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Exclusive: Ex-director ‘not surprised’ by IGNITE’s actions

Brand may matter over governance.

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SPECIAL REPORT

A former Board director told The Avro Post this week that they were “not surprised” by IGNITE’s recent changes to governance and transparency, adding that it is the president who, as an executive, has the power to make decisions.

IGNITE has come under fire from students and campus publications alike over a series of moves made or announced since September to cut back on elected student governance and transparency around Board of Directors meetings.

In response to the student union’s unprecedented new direction, the Board director, who served last year and spoke on the condition of anonymity due to career prospects, said that “honestly I’m not surprised with the type of leadership that they have.”

“An organization like this needs to put students first and every aspect of decision making should be asking ‘is this putting our students first’,” the director added in messages to The Post.

Without a students-first approach, the president is not doing her job, the director insinuated.

IGNITE President Monica Khosla told The Post on Oct. 15 that it was cut off from any and all media requests or press briefings until the independent student publication was able to obtain a faculty advisor. Khosla alleged incorrect reporting mostly regarding IGNITE’s plans for the future.

“The president has [the] final say. So, if she is not using her power to make her own decisions and goes by what everyone who works there full time tells her than this is how it’s going to be,” the director said, adding that “she did the same thing last year.”

This director, along with comments from an additional IGNITE source from earlier this year, lends significant credibility for the first time to the indication that the priorities of paid staff could override or influence elected student representatives for the sake of the student union’s brand.

The proposition that IGNITE is more concerned about its brand than student governance has been an allegation from many students over the years but there was never any confirmed indication this was true.

However, with two sources giving such an indication this year and Khosla emphasizing the “harm” being done to IGNITE via allegedly incorrect reporting by The Post, the rumours of branding over governance has now been lent credibility.

The former Board director wrote in their comments to The Post that they felt as if students had come first in the past but it was “up to the president to hold everyone accountable.”

IGNITE’s Board Policy states that the Chief Executive Office is made up of the executive director, the top staffer at the student union, and the elected president.

IGNITE plans to eventually have executives hired instead of elected. Thus, there would be no student-chosen representative as part of the executive and on the several on-campus boards the president sits on, including Humber College’s Board of Governors.

The Board of Directors, made up currently of 10 representatives from three Humber College campuses and the University of Guelph-Humber, is charged with holding the Chief Executive Office accountable.

The Avro Post has reached out for comment from IGNITE. ■

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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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