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IGNITE offers $1K a month in contest, comes under fire

Just fill out a short survey.

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File photo of IGNITE.

IGNITE announced on Tuesday that it is giving away $1,000 every month in a repeating contest this academic year, a move that triggered both support from students and some backlash.

To enter, students are instructed to fill out a survey that asks a few straightforward questions about what one wants from the Humber experience. The contest will occur nine times over the year.

The eleventh question asks how students get to school and asks if the survey taker would like a Presto machine on campus. Presto is the card service used for transit in Toronto and area. It has been requested several times.

A new logo for IGNITE?

Additionally, the survey asks if students like what could be a new brand concept for the student union.


‘I opted out’

Several students responded to IGNITE’s post on Instagram about the contest, stating they find the giveaways a waste of money. In total, $9,000 will be awarded over the course of the academic year, says IGNITE.

“That money could be directed towards more important things, like more bursary options for students who can’t afford education,” Lazarus Mkrtchyan, adding that he believes the “giveaways are useless”.

An apparent student, Andreea Sindiescu, responded, saying that the money still goes to “a deserving student” as everyone enrolled has their own struggles whether it be tuition, food or rent.

Mkrtchyan, a fourth year at Humber College, replied that some students need it more than others, and, unlike a bursary that sets out qualifications and has an application process, a straight contest awards without consideration.

“Bursaries have a screening process and create equity for those who need it,” he wrote, explaining that “giveaways are random and someone who is not in a need has the same chance of winning as the others.”

Sindiescu responded, saying she agreed that bursaries were important but that “someone is always going to need money more than another”, saying it is “still great of [IGNITE] to do this”.

“You do make a good point though,” she added.

Another apparent student, Stuart O’Brien, said that “I understand you want people to fill out your survey but I don’t think holding a lottery giving away students funded [IGNITE] money is a great idea.”

“Definitely better places for $10,000+ to be spent,” O’Brien continued.

Mkrtchyan confirmed in response to O’Brien’s comment that he decided to opt-out of pay the $52.20 in service fees that keep some IGNITE services such as events, clubs and elections running.

“I don’t want to support this,” the bachelor of commerce marketing student concluded. ■

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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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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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