Exclusive: Students holding unsanctioned naloxone training on Tuesday

Staff | Report

In an event not sanctioned by the administration or the student union, members of the Humber College and University of Guelph-Humber community are holding a nalaxone training session at North Campus on Tuesday, The Avro Post has learned.

“We are holding the event because two overdose prevention sites in Toronto permanently closed since roughly a week ago, despite the fact that CBC reports that over 600 overdose-related deaths happened during the first half of 2018,” one of the organizers, Hannah Derue, said.

Though the training starts at 12:30 p.m. on North Campus, the exact location of the session has not yet been disclosed because “volunteers of the group are concerned that the institutions will actively try to dismantle the session”, Derue, a campus activist, added.

Those interested in attending the training session are encouraged to get in touch with Derue on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

The group of concerned students previously approached IGNITE, staff at Humber College and Student Life at University of Guelph-Humber to hold a session with the aim of training students to use the life-saving naloxone kits, but all three campus institutions denied their request.

“We understand that there is a serious need for grassroots intervention due to the inaction of this government and our respective institutions. We’re doing this to save lives,” an organizer added. Naloxone kits are used to treat those experiencing opioid overdoses.

Derue, graduating from psychology program at Guelph-Humber in the next few weeks, explained she understood part of the rational on Humber and Guelph-Humber’s denial is that there is already a security guard in place at all times who can administrator the kit.

“They do not condone training students in the safe handling and administration of naloxone, even though it is harmless even when used on an individual who has not initiated an overdose or consumed opiates whatsoever,” those planning the training told The Avro Post.

The concerned students requested to have external healthcare practitioners brought on campus to carry out the training but they faced rejection with that suggestion. It is not uncommon for post-secondary institutions to offer naloxone training to student leaders and their peers.

There is a nurse at Humber College that is equipped to train staff and faculty to administer naloxone, but it is unclear how many of those employed have utilized the training.

The Avro Post has reached out to IGNITE, Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber’s Student Life department for comment. The Avro Post’s Arnold Samson will be reporting on the training session as it happens on Tuesday.

Image of Humber College from The Avro Post.

President candidates define their vision

Melissa Lopez, Eli Ridder | Report

Two candidates vying for the IGNITE presidency worked to define their vision in front of hundreds of students watching a live stream or in person at both Humber College North and Lakeshore Campuses on Wednesday.

Link: Go In-Depth On This Forum

Incumbent President Monica Khosla of North and her challenger Margarita Bader of Lakeshore are going head-to-head, and while some of their responses to questions were similar, there was differences in how they answered questions from students at the end.

Link: Live Tweets From Event

Khosla is looking to keep her position because her “work is not done” she told the approximately 10 gathered students in the Student Centre — she wants to continue her work with IGNITE’s “strategic plan” and her work with improving accessibility.

Bader dove into a detailed description of her campaign items off the bat — including new spaces for students, lowering textbook prices, digitizing campus and connecting health and wellness to outside campus with mobile carts offering food.

Bader went into all the details of her platform and ambitions as president in an interview with The Avro Post published on Wednesday morning, and Khosla responded with her own plans of action.

Image of the president Mix and Mingle from The Avro Post.

Erika Caldwell vows to be transparent, accountable

Eli Ridder | Report

Erika Caldwell, running for one of two seats the University of Guelph-Humber has on the IGNITE Board of Directors, promises to bring transparency and accountability if she is elected, she said in an interview with The Avro Post on Tuesday.

“I believe in open, honest communication, I hold myself and others accountable and I will continually advocate and be a voice for what the students of Guelph-Humber want, the third year Kinesiology student said.

Link: Elections 2019

Caldwell said her varied experience have shaped her into a “strong, honest and inclusive leader who treats everybody with dignity and respect”, adding that she has a “strong ability to liaise between executives and students”

During the voting period from Feb. 25 to Mar. 1, Caldwell will be up against Afifa Abbaszadeh, Drake Foo, Jim Hung and Julia Ciampa for the board seats.

Caldwell looks to distinguish herself from the others with her transparency efforts and drive for accountability.

She told The Avro Post she will continue to maintain an online and on-campus presence as a director and is open for any student to email her at ecaldw01@guelphhumber.ca or speak to her in person.

The platform

Erika Caldwell broke down her platform into four unique items she hopes will benefit students across all campuses.

Caldwell told The Avro Post she will “hold the elected president and vice president’s accountable to the platforms they campaigned with” — and, when questioned whether this was in response to TAP’s report on IGNITE executives largely not following through on platform items, she said it was “purely based on what I believe is important based on students needs and expectations of elected executives.”

Secondly, Caldwell said that, as a director, she would ensure events and and opportunities are tailored to benefit students and that “the approved budget to do this is fair and strategic.”

“I will continually advocate for more opportunities to develop professional and personal skills on campus such as First Aid Training and summer internships.

Caldwell says she will also support services for the maintenance of physical and mental health.

Many at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber are worried about losing services offered by the student union due to the optional student fees introduced by the Ontario government that come into play this fall.

The health plans are considered “essential”, however, and will not be part of the optional student fees, according to what a government official told The Avro Post.

“Finally, I will urge IGNITE executives to continue to make life on campus more affordable by considering innovative initiatives such as introducing a textbook exchange website as well as providing GH students with access to hot water to make their own tea, coffee and foods,” Caldwell added.

Image from Erika Caldwell. More details to follow.

Who will win the Senate race?

Eli Ridder | Analysis

The Avro Post is dedicated to impartial but in-depth coverage of elections this year and beyond, so let’s break down a prediction on who will win the Senate race based purely on the factors we know make a winner in student elections.

One of the largest indicators of a winning candidate is social media impact. We’re mostly talking Instagram, maybe Facebook, and people sharing candidates in their stories.

If other candidates share a candidate’s campaign posters on their story, that is an indicator they have support within the inner circles of student politics — which has appeared to signal a winning campaign. We don’t have data — yet — on how many times a candidate has been endorsed by another candidate and won, but it has to be high if the last two years say anything.

Then again, we have seen underdog situations, such as the presidential race last year between Monica Khosla — a relative newcomer to student politics — and Alisa Lim, the-then IGNITE vice president of Lakeshore Campus and largely considered a traditional favourite to win.

But back to the Senate — who has been active on social media? Genevieve Samlal, Danya Elsayed and Maheen Nazim have been the top contenders in terms of the Instagram game. Samlal is the only candidate to make a dedicated campaign account, which has amassed 70 followers.

Elsayed and Nazim have only posted about their campaigns to their story — which may be the best way anyways as some people view stories more than profile posts.

Justin Mihaly and Jessica Lecques have also kept their campaigns to their stories, but have not kept it up everyday — thus, anyone curious about their campaigns may not necessarily find anything on their profiles.

As for Nora Elgharbawy, we don’t have access to her social media at this point so it’s unclear what she’s doing for her campaign there — which means most people don’t as she has a private profile. Hooria Katal is an unknown and we can’t find anything social media-wise, which does not allow for much of an Internet presence when one is a political candidate in 2019.

Of course all of these candidates have posters up near the elevators in Guelph-Humber — however, the effectiveness of the crowded papers taped to every inch of space has been questioned by nearly every candidate.

A third way to get the word out beyond social media and physical posters is through word-of-mouth and name recognition.

Maheen Nazim is the clear winner in this category as she was elected vice president last year has had a large reach within the community in her IGNITE role.

Who comes second? Arguably Genevieve Samlal, as an incumbent senator, should be there at the top with Nazim in terms of name recognition.

Danya Elsayed is an active member of the Guelph-Humber community and has been engaged with on-campus activism in the past. She’s had her name in GH360 for further confirming that the university is overcrowded and is an IGNITE staff writer.

Jessica Lecques has put out a bold presence with an in-depth platform — which could give her a strong name recognition as a newcomer.

Nora Elgharbawy and Justin Mihaly are present on social media but do not appear to have the same boost as the name recognition frontrunners. We were told after this was published that Elgharbawy’s campaign posters have been shared multiple times on students’ stories digitally. Her reach may be further than originally known.

Hooria Katal could’ve used her by-election Senate run to her advantage, but she was just as much as an unknown then as she is now.

There is also the fourth way to build a candidate up — media attention. That’s an easy one because the only student press covering the Guelph-Humber Senate election is The Avro Post.

So how does The Post cover the candidates? It’s fairly straightforward. If a candidate talks to us first, or we establish contact before they publicly announce, then we have an exclusive story on their candidacy, such as in the case of Danya Elsayed.

We also are actively looking for candidate campaign accounts, and, if we find one we share it instantly and put up a story announcing their candidacy.

After initial stories on candidates like this one on Jessica Lecques, we do a follow up with interview questions — the same for each candidate to start — and publish something like this.

That’s not necessarily the same system we use for IGNITE, but it works for the Senate which has a very short time period between candidacy announcements and voting.

So, in terms of media attention in The Avro Post, Jessica Lecques has given the most amount of detail and thus has the most published words on her campaign. However, Maheen Nazim has several stories on her IGNITE vice presidency dating back to last year that take the win with the most words published about her.

But Nazim’s coverage has not always been favourable in terms of public perception. Articles on her have included actions and statements that were both supported by students and criticized by students.

It could also be argued that the IGNITE website counts as media attention, especially with its social media presence of over 8,000 followers. There, all mention of Nazim has been at least shared in a positive light, which boosts her name recognition and exposure.

Hooria Katal has been mentioned in the past as a Senate candidate during the by-election — but again — was an unknown.

Of course, platforms also matter in an election, but, as it usually is with student politics, many are very similar with a few standout platform items. The issues at play in this election and the platforms candidates have can be read here.

So who will win?

Again, to stay away from bias, we have compiled the four factors — apparent social media influence, poster presence, prior name recognition and media attention — to analyze a probable outcome. This is not an endorsement in any way.

Maheen Nazim, on most counts, is the front runner overall and has the experience to campaign hard for a win.

Genevieve Samlal is an incumbent, though she was not technically elected by students as there were only three candidates for four seats last year. She follows Nazim in these categories overall.

Danya Elsayed is close behind as she has the support of many in the Guelph-Humber community which is evident in those that endorse her on social media.

Jessica Lecques has come forward with bold statements and has gone in-depth with her platform, and appears to stand out from the lesser known newcomer candidates.

Nora Elgharbawy, Justin Mihaly and especially Hooria Katal will likely have to step it up in the four factors to bump up their presence and snag a seat, as shown by how winning candidates in the past have found votes.

One never knows how an election will turn out in the end, however, and it is always possible for any of the seven Senate candidates to take one of the four seats.

All seven have platform items they want to take to the Guelph Senate on behalf of Guelph-Humber, and these issues could potentially resonate past social media influence and posters and give a candidate the ballots to win.

Stay tuned to The Avro Post for the latest on these candidates and for the final results. Voting continues until Friday via a link sent to students on GryphMail.

Image of ballot from Pexels

Campus is closed

Staff | Report

Humber College announced earlier that the North and Lakeshore Campuses are closed due to inclement weather, including the University of Guelph-Humber.

Residence, L Building at Lakeshore and the LRC at North remain open.

The University of Guelph is also closed.

More details to follow. Image of campus from files.

Monica Khosla running for re-election

Eli Ridder | Report

IGNITE President Monica Khosla, who won her position in a tight race a year ago, is running for re-election this year.

She will face off against Margarita Bader, who started putting up her election posters on Monday morning when IGNITE candidates were allowed to launch their formal campaigning.

That will make it so there are at least two female candidates. If they are the only two running, then it will be identical to last year when just Khosla and Alisa Lim — two female students — ran for the presidency.

Link: Elections 2019

The candidate who is elected president will be leading the student union into the fall when optional student fees are scheduled to come into play.

IGNITE will be fighting to get student support as those enrolled at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber could have the option to defund several of their services, clubs and the student government itself.

The Avro Post has contacted both president candidates with the same interview questions and will report further details as they are received.

More details to follow. Image of the 2018 executive team from The Avro Post.

Elections: It all starts on Monday

Eli Ridder | Analysis

IGNITE election campaigns and voting for the University of Guelph-Humber’s four representatives on the main Guelph campus Senate both start on Monday — marking it as the launch day for everything student government.

For those interested in learning who is running for IGNITE will have to wait until at least Wednesday during the elections “Mix and Mingle” event to find out who the candidates are, unless the student union release the names beforehand.

As for the Senate, we only have details on four of the seven candidates running, and physical posters were only spotted for three of the them as of Saturday. That means exposure for candidates has been remarkably low ahead of voting and will likely lead to a small turnout.

Students can vote online via an email sent to their GryphMail on Monday. For many students, that will be their first look at the names who could represent them on the Senate, a body of student government that deals exclusively with academic issues.

Link: What Do Senators Do?

The candidates that we do know about haven’t released much in terms of platform items, with the exception of incumbent Genevieve Samlal, who promises to explore options for adding more program-specific facilities and reduce course repetition, among other goals.

All the known Senate candidates have been sent interview questions, and we will hopefully know more about their platforms and what they stand for by Monday morning — which The Avro Post will release as soon as we receive responses.

So, strap in, grab some student-funded IGNITE popcorn and follow the election fun from the comfort of wherever you are. We will have all the latest news, biggest platform items and the breakdown analysis here on The Avro Post Elections page.

Image of ballot from The Avro Post files.

GryphMail plagued with scam email

Eli Ridder | Report

Potentially hundreds of students, staff and faculty at the University of Guelph and Guelph-Humber’s GryphMail were sent a scam email on Wednesday afternoon from an individual claiming to be from “Travelex Currency Trading Co.” with an employment offer.

The company can be found online via an address listed in a digital form attached to the email and listed on Google Maps as based at Turkey’s Istanbul Ataturk Airport. The emails were sent from other GryphMail addresses, not from an outside source.

An individual working in information and technology told The Avro Post that it appears to be from a localized infected computer.

“Good day! My name Steve Moore,” the email reads, which traces its existence to varying addresses, asking recipients if they would consider “a part-time job opportunity to be our Purchasing Manager in your region?”

“I understand you might have busy schedules with your current job/school activities, but I want to let you know that this service is not time consuming, it will be like you are working from home,” it continues.

Moore, likely a fake name, says he is “currently interested to emply your services with lots of benefit,” promising readers that they “will be entitled to earn $500 weekly”.

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 9.44.07 PM
One version of the email sent to at least one student.

The email then prompts recipients, if they are interested to learn more,  to visit a link to a Microsoft Office form.

The email was sent at 3:41 p.m. on Wednesday. Scams sent to GryphMail addresses are not uncommon, university staff told The Avro Post.

The Avro Post has reached out to the University of Guelph and Guelph-Humber, as well as multiple staff members, to find out how many email addresses were affected by the scam.

Company from ‘Turkey’

The form linked in the email sent to those using the University of Guelph’s GryphMail gives a description of the position being offered by the scam and has a signature indicating the “Travelex Currency Trading Co.” company is based in Turkey.

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 9.51.05 PM
Form via The Avro Post

The address is listed as “Yeşilköy Mah. AHL Yeni Dış Hatlar Terminal Binası, 34149 Bakırköy/İstanbul, Turkey” — an address at Istanbul Ataturk Airport tied to the listed company.

The Avro Post has reached out to the company for comment.

The form attached asks recipients for their full name, specific work history in relation to the offered position, age, primary bank name, length of time with their bank and contact information.

Image from Pexels files.

IGNITE asks Lakeshore students what they want in candidates

Eli Ridder | Report

IGNITE asked students at Humber College’s Lakeshore Campus what changes they would like candidates to address in the upcoming elections — food, events and social media made up the seven answers.

Link: Elections 2019

The question asked to students by IGNITE staff writer Ally Buso — What changes would you like this year’s IGNITE candidates to address in their election campaigns? — were met with a narrow range of responses.

Three responses gave the suggestion of improving the food options on campus, including making generally more “healthier” choices, “more vegetarian” and adding more establishments.

Two students — second year Jose Gomez and third year Nikoo Salehirad — said that they would enjoy more social and cultural events to meet others at.

Digital Communications third year Kimone Smith suggested candidates take over IGNITE social media for a day, saying that “I think a takeover would be good so we can learn more about them.”

Another student complained about her early morning starts at Humber, saying that “in three semesters I have had classes at 8 a.m.”, but added that “I really love this campus” and does not want any other changes.

IGNITE’s student union does not have much say over class start times, according to those knowledgeable with student government affairs, but it is instead an academic decision-making body that would work those changes.

Humber, like colleges across the province, does not have an academics-focused Senate. If Guelph-Humber looked to change the practicalities of class start times, it would largely be a charge led by senators.

The University of Guelph-Humber has four representatives on the main Guelph campus Senate, who are elected on a yearly basis alongside the IGNITE elections, and work on academic issues.

Image of students interviewed by IGNITE — Stephanie Camargo and Venus Saini.


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