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Exclusive: Roopnarine was initially wary of hiring executives

She changed her mind.

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File photo of Megan Roopnarine, vice president of Guelph-Humber via IGNITE.

Vice President Megan Roopnarine told a student that she initially had qualms about hiring instead of electing IGNITE executives but eventually came around to the proposal, a bylaw amendment that could become a reality should it be passed by students in January.

The Avro Post will not publish the date of the meeting and the student’s name as they spoke on the condition of anonymity, however, their enrolment and identity has been verified. Roopnarine represents the University of Guelph-Humber and was elected in the spring.

Roopnarine did go on record in a press release last week saying that she was in favour of the move. It is rare for an executive to speak out against the status quo. It has been three years since an IGNITE executive openly criticized the student union.

But the revelation that Roopnarine told a student she was not initially on board with the move to hire instead of elect comes as The Avro Post first reported last month that there is evidence that staff influence comes into play to protect the brand of IGNITE over democratic governance.

Because the process of the bylaws being passed by the Board of Directors was hidden from public view during the Sept. 11 meeting when IGNITE staff did not let journalists enter due to reasons that were not actually in line with any bylaws.

Clubs Coordinator Kristine Gavlan told Post reporter Kristy Lam that she would not be able to enter due to new rules posted on the IGNITE website but, in fact, only the sentence inviting students into the meetings was removed from the Governance page.

That same evening, after Lam was sent home, an update was posted to the IGNITE website adding that students needed to receive permission from a staff member of the student union to attend. Executive Director Ercolé Perrone would need to give permission, it reads.

During an Oct. 4 press briefing, after being questioned about it by Post reporters, Perrone admitted that the rules for attendance posted on the website were incorrect and, in fact, the bylaws say that directors can vote in a simple majority for students to leave.

However, it is unclear exactly how students are to attend the meetings in the first place as exact times and locations are not posted online. Most of the details were up during August but taken down at some point between August and September, according to investigative reporting.

By not posting the time and place, IGNITE is breaking its own bylaws, a new reality that was broken down by The Post in a recent analysis. The Governance page still has the rules published that Perrone said was not fully correct. ■

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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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