Humber elects new and former IGNITE executives

by | Mar 4, 2019 | Guelph-Humber, Headlines, IGNITE, Lakeshore, News, North, Orangeville

Galvin Zaldivar and Madison Raye, News Reporters

The polls have closed and the ballots have been counted, and Humber has elected executives both new and familiar. 

Monica Khosla was re-elected as president of IGNITE, and joining her are Simran, Ryan Stafford, and Megan Roopnarine as vice-presidents of North, Lakeshore and University of Guelph-Humber respectively. 

Khosla garnered 3,795 votes, 330 more than her Lakeshore rival Margarita Bader. 

The winning Board of Directors are, from left, Julia Ciampa, Erika Caldwell, Camila Ruiz, Eden Tavares, Stephanie Fallico, Asiya Bashir, Neto Naniwambote. There were winners not present for the photo are: Dishant Passi, Shawayne Dunstan and Navnit Sidhu. (Madison Raye)

In addition, Humber has a new Board of Directors, five from North, three from Lakeshore, two from the University of Guelph-Humber. And for the first time a director has been acclaimed to represent the Orangeville campus, Navnit Sidhu. 

The number of students who voted dropped this year. Only 7,811 of the more than 30,000 students eligible to vote in IGNITE’s elections turned out to cast ballots, a turnout of 24.49 per cent. That’s a decrease of 3.81 per cent from last year’s elections, despite the introduction of online voting this year.

Khosla said her re-election win felt amazing and thanked her supporters. 

“I really want to thank them and the support they’ve shown me and just how much they’ve promoted me on their behalf,” said Khosla, calling her victory, “our win.” 

Her three key priorities for her new term are accessibility, sustainability and communication.

Monica Khosla was reelected as president of IGNITE with a 330-vote margin in an election that saw a drop in voters. (Et Cetera file photo)

“I feel like, you know, if there’s a student with an issue or concern, they deserve to be answered quickly and honestly … as I can,” she said.

Megan Roopnarine, Vice-President-elect for the University of Guelph-Humber, also thanked supporters for her win. 

“I’m so happy that people believe in me,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what I can do for the future of IGNITE and the student body.”

Roopnarine said the upcoming OSAP changes are her first priority on taking office.

“I know that, myself included, as someone who uses OSAP, is very concerned about what may or may not happen with all those things,” she said.

Also elected from the University of Guelph-Humber are directors-elect Erika Caldwell and Julia Ciampa who are eager to take up their roles.

“My first priority would be getting to know everyone and getting to know the needs of the students,” Ciampa said.

Caldwell said she also wanted to learn how to best exercise her new role and interact with students.

Also present election night on March 1 were candidates who did not win, such as Vice-Presidential candidates for North, Dilshan Marasinghe and Ameem Rahman.

“I didn’t win and it’s okay,” said Rahman, after the election results were revealed.

He said he may run again next year, aiming higher for the position of president.

“I feel proud because I tried to do something huge and even though I didn’t win I’m definitely going to try again next year,” Marasinghe said.

The new executive team will take office in May, and for many, the first issue will be convincing students to continue paying the student activity fee that funds IGNITE.

Starting next year, it and several other ancillary fees will be made optional by the Ford government.

For Roopnarine, this means increasing IGNITE’s transparency.

“I want to make sure that IGNITE is on tip pf it and that we’re really working hard to make sure that there’s transparency … what IGNITE is doing in terms of budgeting and finance,” she said.

Ciampa said revenues raised by the fee is necessary in developing and maintaining student life on campus and ensuring students are given the opportunities they deserve.

Caldwell said it’s important to “[make] sure that students are aware of all the benefits they’re getting from IGNITE and … of the whole scope of things that comes with it.”

Khosla said convincing students to pay the fees will be a challenge, but she’s confident IGNITE will be able to explain the importance of those fees.

“I’m going to advocate as much as I can to make sure those services don’t go away,” she said.

Khosla said her time as president taught her about the services students most support.