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IGNITE highlights the Board of Directors

A pair of directors are interviewed.

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File photos from IGNITE's blog post.

IGNITE on Thursday highlighted two members of its Board of Directors in a new blog post as part of an effort to promote the top decision-making body of the student union, made up of elected representatives from Humber College campuses and the University of Guelph-Humber.

Neto Naniwambote, North director and chairperson of the Board, and Nav Sidhu, the first and only director from Orangeville, were interviewed by staff writer Andrew Slock, a third year public relations student. Sidhu is also the vice chairperson.

The pair of directors gave some insight into why they wanted to join the Board, what items they have voted on during meetings and what they hop to accomplish by the end of their terms.

“When the executive director presents a budget, what are you looking for in orders to approve it” and “what questions are you asking” were asked in the article.

Only Naniwambote answered the question, saying that “when it comes to managing money that comes from students, everyone at the college wants to ensure it’s used responsibly”, adding that directors “access every line item”.

“Then we consider the budget as a whole, and ask questions like, ‘which program or service are we focusing on most and why?’ or ‘is there an area we should reduce spending to benefit another program?’, the director said.

Both directors answered a question asking what specific items is the Board voting on this year so far and how they tie into the organization at large.

Naniwambote highlighted the move to hire IGNITE’s student executives instead of elect them so that they can be held to “a higher degree of accountability.”

Sidhu said that “with the introduction of the Student Choice Initiative by the Ontario government, we’ve had to completely revamp IGNITE’s organizational goals”, which was the same statement she was quoted for in Tuesday’s press release officially announcing the bylaws.

“Other than that, we’re exploring ways to encourage students to opt-in for IGNITE’s optional fees in order to improve their college experience,” she added.

Sidhu responded to a question about the working relationship between the Board and the executive team, which is made up of an elected president and vice presidents, calling it “friendly and professional”, making it easy to “collaborate on projects”.

When asked what he has accomplished in his role that he is proud of, Naniwambote said it was the student union’s relationship with student journalists.

We know they have a lot of questions about our organization, so we invited them to meet with the board and executive teams for a Q&A session,” he said, referencing the Oct. 4 press briefing where reporters were encouraged not to record or take photos.

“We had really positive group discussions and the students seemed to appreciate the opportunity,” he added. The briefing was held only after significant backlash from student journalists at the Humber Et Cetera and The Avro Post after IGNITE blocked a reporter from a Board meeting in September.

His statement comes 16 days after IGNITE President Monica Khosla said that The Avro Post would be cut off from media requests and the monthly briefings unless the publication obtained a faculty advisor.

Director Naniwambote was asked about what he considers to be IGNITE’s most significant accomplishment as an organization. He responded by pointing out the pay-what-you-can soupbar and the free menstrual kits as “big accomplishments” that are not offered by other colleges.

The menstrual kit initiative was driven by former Vice President of Lakeshore Allisa Lim.

It is unclear how exactly the soupbar came to be, but a former vice president was elected on a platform that focused on bringing back the Linx Lounge bar and was halted in his tracks due to earlier planning for the soupbar.

The pair of directors also answered questions about their role models, what animal they would be and more. ■

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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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File photo of Humber College

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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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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