Exclusive: Roopnarine was initially wary of hiring executives

Vice President Megan Roopnarine told a student that she initially had qualms about hiring instead of electing IGNITE executives but eventually came around to the proposal, a bylaw amendment that could become a reality should it be passed by students in January.

The Avro Post will not publish the date of the meeting and the student’s name as they spoke on the condition of anonymity, however, their enrolment and identity has been verified. Roopnarine represents the University of Guelph-Humber and was elected in the spring.

Roopnarine did go on record in a press release last week saying that she was in favour of the move. It is rare for an executive to speak out against the status quo. It has been three years since an IGNITE executive openly criticized the student union.

But the revelation that Roopnarine told a student she was not initially on board with the move to hire instead of elect comes as The Avro Post first reported last month that there is evidence that staff influence comes into play to protect the brand of IGNITE over democratic governance.

Because the process of the bylaws being passed by the Board of Directors was hidden from public view during the Sept. 11 meeting when IGNITE staff did not let journalists enter due to reasons that were not actually in line with any bylaws.

Clubs Coordinator Kristine Gavlan told Post reporter Kristy Lam that she would not be able to enter due to new rules posted on the IGNITE website but, in fact, only the sentence inviting students into the meetings was removed from the Governance page.

That same evening, after Lam was sent home, an update was posted to the IGNITE website adding that students needed to receive permission from a staff member of the student union to attend. Executive Director Ercolé Perrone would need to give permission, it reads.

During an Oct. 4 press briefing, after being questioned about it by Post reporters, Perrone admitted that the rules for attendance posted on the website were incorrect and, in fact, the bylaws say that directors can vote in a simple majority for students to leave.

However, it is unclear exactly how students are to attend the meetings in the first place as exact times and locations are not posted online. Most of the details were up during August but taken down at some point between August and September, according to investigative reporting.

By not posting the time and place, IGNITE is breaking its own bylaws, a new reality that was broken down by The Post in a recent analysis. The Governance page still has the rules published that Perrone said was not fully correct.

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