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No IGNITE Halloween event this year, other options

Get the party on around Toronto.

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File photo of Halloween via Pexels.

IGNITE for the first time in several years will not hold a Halloween-themed event near the end of October and no reason was given as to why, but there are other party options throughout the city for those seeking excitement.

The popular Fiction nightclub is holding “Fright Night 2019” on Friday and tickets can be bought for the students-orientated event for $20 in advance or $25 regular. Everyone is welcome, including non-students.

A tradition for many is Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland. Tickets are about $38 plus tax with a valid student identification and can be bought in advance on the event page.

Into drinking? A Halloween-themed club crawl organized by Student Tours Canada will be hitting Toronto streets on Saturday and tickets can be bought via Eventbrite.


No IGNITE event

Frosh was confirmed safe by IGNITE’s executive director during an interview in July, but the Student Choice Initiative may have impacted other events that usually come throughout the academic year.

IGNITE’s staff director, Ercolé Perrone, said at the time that Frosh “may not look the same, it may not be two concerts”, but that it — and other large events that usually take place through the year — are still on the agenda.

“We will continue on with some of those signature activities and events, even with the unpredictability of the funding,” Perrone said, explaining that IGNITE is confident students will choose not to opt-out of the fees.

IGNITE has scheduled a Halloween party every year since the student union was re-branded as IGNITE in 2016. However, in 2017, the Halloween event was cancelled due to a five-week long college faculty strike.

It is unclear whether there was not enough funds in place from the Events and Opportunities Fee to hold the event or if there was another or a mixture of reasons.

Earlier this year, a source told The Avro Post that tickets for Frosh were discounted for all students because they were underselling. However, several weeks later, IGNITE’s Wild ‘N Out was reportedly well-attended.

IGNITE has not yet released opt-in numbers for the Student Choice Initiative, or SCI. When asked during an Oct. 4 press briefing about publishing the exact numbers, Perrone acted surprised that students would even be interested.

Several other student union’s have published their opt-in data, however, the only indication about the SCI for IGNITE is that about 80 per cent remained opted-in to a set of “Enhanced Student Experience” fees that were previously not optional, according to Humber’s president.

Perrone did not dispute the 80 per cent mark when asked by a Post reporter in October. There has yet to be a confirmation that IGNITE will release the data at any point, however, it could be at the delayed Special Meeting of the Members in January.

It is unclear at this point what other events could be impacted, such as the annual “Frost” that usually takes place in the new year. While Halloween might be skipped this year, the networking-focused LinkedIn Local series is back with a first event set for early November. ■

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Journalists make Board meetings 'unproductive', IGNITE says

Staff told the Et Cetera that Board meetings are cut off.

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File photo.

IGNITE’s Acting Communications Director Unika Hypolite said that the “participation of a journalist has the potential to make [B]oard meetings unproductive” in recent comments to the Humber Et Cetera, also confirming clearly for the first time that journalists are not allowed.

Staff told the Et Cetera that journalist attendance at the meetings where decisions are made on the fees collected from students would be uncomfortable for the elected directors.

IGNITE recently cut off students from Board meetings, starting with the first one of the semester on Sept. 11, breaking their own bylaws. Because the student union has given at least two sets of conflicting rules regarding attendance at the meetings, it is unclear exactly what the procedure is.

The student union posted a memo on its Governance page after that first meeting saying that students would need permission from the executive director to attend. Executive Director then told Post reporters at the October press briefing that it is actually a vote by the democratically elected directors that block attendees from the meetings.

He added that the Governance page would need to be updated to more accurately reflect the true procedure.

The reason they do not want journalists or students in general at the meetings, officials say, is because there are oftentimes sensitive topics discussed that they do not want in the public eye.

At virtually every other student union in Ontario, Board of Directors meetings are open with the exception of moments when they vote to go “in-camera”, a portion of the meeting that is private.

When Post reporters asked about this technique instead of cutting off the meetings entirely, Hypolite said in October that the organization would “take it under advisement”.

If reporters were allowed inside the September Board meeting, the changes to the

IGNITE also plans to do away with executive elections should a package of bylaw amendments be passed at a January Special Meeting of the Members on Jan. 22, a new date reported by the Et Cetera after reporting earlier that it was taking place on Jan. 16.

Interviews with several current and former student union officials with Post reporters have revealed that the way IGNITE has been operating this semester is highly unusual and out of step with the majority of its national counterparts.

IGNITE officials in October cut The Avro Post off from requests for comment or interviews saying that the reporting carried out by the publication after an Oct. 4 press briefing was inaccurate. Stories since by the Et Cetera appears to confirm much of that reporting.


Journalists not allowed

On Oct. 4, IGNITE officials told The Avro Post that student journalists could attend meetings but they could be asked to leave in a majority vote of directors.

However, reporters have been unable to even find the meetings because the exact locations and times have been deleted from their previous location online, breaking IGNITE’s own bylaws.

Now, it appears that journalists will be permanently cut off from the Board.

If the bylaw package coming to the Special Meeting of the Members in January is passed, the Board’s new unilateral powers will allow them to make decisions without the public being aware until meeting minutes are posted.

Meeting minutes are approved at the next meeting and are supposed to be posted online. However, IGNITE has occasionally taken longer than usual to post them this semester.

Without journalists being at the Board meetings, executives being hired instead of elected and the only other public meetings taking place only annually, some are concerned that there will be a further lack of transparency in the organization. ■

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Analysis

Part 1: Want to run for IGNITE?

Part 1 of a series on how to run successfully.

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File photo.

ANALYSIS

It’s that time of year again when students at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber are starting to ask the questions about running in IGNITE’s elections.

This is a quick primer on what exactly should be considered before getting started, how to prepare and what it takes to win — brought together by analysis of recent election history and interviews with past representatives. It is useful to both those brand new to student elections as well as veterans.

First off, you need to know that the options for elections will likely shrink. Dependent on a vote by regular students at a January Special Meeting of the Members, bylaw amendments could be passed that end elections for the president and vice presidents.

The most recent time that students voted against proposed changes was at a highly controversial meeting in the spring of 2014 when presidential election results were thrown out after a popular incumbent president was disqualified before voting could be completed.

Thus, if you were thinking of running for president or vice president, there is a chance you may not be able to. However, the positions will be be filled by hired students so if you want to apply through the hiring process, that is an option as well.

So, should you wish to campaign be elected into the student union, that leaves the Board of Directors. There are 10 directors this year, but there could be only nine seats up for grabs if no one wants the Orangeville director seat, which appears to only be available when one shows interest.

North Campus, with the largest population of students, has four seats on the Board. Lakeshore has three. Guelph-Humber has two. If there is a director from Orangeville, then there are 10 in total.

Those interested need to submit nomination papers. Then campaigns get underway middle to late February, running for around 10 days. During that time, candidates will be able to put up posters, hand out literature and participate in campaign events.

There are limits to how much a candidate can spend.

For the Board of Directors races, it is usually $100, however, this could potentially see a change when new bylaw amendments are approved in January, but there has been no confirmation because the amendments have not been detailed in full yet.

The presidential candidates could in previous years spend up to $300 and those aiming for the vice presidency of their respective campus could drop up to $200 on their campus.

Vague wording from the Sept. 11 Board of Directors meeting minutes state that the “president term” will be used for the chairperson of the Board. Since the student union has cut off The Avro Post, further requests for clarification went unanswered.

However, if the interpretation of that amendment is meant to define the chairperson as some new “president” figure — which falls in line with what IGNITE officials have been saying in recent months regarding making the Board the “face” of the student union — then possibly the position will be elected by a campus-wide vote instead of an internal Board vote.

There is no evidence to suggest this. But if it does happen, there could be a higher spending limit. Without executive elections, the Board would be more central to IGNITE elections than in the past, and spending limit changes could reflect this.

Other technical factors that need to be considered is that IGNITE election candidates need to be in good academic standing to participate. They also cannot be a president or executive of any external club or student organization. If the candidate is an IGNITE club president, they will have to step down.

But how do you win? The Post has spoken to several former candidates and successful student representatives to get the big ideas on how to win and they will be found in part two of this three-part series on IGNITE elections. ■

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Campus

Humber to mark violence against women day

A ceremony starts at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

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File photo for demonstration via Pexels.

Humber College will on Friday mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women with an Indigenous guest speaker.

The ceremony will start at 11:30 a.m. and run until 1 p.m., though the event page does not list a definite location.

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