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IGNITE publicly confirms incoming bylaw changes

The separation of governance and operations.

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File photo.

IGNITE publicly confirmed on Tuesday the major policy changes coming to student government, including the end of executive elections and the promotion of the Board of Directors as the “face of IGNITE”, details that were confirmed in a press briefing earlier in October.

The changes will be confirmed if they are passed as new bylaws during the Special Meeting of the Members in January, a forum that allows all full- and part-time students to vote on issues pertaining to the Constitution of the student union.

IGNITE also established three different tiers of membership in IGNITE. Full-Time Enhanced Members are full-time students that pay both the mandatory and optional fees, while full-time and part-time members are students who pay the mandatory and pro-rated mandatory fees, respectively.

“With the introduction of the student choice initiative by the Ontario government, we’ve had to completely revamp IGNITE’s organizational goals. Now we’re working on updating our by-laws to improve IGNITE’s management structure,” Orangeville Director Nav Sidhu said.

“We’re exploring ways to encourage students to opt-in for IGNITE’s optional fees in order to improve their student experience,” Sidhu, the first-ever Board director from Orangeville, added in the IGNITE press release.

The Student Choice Initiative was mandated by the province in January but started for the first time this academic year. It allows students to opt out of paying certain “non-essential” ancillary fees. For full-time students, there was $55.95 in optional fees.

The move to hire instead of elect executives “puts the power back where it belongs — with the students who are elected to the [B]oard”, IGNITE writes in the press release. Elections take place annually before exams in April.

The president is elected by votes from all Humber College campuses and the University of Guelph-Humber. Three vice presidents are elected from each campus. All four make up the executive, but deal more with the operations of the student union while the Board carries out governance.

“It’s important for students to understand that their power is not and never will be silenced,” IGNITE’s Executive Director Ercole Perrone said in the statement, adding that “these changes clarify who holds the power within IGNITE, which is the Board of Directors.”

Vice President Megan Roopnarine, elected by students enrolled at Guelph-Humber, said the changes address the consistent controversy surrounding executives not following through on promises made during their election campaigns.

“It can be confusing to the student body when executives run on platforms they can’t necessarily fulfill; it’s unfair to the student body and the students who run,” Roopnarine stated.

By focusing on the Board, we’re focusing on the students who truly set the direction for the organization.”


Governance

A majority of student unions in Ontario have a Board of Directors or equivalent body as well as elected executives. However, IGNITE cites Sheridan and Fleming colleges as examples of unions that hire instead of elect their president and vice presidents.

While the president of IGNITE has for years been considered the key spokesperson of the student union, the final decisions over finance and initiatives have laid with the Board of Directors, made up of nine to 10 elected students that represent different campuses.

IGNITE aims now to inform the student body at large “of the influence that the Board of Directors role has on students”, highlighting the power of the governing body, as part of the new changes.

The press release adds that hiring executives means there will be a “higher quality of executive candidates, with relevant role-specific skills to offer the organization”. The document, written by Managing Editor Alena Blanes, adds that the moves “align with our commitment to transparency”.

Blanes writes that hired presidents and vice presidents “ensures IGNITE’s executive roles are filled based on qualification, not just favourability”, adding that “by separating governance from operations, the attention is brought back to the Board of Directors, who hold the real power in the organization”.

The student union has been under some controversy since the Sept. 11 Board of Directors meeting when a Post reporter was blocked from entering and IGNITE posted new rules on its Governance page that said students needed permission to enter the gatherings or receive meeting minutes. ■

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Ambulance on campus for the 3rd time in 7 days

Police and ambulance services

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Cruisers in front of the LRC.

An ambulance and three Toronto Police vehicles were on campus on Wednesday afternoon for around one hour, marking at least the third time within seven days that emergency services have been spotted on campus.

It did not appear the ambulance was used during the hour or longer that it was parked in front of the Learning Resource Commons at the front of North Campus.

Two cruisers were parked in front, a police SUV and multiple campus security vehicles were in and out of the area.

The ambulance and police SUV departed campus at 3:40 p.m. while the first cruiser departed soon after. The final cruiser departed after 4 p.m. and no details were immediately available.

An ambulance was in front of the Learning Resource Commons a week ago as a male patient was carried out on a stretcher. On Sunday night, an ambulance was spotted in front of Residence T Building.

The Avro Post has reached out for details from Humber College. ■

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IGNITE Board to meet again in a hidden location

The student union has hidden exact locations since September.

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File photo via Pexels.

IGNITE’s Board of Directors, made up of elected student representatives, will be meeting on Wednesday evening at the University of Guelph-Humber, according to a schedule posted earlier this year by the student union, but no exact location or time has been made public.

The Board meeting locations were removed by the student union in September after paid staff blocked a reporter from The Avro Post from entering that month’s gathering of directors, a meeting that later turned out to be of major significance.

The Avro Post attempted to find the meeting in October but was unsuccessful. According to the IGNITE bylaws, the directors have to hold a majority vote to kick a student from the meeting, including student journalists. They are also required to post the meetings publicly.

However, IGNITE has rules currently on its Governance webpage that instruct students, who are classified as members of the union, to reach out to the executive director to obtain access to the meetings, bending the rules of their own bylaws.

If the meeting is indeed held in the University of Guelph-Humber, the typical location for the Board to gather is the conference room found by the entrance doors to the university in the Atrium. ■

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‘This is Garbage’ exhibit launches Thursday

It will be revealed in Lakeshore Campus.

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Image via Humber Today.

Garbage will be at the centre of the “This is Garbage” exhibit reveal at Humber College Lakeshore Campus on Thursday.

Sanda Van Ruymbeke will speak on critical analysis and explore the perception and constructs related to discarding material the way society does.

Ruymbeke will look at what contribution can one’s artistic practice make to challenge cultural perceptions and re-imagine the possibilities and value of garbage.

Sandra and Constant Van Ruymeke collaborated for the exhibit, which will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre.

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