be speaking with journalists from The Post on Tuesday, when there will likely be more details given around how the college and the student union worked to approve the optional student fees.

The IGNITE Board of Directors, made up of elected students, passed what was essentially a stopgap budget earlier this year that was later approved at the Annual General Meeting.

Chris Whitaker, president of the college, confirmed in that Humber’s approach to comply with the SCI would include core services that will remain paid for.

“There will also be a group of things which are there on an opt-in basis and then I think the idea is that students will be able to select from a menu what they want to support and what they don’t,” Whitaker told Humber News in an interview.

It was the first statement from the college administration on how the optional student fees will be presented, but it appears there was no further questioning on what exactly the “menu” of options will entail.

Provincial parliamentarian and secretary to the post-secondary education minister David Piccini told The Avro Post last week that it was largely up to each institution how the optional student fees would be carried out.

The college president also encouraged students at the time to take time to budget very carefully while financing is available, consider all options and “certainly seek out any advice or assistance from the various supports and services that exist at Humber”.


This story is developing and will be updated. ■

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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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