IGNITE President Monica Khosla was interviewed Thursday on “Ask Humber”, a live stream series posted by Humber College on social media, and highlighted the mission, services and initiatives run by the student union.
Khosla, who is in her second term in the top position, was asked questions live by Yanni Thepanya, a recruitment advisor for the college. They discussed the impact IGNITE has on North Campus over the course of a half-hour question and answer session.
The feminine hygiene kits, a first in Canada, according to Khosla, the sleep lounge and the many IGNITE events that take place during the year were highlighted and expanded upon.
Thepanya brought up the cuts to the Ontario Student Assistance Program, asking what IGNITE did to address the changes made by the provincial Progressive Conservative government earlier this year.
In January, then-post-secondary education minister Merrilee Fullerton announced a reform package that cut domestic tuition by 10 per cent, cut OSAP grants and introduced the Student Choice Initiative that will allow students to opt-out of certain ancillary fees.
In response to Thepanya’s question, Khosla read a scripted response that detailed IGNITE’s postcard initiative which saw IGNITE bring some 5,000 cards to Queen’s Park in support of the student union and against the optional student fees that threaten parts of its funding.
She also for the first time verified that the postcards were handed directly to the office of Premier Doug Ford, a detail that was not known publicly previously. The postcards were primarily focused on the optional student fees, not specifically the OSAP reforms.
Khosla said “that’s just the start” and that “if something else comes up this year, we will be right in your corner again” as a voice for the students. IGNITE has been criticized by from select students that the postcards were “not enough”, and that more could be done.
The Canadian Federation of Students, in partnership with the York Federation of Students, took the Ford government to court over the summer for the SCI, arguing that the province does not have the authority to interfere in the relationship between student unions and institutions.
There was no direct mention of the Student Choice Initiative, its impact or plans for its aftermath. Questions from a Post reporter, who is also a Humber College student, were deferred to the email of Khosla, who maintains a policy of usually ignoring The Avro Post.
Khosla continued on, claiming that if there is an issue that would “pose a risk to your student life on campus, then we’re going to do something about it”. Thepanya enthusiastically added, “IGNITE’s got you”.
Meanwhile, IGNITE’s vice presidents Shay Hamilton of North Campus, Ryan Stafford of Lakeshore and Megan Roopnarine of the University of Guelph-Humber were at the Orangeville Campus for orientation.
Orangeville for the first time has a representative with a member on the Board of Directors.
Frosh: ‘It’s going to be incredible’
President Monica Khosla went into some detail promoting IGNITE’s annual Frosh. The biggest event will be the paint party taking place at Woodbine Racetrack held on Sept. 21, a Saturday.
“People are going to be shooting paint at other people and it’s going to be a really fun and colourful dance party,” Khosla told Yanni Thepanya, who is also a part-time student.
Khosla assured students that “I promise you the paint is not going to hurt you” but that they should wear clothing that can get messy, adding that “it’s going to be incredible.”
When asked where students can get more information, the student union president said that those interested can register via the IGNITE website. As of Thursday, the Frosh event was not featured on the homepage and the event page only reads “coming soon”.