IGNITE ignores students requesting to see budget

Eli Ridder | Report

After Executive Director Ercole Perrone said students could learn about IGNITE’s budget by requesting to meet in-person, three journalists with The Avro Post contacted him to set up a meeting but never heard a response.

Mr. Perrone said at the student union’s 2019 Annual General Meeting in March that students could talk to him directly about budgetary details in the IGNITE offices, saying that he would meet with them.

The Avro Post’s editor-in-chief emailed Perrone on April 1 to request a meeting and followed up on April 3, but did not receive a response. There were no responses to an email from another reporter sent from their GryphMail on Tuesday.

All the emails were sent from the student journalists as individuals from their own email addresses. It is unclear what one can do to get a meeting with the executive director or see the budget.

The Avro Post has requested to have access to a more detailed, or line-by-line, budget of IGNITE, a document that the student union does not publicly release. The tradition with IGNITE is to post a short infographic with six categories.

IGNITE Budget Infographic 2018-2019

The reason IGNITE releases only an infographic is because long-form budgets do not interest students, officials have told The Avro Post for over a year. However, several students independent of the publication have expressed interest in having the details released.

Other post-secondary students at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber have called for more financial transparency ahead of the optional student fees coming into play this fall with the Student Choice Initiative.

One or a group of individuals went as far as putting up posters around the North Campus calling for the student union to release the financials.

IGNITE has not responded to comment from The Avro Post. It is unclear exactly how IGNITE determines what students to meet or if they do meet students to explain the budget as Perrone said at the AGM.

Image of the 2019 AGM from The Avro Post.

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