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How IGNITE got a new vice president

The executive director gives a background.

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SPECIAL REPORT

In an interview with The Avro Post on Tuesday, IGNITE’s executive director revealed the process behind choosing a new vice president for Humber College North Campus — a hire that had their first day on Tuesday.

Though director Ercolé Perrone did not spell out their name, he said that the new vice president was, phonetically, “Shayne Hamilton”. The Avro Post is waiting on an official release from the student union for his or her identity.

The process started when Simran, the mysterious vice president that never responded to a request for comment from The Post, quit her role that she was elected to with 1,778 votes. President Monica Khosla announced her departure in a statement on June 10.

Perrone said this triggered options for the IGNITE Board of Directors. They could decide from several options.

The Board could have held a by-election or panel interviews starting in September, a process that would have required election resources and candidate approval from the Board of Governors. The candidate would not have likely been in place until mid-October with this process.

The Board also could have voted to keep the position unfilled, and save money in the process, Perrone told The Post, saying that everything was being considered.

The other option available to them, and one not unprecedented for student unions, was to hire a replacement from the student population. Some said this was undemocratic, and, though it was not technically a democratic move, the decision was made by democratically elected representatives.

Neto Naniwambote, the Board chair, told The Post on Wednesday morning that the decision to open the position up for applications and hire the best individual for the job was one made unanimously.

“The Board had thoughtful discussion about the pros and cons of each option above and after much consideration and deliberation it was decided that it was better to have someone join the team as soon as possible,” Naniwambote wrote in a statement.

Because the vice president was added ahead of September, the chair said that they are able to “hit the ground running being a strong voice for students when the school year starts”.

The Board of Directors is made up of entirely of 10 elected students: four from North Campus, three from Lakeshore Campus, two from the University of Guelph-Humber and, for the first time, one from Orangeville Campus.



Perrone said that the Board decided to move ahead with the hire option considering the major changes coming to the student union and how it operates due to the Student Choice Initiative — optional student fees coming into play for the fall semester.

The new vice president, who Perrone said was Hamilton, will likely be introduced very shortly to the student community via IGNITE’s social media channels and their website.


Editor’s Note: A wide-ranging interview with the IGNITE executive director revealed several details on different topics. More details will follow in stories today and this week. ■

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Exclusive: Guelph-Humber will not be moving as strategic plan is developed

There are no plans to move the university as a new strategic plan is developed.

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File photo of the University of Guelph-Humber on Sept. 24, 2019 by Eli Ridder/TAP.

The University of Guelph told The Avro Post on Friday that there are no plans to physically relocate the University of Guelph-Humber “at this time” amid an ongoing process to develop a new strategic plan expected to be completed by the spring.

After a report revealed that last year that Guelph-Humber’s sole building at Humber College’s North Campus was over capacity and there were unverified rumours that the university would be moved, questions arose over its future.

Guelph-Humber was established in 2002 through a partnership between the University of Guelph and Humber College.

Officials pointed to a new webpage dedicated to bringing together all resources to do with the partnership between Guelph and Humber including an operational review undertaken during the fall of 2017.

There has not been a new strategic plan since the governing framework of Guelph-Humber was written in 1999 to establish the university and so a year-long process was launched last May to make a new plan, according to a press release from the presidents of Guelph and Humber.

Guelph-Humber graduates receive a bachelor’s degree from Guelph and a college diploma from Humber. Guelph-Humber students have access to many of the supports provided by Humber and are also members of the IGNITE student union. ■

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

It awaits AGM approval.

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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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