Martini: IGNITE drops precedent to grow secrecy

OPINION

Gio Martini
Columnist
The Avro Post
Our Opinion Policy.

Humber College’s student union has over the past few months shifted from being a student friendly representation of our wants and needs, to an organization which demands secrecy behind closed doors.

Imagine living in a country where the government had control over the media and news outlets, making it nearly impossible for the people to criticize the decisions and actions that the government makes. This wouldn’t be an appealing country to live in, would it?

Student unions, like governing bodies, should have a standard of accountability, especially when they claim to be a union for the people, and funded by the people.

That’s why when Humber College’s student body IGNITE wanted to review student publication articles before approval, The Avro Post decided to deny this request and was kicked from its club status.

Humber College and IGNITE govern over 30,000 students a year, which is a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. With such a large amount of students affected by executive decisions that are made, transparency is crucial for the betterment of student life.The basis of democracy runs on this principle.

Any government, corporation or institution that does not follow this, is likely operating on self interest.

The Avro Post runs independently from the school to ensure that Humber College students are aware of what their student fees are going towards. Though this is just a fraction of the issue.

Without funding, there is only so much an independent group can do, especially when IGNITE goes through great lengths to avoid communicating with student journalists and to make unprecedented changes to the accessibility of Board of Director’s meetings.

Having the greatest capacity to reach students, IGNITE may tell you that they’ve “been working on strengthening (their) relationship with student journalists.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

At this point, students may begin to feel powerless when it comes to student body decisions that impact them.

Sure they can vote in –for now–executives or board members running on broad objectives, but the day-to-day decisions, arising issues and existing issues that we may not be aware of are seemingly out of the students hands.

Keeping voters, taxpayers, investors or any members of a community, in the dark on issues that impact them is something we fortunately do not often experience in Canada.

So what are they teaching kids these days in school? You aren’t powerless, however, as Michel Johnson-Figueredo wrote on Sunday.

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