As part of a press briefing on Friday morning, IGNITE officials clarified that Board of Directors meetings are open to any regular student, however, directors can vote to ask a guest to leave and journalists would likely not be allowed to enter.
Executive Director Ercolé Perrone said that blocking journalists was the student union’s right, reflecting what is written on the Governance page as Board policy. While provincial law may back that up, others have questioned the ethics.
Perrone went on to reveal to student reporters that eventually IGNITE plans to phase out student attendance from the Board meetings entirely wit the exception of when asked to attend by a director or directors.
It is unclear exactly when this change would be made. It will likely be part of a package of bylaws voted on by members of the student body at-large in mid-January, when the Special Meeting of the Members will take place.
The Special Meeting, known as SMOM, typically takes place in the fall and was originally scheduled for Oct. 16 but was moved so that the student union has more time to prepare the bylaws that will bring significant changes to how IGNITE operates.
Earlier this year a student journalist was blocked from a Board of Directors meeting on Sept. 11, sparking a controversy that put the status of IGNITE’s transparency in the spotlight. It triggered backlash from some students and an editorial from the Humber Et Cetera over press freedom.