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Efficient, but ‘rushed’ Special Meeting goes IGNITE’s way

An analysis on Wednesday’s meeting.

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Students watch the Special Meeting of the Members at Lakeshore Campus on Jan. 22. Photo by Michel Johnson-Figueredo/TAP.

ANALYSIS

It was over in 30 minutes.

The Special Meeting of the Members on Wednesday saw the end of executive elections, the secretive Board of Directors gain more power and a reclassification of the students IGNITE represents into three different streams.

It all happened very quickly once the question period was over. In fact, reporters were almost cut off from some final queries when Vice President Ryan Stafford attempted to move ahead with the motion to adopt the amendments before the journalist was done.

Jack Fisher, a contributing columnist who was last year the president of the University of Guelph’s student union, called the meeting “rushed”, and explained to The Avro Post that it would have, from IGNITE’s perspective, seemed efficient without any major bumps along the way.

But what does this mean for you, the students? Likely the item with the biggest impact on your day-to-day student life will be the new classes of members.

Two of the classes are not new: there will be “part-time members” which are part-time students paying a small amount in fees to the student union. “Full-time members” are those enrolled in full-time studies at Humber College or the University of Guelph-Humber who choose not to opt-in to any of the optional IGNITE fees.

A third, new classification is “Full-Time Enhanced Members”, students who opt-in to at least one of the six optional fees.

As we’ve seen from the last semester, those that opt-in will receive some exclusives, but on Wednesday that was cemented in the new bylaw amendments.

“Members that pay particular fees are entitled to various rights and privileges of IGNITE,” the document only released to the public on Wednesday stated. It adds: “Explanation of their rights and privileges are outlined in the IGNITE Membership Benefits Policy.”

That’s the first public mention of the so-called Membership Benefits Policy, which officials said on Wednesday would be released after it was passed by the Board of Directors, without giving a specific time frame.

What else?

The public meeting came to a close with six new bylaws in place, a number different than the seven recorded in the September meeting minutes when they were first passed but still containing the same content.

Beyond the re-classification of members, the biggest change students may notice is the end of executive elections. This means the president and three vice presidents who each represent North, Lakeshore and Guelph-Humber respectively will no longer exist.

In their place will be three student engagement coordinators that will be hired via a panel made up of different stakeholders.

The changes will hand the Board of the Directors the ability to pass bylaw amendments that are applicable immediately without needing member approval until the next public members meeting.

If the larger student body votes down an amendment previously passed by the Board, directors said in response to reporters that there would be a retroactive rollback of the changes and its impacts.

The summary released at the Special Meeting on Wednesday also clarified the change in regards to the execution of documents. Because there will no longer be a “president” position starting in April, documents that need the signature of an IGNITE executive will be passed to the executive director — the top staffer of the student union — or by a designate chosen by the elected directors.

Wednesday also saw the end of the term “Constitution” that was used to describe the student union’s document of bylaws. Now they will simply be titled as the ‘By-laws.”

The amendments also included more details on the clarification between the mandatory and optional fees. Over a year ago, the provincial government introduced the Student Choice Initiative, mandating that certain fees paid by students were to become optional as of the 2019 fall semester. IGNITE has now classified these fees formally as “Mandatory IGNITE Fees” and “Optional IGNITE Fees”.

Also included in the changes was the change to the format of Member Meetings. Instead of presenting items to be approved ahead of a meeting such as the one on Wednesday, IGNITE will present, approve and ratify proposals all within the same day.

It was an update made on the “recommendation and request of IGNITE’S lawyer” that Wednesday’s agenda claims keeps with “industry standards” and “best legal practices for compliance with the Ontario Non-for-profit Corporations Act 2010.”

A lot of this will not have some major impact on your student life but some of the amendments will make it harder for you to know what is going on, coupled with a Board policy passed in November cutting the student body at-large from its meetings.  ■

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Humber monitoring coronavirus outbreak

There are no special actions at this time.

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Humber College said it is monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak and its “potential impact on the institution” in a statement posted online last week and updated on Monday.

Toronto Public Health told the college that “there are no particular actions required” at this time.

A special group tasked with keeping the campus community informed on the latest precautions for the virus has been established, made up of stakeholders from various departments and the University of Guelph-Humber.

Humber points students, staff and faculty to the Ontario Ministry of Health website’s dedicated webpage for updates.

The college’s announcement also asked that those on campus “wash their hands as frequently as possible” due to it being the winter flu season.

As of Tuesday morning in Ontario, there is one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, one “presumptive” case and 11 cases under investigation. ■

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Nominations open for 2020 IGNITE elections

Nomination packages are due by Feb. 14.

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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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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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