IGNITENewsAmbitious budget represents ‘best case scenario,’ says IGNITE

Galvin ZaldivarApril 9, 20195 min

Galvin Zaldivar and Christian Aguirre, News Reporters

IGNITE is hoping for the best in its budget estimates for the 2019-2020 school year despite uncertainty surrounding changes to tuition funding.

The student union approved an $11.5 million budget estimate for the upcoming school year at its Annual General Meeting on March 27.

Last year, IGNITE approved an operating budget of $11.1 million, for the 2018-2019 school year.

“This budget was developed with feedback from students provided to us over the course of the year,” said Ercole Perrone, IGNITE’s executive director.

Students and executives vote to approve IGNITE’s operating budget for the 2019-2020 School Year. From left, Ercole Perrone, Saffiya Lulat, Christian Semerijian, Shayan Shakil, Monica Khosla, Graham Budgeon and Jeremy Largo Alfonso. (Galvin Zaldivar)

Perrone said the impact of the Student Choice Initiative, proposed by the Ontario government to allow students to opt out of certain student fees, was always on the minds of IGNITE when composing this year’s budget.

“The true impact of the Student Choice Initiative, on IGNITE’s finances would be speculative,” he said.

IGNITE and the college have yet to settle which ancillary fees would be made optional under the Student Choice Initiative (SCI).

“We have the duty to fulfill our responsibilities, to provide our membership with high quality representation, advocacy, programs, services, and communications,” Perrone said.

IGNITE president Monica Khosla said the impact of the SCI will be difficult to navigate.

“We’re going try to keep as many services as we’re able to,” she said.

Khosla said IGNITE will be paying attention to which services students are using and benefitting from the most before making any cuts.

“It will be a challenge … but we’ll still be able to deliver great things,” she said.

Whatever the estimates, the final version of the budget is to be approved when the new IGNITE executive is sworn into office in May.

In other issues dealt with at the meeting, outgoing executives highlighted their various achievements for the term.

Jeremy Largo Alfonso, the outgoing Vice-President North, talked about the work of the 7-1-7 Committee.

Through the committee, IGNITE was able to successfully advocate with Humber College for the implementation of a reading week during the fall semester next year, Largo Alfonso said. This is in addition to the winter semester reading week.

The meeting also ratified the re-election of Khosla as IGNITE president, and the elections of Simran, Ryan Stafford and Megan Roopnarine as vice-presidents of North, Lakeshore and University of Guelph-Humber respectively.