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Shawayne Dunstan departs IGNITE’s Board of Directors

He left of his own accord.

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Shawayne Dunstan holds one of the books he has written on Aug. 30, 2019. Eli Ridder/TAP

Records from November’s monthly meeting of IGNITE’s Board of Directors released on Friday revealed that Shawayne Dunstan had departed his role as a director representing Humber College’s North Campus, with the second year confirming to The Avro Post on Sunday that he left due to personal reasons and academic stress.

“S. Dunstan is no longer a member of the board in accordance with article 5.9 of the By-laws,” the Nov. 13 meeting minutes read. Bylaw 5.9 states a variety of reasons for a director to be removed, from the student dying to their academic status, so it was initially unclear what was behind Dunstan’s departure.

However, Dunstan, who will graduate from Restaurant and Hotel Operations Management in the spring, later told The Post in a statement that “a few personal circumstances that came back to back as well as the stress of school prevented me from attending the meetings and operating effectively, therefore I took a step back from the role.”

In response to a question seeking clarification, Dunstan emphasized that he left the position of his “own accord”. Dunstan, who is a published author of poetry, added: “I am thankful to have been voted in by my fellow peers and I am dedicated to being involved as much as I can throughout the school as I finish off my final semester.”

After speaking with The Post, Dunstan published a statement on his Instagram Story where he encouraged others to “make a difference” and to take inspiration from his successful campaign, saying he managed to acquire the position “without any posters and minimal promotions” and instead relied on “connecting with students”.

Dunstan was acclaimed in the 2019 IGNITE elections when four candidates ran for an equal number of seats representing North Campus on the Board of Directors. Then a first year, Dunstan claimed second place with 1,217 votes.

The second year has departed as the student union prepares to undergo major changes should students approve them at the Jan. 22 Special Meeting of the Members.

Dunstan and his former counterparts on the Board voted in September to pass a set of bylaw amendments that will end executive elections, give more unilateral power to the Board and more should students approve the items as a package at the Special Meeting, or SMOM. ■

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Nominations open for 2020 IGNITE elections

Nomination packages are due by Feb. 14.

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File photo.

IGNITE on Tuesday posted details and nomination packages for its 2020 elections on social media, setting up its first ever election without executive positions.

There are 10 positions open for students to run for, all on the Board of Directors.

There are four positions open at North Campus, three seats at Lakeshore, two open at Guelph-Humber and a sole position available at Orangeville.

All nomination packages are due by Feb. 14 and can be filled out on the elections webpage. ■

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Campus

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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Campus

Constitution formally replaced with ‘By-law No. 1’

It awaits AGM approval.

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File photo.

Following approval by the members of new bylaw amendments on Wednesday, IGNITE has replaced its Constitution with “By-law No. 1”, though it still needs confirmation by the members at the Annual General Meeting.

By-Law No. 1 contains eight pages of rules, a full five pages less than the previous Constitution. It states it will need confirmation by the members on Mar. 22, 2020, a potential reveal of the date set for the AGM, a normal timeframe. ■

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