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Exclusive: IGNITE tells staff to ignore campus press

The move comes amid a new communications strategy.

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IGNITE North Campus offices on Oct. 9, 2019. Eli Ridder/TAP

SPECIAL REPORT

IGNITE told its staff during a regular meeting at Lakeshore Campus last week that they should not speak to campus press under any circumstances, a source speaking on the condition of anonymity told The Avro Post on Wednesday evening.

The instruction to staff comes amid increasing media scrutiny as IGNITE makes significant changes to how the student union operates in terms of governance.

IGNITE has also made recent effort to improve its relationship with student journalists by starting monthly press briefings and re-opening a media request form online. A new communications director is set to start after Thanksgiving weekend and will likely contribute to the changes.

Also during the staff meeting, which took place on Friday, an individual said that Eli Ridder, editor-in-chief of The Avro Post, has a personal vendetta against the student union. Ridder has been covering IGNITE since October 2017 and has denied any such personal agenda.

IGNITE held a press briefing the same Friday where officials answered questions around incoming by-laws, outlined a new, more corporate future and held a discussion about changing the relationship between the student union and the student press.

The press briefing was largely held in response to inquires from The Avro Post and Humber Et Cetera regarding what appeared to be a new policy closing off Board of Directors meetings after a Post reporter was not allowed access to the first Board meeting of the semester in September.

During that Sept. 11 Board meeting, IGNITE put up a memo on their Governance page saying that, under provincial law, only directors have the right to attend the meetings. While the claim is legally sound under the Ontario Corporations Act, it raised questions over precedent and ethics.

It triggered backlash, including an editorial from the Et Cetera where the student newspaper slammed the student union over transparency issues, and lead to the press briefing where officials clarified that students could go to the meetings but not student journalists.

Despite Executive Director Ercolé Perrone’s claim that regular students could still attend, IGNITE still did not put up the room numbers of the Board meetings that were taken down sometime after Aug. 14, according to a website archive program.

At the time the October meeting’s room location was “to be determined”.

The Avro Post has reached out for comment from the student union. IGNITE represents students enrolled at Humber College campuses and at the University of Guelph-Humber. ■

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Humber monitoring coronavirus outbreak

There are no special actions at this time.

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Humber College said it is monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak and its “potential impact on the institution” in a statement posted online last week and updated on Monday.

Toronto Public Health told the college that “there are no particular actions required” at this time.

A special group tasked with keeping the campus community informed on the latest precautions for the virus has been established, made up of stakeholders from various departments and the University of Guelph-Humber.

Humber points students, staff and faculty to the Ontario Ministry of Health website’s dedicated webpage for updates.

The college’s announcement also asked that those on campus “wash their hands as frequently as possible” due to it being the winter flu season.

As of Tuesday morning in Ontario, there is one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, one “presumptive” case and 11 cases under investigation. ■

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Nominations open for 2020 IGNITE elections

Nomination packages are due by Feb. 14.

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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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Bell Let’s Talk Day coming to Humber

Bell let’s talk day will be coming to Humber on Jan. 29.

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Bell will be bringing their yearly Let’s Talk event to Humber College this week.

Let’s Talk Day is a national day of raising awareness about mental health and furthering the conversation of acceptance, support and to decrease stigma.

The day also encourages the use of various platforms including social media to engage individuals. Bell also donates money to mental health funds based on messages sent throughout the day on their cellular network and social media posts.

Bell will be hosting two events at both Humber North and Lakeshore Campuses on Jan. 29.

The first event will be held at North in the LRC, starting at 10 a.m. and finishing at 12 p.m. The second event will be held at Lakeshore in A170 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is open to both Humber and Guelph-Humber student

Students who wish to contribute to the cause can make a tweet, a social media video, use Bell’s Facebook frame or Snapchat filter and also use the hashtag #BellLet’sTalk on social media. ■

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