Briefing: What’s happening at the Special Meeting?

IGNITE’s Board of Directors will propose a series of bylaw amendments to members of the student union — all full-time students at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber — and there will be a vote for or against the package of proposals.

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The vote will take place at the Special Meeting of the Members being held at the North Campus Student Centre and digitally via Lakeshore’s K Building. Any student can get into the SMOM with their student identification.

It starts at 11 a.m. and will be live streamed via IGNITE’s social media. The Avro Post will also have live reporting, analysis and opinion online.

A quorum, or minimum, of 50 students is needed for a vote to happen. A simple majority of 50 per cent plus one would be needed to pass the package of bylaw amendments, an omnibus move.

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The seven amendments being proposed at the Special Meeting include:

  • ending executive elections in favour of three hired student engagement coordinators.
  • handing the Board of Directors the ability to pass bylaw amendments unilaterally, with only retroactive approval by members at a later meeting.
  • classifying members into part-time, full-time and full-time enhanced, based on their opt-in decisions.
  • using the term “president” for the current role of Board chairperson, who is elected among the Board.
  • handing the execution of documents over to the executive director, believe to currently be the role of the elected president and a vice president.
  • requiring that Annual Meetings include an updated list of required agenda items.
  • clearly defining the difference between mandatory and optional fees, a new reality because of the Student Choice Initiative.

These changes, IGNITE insists, are in the best interest of the student body and introduce updates that align with the updated Ontario Non-for-profit Corporations Act.

How did we get here? The Board of Directors passed the seven amendments during its September 2019 meeting, but because they change the student union’s Constitution, they need approval from the members.

If the members vote in a simple majority — 50 per cent plus one — to approve the proposals, then they go into effect immediately. If the students vote against in the same fashion, then the amendments do not pass and nothing changes.

Can students vote on each amendment independently? No. IGNITE officials have said they do not feel the amendments differ much from each other and are appropriate to pass as a package.

What will happen specifically during this meeting? The meeting will start with a call to order and an approval of the meeting minutes of the 2019 Annual General Meeting, which is routine and is expected to pass without any issues.

Then, the package of amendments will come forward and there could be discussion among the students, who will be able to ask questions of the directors, staff and potentially executives in a press conference-fashion, if prior public meetings are to go by.

No matter the decision at the Special Meeting, history will be made.

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