Humber IGNITE rebrand sparks anger

Published On October 5, 2016 | By | IGNITE, News
IGNITE holds an info session regarding the organizational rebrand.

IGNITE holds an info session regarding the organizational rebrand. (Photo: Tyler Bloomfield)

By: Britnei Bilhete, Tyler Bloomfield, Erian Amor De Los Reyes, Tyler Hehn, Ken Kellar, Allyyssa Sousa-Kirpaul

Students seeking answers about IGNITE’s $400,000 rebranding project got some clarification at an information session on Wednesday, but tempers flared at the meeting and some questions still remain unanswered.

The student run organization that represents students at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber changed its name from Humber Students Federation (HSF) to IGNITE in July 2016.

The rebrand was initiated because it was felt that the HSF name didn’t adequately represent students at the University of Guelph-Humber.

Many students are upset about the cost and transparency surrounding the rebrand and IGNITE held a meeting in an attempt to address the concerns.

Executives sat with their backs to a giant IGNITE sign, almost as opulent as the TORONTO sign at City Hall, and were peppered with questions by about 40 concerned students.

Ercole Perrone, Executive Director; Natalie Bobyk, Communications Director; Ammar Abdul-Raheem, VP Student Life at North; Maja Jocson, VP Student Affairs at Guelph-Humber; Ahmed Tahir, President were the IGNITE members who fielded the questions.

Tahir’s opening remarks echoed the first two questions on the FAQ page of the IGNITE website: What’s IGNITE? and Why the rebrand?

IGNITE executive listen to concerns from students about rebranding.

IGNITE executive listen to concerns from students about rebranding. (Photo: Tyler Bloomfield)

“We wanted to talk about why the rebrand is necessary and what we are doing here. The biggest piece that we are trying to solve is awareness. Awareness that IGNITE even existed on campus.”

Abdul-Raheem followed up by expanding briefly on Tahir’s thoughts.

“In one way or another, you are here for your success, personal success. We all define that differently, the college defines that differently than we do, but what we wanted to know is to make students aware of that.”

The general understanding after the opening remarks was that the rebrand was designed to create awareness about services the student association provides such as clubs, events, bursaries and insurance.

The name IGNITE was selected after a survey of  Humber and Guelph-Humber students. IGNITE was the top choice by a wide margin, according to IGNITE executives.

Initially questions were about mundane issues such as parking, study spaces and textbook prices and were addressed adequately, although off-topic.

When the session turned to the cost of the rebrand, the fireworks began to fly.

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Humber student Luke Allinson. (Photo: Erian Amor De Los Reyes)

Luke Allinson, a student who was visibly upset, had several questions for the IGNITE team.

“When you have a campus of 27,000 people and only several hundred students were surveyed, and then you sign off and plan a $400,000 budget…” (question cut off)

Although the IGNITE website states that several hundred students were polled, Tahir and Adbul-Raheem said they spoke with over 5,000 students.

Tahir said “That’s really what we focused on, conversations, qualitative research, talking to people intimately and getting their feedback on their beliefs behind their perception of our brand.” He elaborated by saying, “It’s a really elongated process, so we did, continually, different types of feedback throughout the process to make sure it resonated with students.”

Only $167,000 spent so far

On the issue of cost, Executive Director Perrone clarified that although the budget was $400,000, IGNITE has spent much less than that so far.

“We’re probably in the $167 (thousand) range, as of today,” Perrone said.

When questioned about transparency surrounding the budget, Tahir responded: “We will be posting all of our expenses, categorized at a special meeting of the members. What we don’t want to do is keep on putting up our information, misinformation, and confusing people by not having a full size look at what has happened with our rebrand. That will be going out Oct. 19.”

Perrone elaborated that a “categorized budget” would be released instead of an itemized budget, because IGNITE has to protect its vendors.

“Public sector organizations, called the MUSH sector, Municipalities, Universities, Colleges, Hospitals, they fall under an umbrella called public sector organizations,” said Perrone. “They are required by law to provide information to citizens who ask for that information.”

“IGNITE is not under that legislation,” Perrone added. “We are not considered a public sector organization. We are a non-profit organization. We do not receive taxpayer money, we do not receive government funding, and we are not a government agency.”

Mikki Decker weighs in

Mikki Decker, former VP of Student Affairs who was disqualified in the 2016 HSF election, challenged the IGNITE members repeatedly, often raising her voice in anger. She questioned the overall $400,000 expenditure, IGNITE’s communication style and the lack of accessibility of IGNITE’s new website.

You can watch one example of Decker’s many questions to the IGNITE board here.

 

IGNITE employee seizes reporter’s phone

About halfway through the question period, Decker walked across the student centre to approach a group of students and was followed by Humber News reporter Tyler Bloomfield, who wanted an interview.

As he started to film Decker, an IGNITE staff member, who identifies on Facebook as Ayan Davis, grabbed the phone out of his hand. Bloomfield retrieved his phone from Davis and proceeded to question her actions with the camera rolling.

“Excuse me, what was the deal with that … Why did you take my phone?” asked Bloomfield.

Davis responded with a slap to the phone and said “Why do you have a camera in my face?”

Davis was quickly ushered away by a full-time IGNITE staff member.

You can watch the entire interaction in the video below.

(The video appears in its entirety, the only that changes were made to the original footage was to include subtitles.)

 

After the event Humber News reporters Bloomfield and Erian Amor De Los Reyes were approached by security and told that a complaint had been filed against them. Humber Public Safety Supervisor Ken Domingo would not disclose who filed the complaint.

Security asked Bloomfield and De Los Reyes to delete the video – ironically, the reporters were standing beside a sign disclosing that the event was being held in an authorized media zone.

 

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(Photo: Erian Amor De Los Reyes)

There will be an IGNITE Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 12 in North campus room D109.

The rebranding will be the main topic of conversation at a Special Meeting of the Members on Wednesday, Oct. 19 in the IGNITE Student Centre.

With files from Christian Aguirre.

16 Responses to Humber IGNITE rebrand sparks anger

  1. Linh Tran says:

    “If you would prefer to stay in the background, please speak to the event organizer or the PHOTOGRAPHER” Strange, I thought it was “Please post a video with anyone’s face on it even if they don’t want to, as long as you paid tuition fee”???

  2. Linh Tran says:

    What gives you the rights to film someone’s face and post it on the internet without their permission to begin with? Tuition fee? Humber journalist? You mean you have the rights to violate anyone’s privacy (filming, posting, publicly mention their facebook account) as long as you are a Humber journalist and you pay the school for teaching you?? Sorry but this article is as shallow as yourself. Hopefully, not all Humber journalists is like you. Humbernews is where the students get the truth and freely speak up their mind, not a place for “Humber Journalists who pay tuition fee” to violate a person’s privacy and give other students the wrong idea.

    • Kris says:

      That is what journalism is, getting the truth that people dont want out, out. The area was designated a media zone, so therefore there is no right to privacy. If i was in a similar situation i would have refused to delete the video. Thats censorship of the media.

      And as a bachelor or journalism student, i disagree with you. This article was descriptive, and informative of the event. Too bad your bias doesnt let you see that.

      • Mikki Decker says:

        It was so beautifully done.

      • Linh Tran says:

        Please explain to me how filming a person, posting their face online without their permission and revealing their identity together with their Facebook account are considered “getting the truth that people dont want out, out”. What truth? The truth that she doesn’t want to be filmed? Shouldn’t the “bachelor of journalism student” understand what privacy is?

  3. Mikki Decker says:

    Standing ovation…truly! Just all the appreciation for this.

    I am happy to talk to anyone and everyone — my email is mikkidecker@live.com

  4. S says:

    What happened immediately before the video starts? It’s clear you were filming before she moved to grab the camera. Why was this edited out? It seems unfair to show the incident without the context.

  5. Jerome says:

    The claim that the video is presented in full doesn’t appear to be on the level. Ask yourself what video you have ever taken that didn’t start with you pointed at the intended subject? Though possible, it seems unlikely that you would be pointing a phone at the ground to start recording.

    Further, I feel the irony needs to be seen in making public allegations of cyber bullying. That sort of public shaming is in itself a form of cyber bullying. To do so in such a manner exhibits a lack of self awareness, and quite frankly, hypocrisy.

    There are a lot of ways the parties involved are heavily opposed, but I think they can agree that their aim is to advocate and empower students, though the approach may be different. I hear the term “consent” a lot and I know that is something that is to be respected and encouraged. This video shows a disregard for it.

    Finally, I am not a journalism student so I do not understand the methods and practices for it. I assume the goal would be to present facts to readers that they can interpret on their own. In this scenario, I would feel that if I were given a video of that nature, I’d reach out to the subject involve and got their statement so I can get both perspectives and present all of this in an objective matter. It’s only then that I’d feel the reader can make an informed decision about how they feel about all of this.

    Bias works both ways.

  6. Ali Chahrour says:

    Bloomfield was being unnecessary and did not contribute anything other than forcing a reaction from staff members. I was watching him record Davis, and really, if someone had their phone inches away from my face, don’t be surprised you will or ought to be slapped. The fact that Bloomfield has his own section about this quick event just stirs the pot of anger.

  7. tylerbloomfield says:

    The video was presented in its entirety. The only changes to the raw footage were to include subtitles. A note will be made in the article to reflect this.

  8. Ashleigh says:

    As another witness to this incident, I can assure you that the entirety of the video is absolutely NOT presented. This was the second part of the confrontation, and does not reflect the situation in the correct light. Attacking an organization is one thing, but to personally attack it’s part time staff, who might I mention are also tuition paying students, is totally uncalled for. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Linh Tran says:

      I agree with you Ashleigh. Please post the full story here so everyone can learn the truth. Thank you for standing up for what is right. How sad that people’s views are being affected by misleading articles like this.

  9. Kelly says:

    I don’t get what the video of the girl has to do with this? She’s not even saying anything about the rebrand? She’s just a student… it didn’t look like the journalist identified himself to her? Was he wearing a media badge? Or did she think he was just a random guy filming her? In which case ya Id for sure freak out too…. So many questions about this. Looks like one side of the story to me. Plus why would you release her name? I really hope she gave you permission or that’s so not cool..

  10. Humber student says:

    There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place, you are being recorded nearly every where you go in Humber so 1 more camera shouldn’t matter.

  11. Karl says:

    So many signs that that student has never been out in the real world. Gonna be a big shock when everybody isn’t bending over backwards for her anymore.

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