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Martini: IGNITE drops precedent to grow secrecy

What can students do?

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File photo.

OPINION

Gio Martini
Columnist
The Avro Post
Our Opinion Policy.

Humber College’s student union has over the past few months shifted from being a student friendly representation of our wants and needs, to an organization which demands secrecy behind closed doors.

Imagine living in a country where the government had control over the media and news outlets, making it nearly impossible for the people to criticize the decisions and actions that the government makes. This wouldn’t be an appealing country to live in, would it?

Student unions, like governing bodies, should have a standard of accountability, especially when they claim to be a union for the people, and funded by the people.

That’s why when Humber College’s student body IGNITE wanted to review student publication articles before approval, The Avro Post decided to deny this request and was kicked from its club status.

Humber College and IGNITE govern over 30,000 students a year, which is a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. With such a large amount of students affected by executive decisions that are made, transparency is crucial for the betterment of student life.The basis of democracy runs on this principle.

Any government, corporation or institution that does not follow this, is likely operating on self interest.

The Avro Post runs independently from the school to ensure that Humber College students are aware of what their student fees are going towards. Though this is just a fraction of the issue.

Without funding, there is only so much an independent group can do, especially when IGNITE goes through great lengths to avoid communicating with student journalists and to make unprecedented changes to the accessibility of Board of Director’s meetings.

Having the greatest capacity to reach students, IGNITE may tell you that they’ve “been working on strengthening (their) relationship with student journalists.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

At this point, students may begin to feel powerless when it comes to student body decisions that impact them.

Sure they can vote in –for now–executives or board members running on broad objectives, but the day-to-day decisions, arising issues and existing issues that we may not be aware of are seemingly out of the students hands.

Keeping voters, taxpayers, investors or any members of a community, in the dark on issues that impact them is something we fortunately do not often experience in Canada.

So what are they teaching kids these days in school? You aren’t powerless, however, as Michel Johnson-Figueredo wrote on Sunday. ■

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Campus

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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Campus

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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Campus

‘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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