IGNITE changes governance rules, ends election of executives

Published On January 23, 2020 | By Galvin Zaldivar | IGNITE, News
Members of the Board of Directors speak during the Special Meeting of the Members on Jan. 22, when a package of amendments to IGNITE’s bylaws were approved. (Jonathan Frasco)
Galvin Zaldivar

Humber College’s student union, IGNITE, made radical changes to the way students are governed at a special meeting on Jan. 22, that lasted only 30 minutes.

Among the amendments adopted was the renaming of the IGNITE Constitution to IGNITE By-law No. 1, and the elimination of elections for the positions of president and vice-president. Instead, the executive positions will be rebranded as Student Engagement Coordinators and candidates will be hired by the Board of Directors.

IGNITE has said the purpose of the change is to focus attention on the organization’s true decision-making body, the Board of Directors.

“These are our official decision-makers,” Monica Khosla, IGNITE president, said at the special. “So amongst many students, they believe that the decisions are actually made by the executives and that’s actually not correct. These decisions … is actually dependent on what the board of directors decides.”

Another change was the creation of three classes of IGNITE membership, based on whether students chose to pay certain optional fees under the Ontario government’s Student Choice Initiative (SCI), which was struck down in Ontario Divisional Court in November.

Full-time enhanced members, consisting of students who have chosen to pay all optional fees, will be entitled to special benefits outlined in IGNITE’s Membership Benefits Policy. These include, “Special access and cost-saving privileges at events, services, activities and offerings”

Despite the court’s overturning of the SCI , IGNITE has decided to continue as if the directive was still in effect, pending an ongoing appeal.

“It was deemed unlawful in Divisional Court, great,” Julia Ciampa, a member of the board representing Guelph-Humber said. “So it’s most likely going to be appealed and be brought up higher and for us to go back and forth and flip flop is probably not an ideal thing to do.”

After 25 minutes of debate and discussion, questions into the amendments were brought to a sudden halt when Ryan Stafford, the vice-president representing the Lakeshore campus, made a motion to approve the amendments.

Students pose questions to IGNITE’s Board of Directors at a special meeting to approve a series of amendments to IGNITE’s bylaws on Jan. 22, 2020. (Jonathan Frasco)

Stafford, attending the meeting at the Lake, said he believed the meeting was moving on, when he made the motion to approve.

After the amendments were approved, the Special Meeting of the Members was adjourned after only 32 minutes.

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