IGNITE to host meeting to vote on name change, release rebranding budget

Oct 16, 2016 | Campus News

Photo: Tyler Bloomfield

Photo: Tyler Bloomfield

By: Tyler Bloomfield, Ken Kellar, Erian Amor De Los Reyes

Humber students will have a chance to vote on the decision to change the legal name of the Humber Students’ Federation to IGNITE at a special meeting on Wed. Oct. 19.

The meeting will be held at 11 a.m. at the Student Centre on the North campus and live streamed to the K building at Lakeshore campus to allow for greater participation.

In addition to a vote on the corporate name change, IGNITE is promising an update and categorized budget for its $400,000 rebranding project, which has been criticized by some students as a waste of money and led to a lively information session on Oct. 5.

The upcoming meeting, known as a Special Meeting of the Members (SMOM) will include a motion to receive the audited financial statements for 2015-2016 and to approve the minutes of the 4th Annual General Meeting held in March.

Last year’s SMOM was a quick affair. It was over in 14 minutes and the year before that it only took seven minutes.

Board of Directors Meeting

The IGNITE Board of Directors met on Wednesday Oct. 12 in advance of the SMOM to approve the audited financial statements that will be presented this week.

The meeting included a representative from the accounting and advisory firm, BDO Canada, offering explanations for some of the financial figures. Notable changes from 2015 to 2016 included what is listed as “cash” decreasing from $3,049,920 to approximately $698,000 and Advertising and Promotion almost doubling from $63,166 to approximately $128,000.

IGNITE president Ahmed Tahir and Executive Director ErcolePerrone participated in the meeting along with the other board members. Among the attendees who were asked to leave the meeting for an in-camera session was Vice President of Student Life Ammar Abdul-Raheem who had a moment to talk outside the boardroom.

Abdul-Raheem said IGNITE is not required by any law to open Board of Directors meetings and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to students nor are they required to share certain financials, but they still do to show transparency and openness.

The in-camera session took place near the end of the meeting and lasted more than 20 minutes. This is how Abdul-Raheem described the session.

According to all of the meeting minutes available on IGNITE’S website — which range from May. 8, 2014 to July. 27, 2016 — the Board of Directors has moved to go in-camera six times.

In 2016 there were five in-camera sessions between January and July.  According to the information available more than 60 per cent of the meetings went in-camera. By comparison, in 2014 and 2015 less than five per cent of Board of Directors meetings went in-camera.

A Toronto-based and nationally recognized Canadian law firm, Borden Ladner Gervais released a Not-for-Profit Law Update newsletter in 2011 that suggested Not-for-Profits should consider developing a policy that would outline when and how in-camera board meeting sessions will be held and the reasons for going in-camera for added transparency.

IGNITE lists their in-camera sessions in the meeting minutes like this.

IN CAMERA (taken from the meeting minutes from May. 5, 2016) 

Motion to move in-camera while A. Tahir, E. Perrone and V. Silaphet remain in the room.
Moved by: C. Nyatwa
Seconded by: N. Sutherland

“Be it resolved that the HSF Board of Directors move into in-camera session.”

Motion to move out of in-camera.
Moved by: M. Gill
Seconded by: R. Ledger

“Be it resolved that the HSF Board of Directors exit in-camera session.”

According to the Borden Ladner Gervais Not-For-Profit letter the most common reasons to go in-camera are as follows:

  • Board issues such as internal problems and factions
  • Board objectives and performance
  • Board and management succession planning
  • Reviewing the CEO’s performance, compensation and employment status
  • Reviewing personnel and employment/labour matters
  • Discussing government policies and their implications for the organization
  • Discussing legal advice and litigation

It is unclear what was discussed in the IGNITE in-camera session.

With files from Brandon Richard Austin and Alana MacLeod