Multiple Journalists | Report
IGNITE, the student union at Humber College and University of Guelph-Humber, has proposed a budget plan that is going through an approval process with the Board of Governors aiming to approve the document on Friday.
In two interviews over this past week, IGNITE Executive Director Ercole Perrone detailed the process of the student union’s budget and the approach taken to the Student Choice Initiative coming into play this fall.
On April 18, the Board of Directors, made up of elected students, passed a budget plan broken down into mandatory and optional fees. The Humber College administration has approved the plan.
The SCI brings into play optional student fees that will allow students to opt-out of funding parts of the student unions, campus publications and other services or organizations at post-secondary institutions across the province, as mandated by the Progressive Conservative government.
What we know so far
The IGNITE Board of Directors and the Humber College administration has already approved a possible budget plan which includes Humber, Guelph-Humber and IGNITE fees.
Ercole Perrone says this proposal would make students fees broken into two categories: some that are mandatory and others that are optional.
This proposal is now being considered by the Humber Board of Governors and the Guelph Senate, Perrone told The Avro Post.
Although Perrone says he does not know what time the governors will be meeting, the executive director said he should be receiving an email either later today or tomorrow confirming whether it has been approved to move forward and be approved by the Guelph Senate.
“I would be confident saying that if Humbers’ board governors has approved it that there’s not going to be any issues at Guelph Senate, but I have no idea,” said Perrone.
What can be made certain is both Humber and Guelph-Humber students should be informed by May 1 on their options for the Fall and they will be able to make those decisions in June or July.
Why there is no information
Student unions like CSA Guelph have already released an idea of what the budget might look like for students and speculate 60 per cent of students will opt in for initiatives.
IGNITE however has not released specific information or possible statistics, but Perrone explains it is because IGNITEs’ finances are decided among multiple parties.
“Whenever it comes to fees, in particular IGNITE, I think it’s important for everyone to understand it’s not done in isolation. It’s done as part of a large fee protocol process, structure, rules and regulations,” says Perrone.
When asked if there were any concerns about a lack of details provided regarding the impact of the SCI on IGNITE finances, Perrone said “we make decisions based on evidence and data and the last thing we want to do is have conversations with students is about hypothetical, I don’t think that helps anyone.”
“We’ve made some determination that students will choose this over that but we’re all speculating, there’s nothing to go off of, no precedent. Which makes it hard to budget.”
When asked about profit making ventures on campus, as other student unions have considered, Perrone says it would be going against IGNITEs’ non-profit values.
“If the way we generate more revenue is asking students to dig into their pockets more frequently, we want to be careful of that. That’s not the way we feel students can get ahead. It goes against our mission to ask you [students] to do more of that.”
Perrone says the options they are considering are directed towards external partners and sponsorships.
“The student experience won’t be impacted because we’re going to do everything we possibly can to ensure that we’ll deal with whatever financial implications the Student Choice Initiative has on the organization but it’s our commitment to students that they’re not going to feel it,” said Perrone.
By Melissa Lopez-Martinez, Arnold Samson; Editing by Melissa Lopez, Eli Ridder
Image of IGNITE from The Avro Post.