IGNITE proposes new governance rules for Jan. 16

by | Nov 20, 2019 | Campus News, Headlines, IGNITE

Emily Wilson, News Reporter

Changes are coming to the structure of Humber College’s student organization made to give the power back to the true decision-makers, the Board of Directors.

IGNITE announced in October the executive transition from an elected student union structure to hired corporate structure.

Executives include the president and the three vice-presidents for North campus, Lakeshore campus and the University of Guelph-Humber, while the board of directors will continue to be elected. All will remain as student-held positions.

Ercole Perrone, executive director of IGNITE, said the board of directors will take over being the face of the student union, making the executives staff members of the organization rather than as representatives of the student body.

The announced change comes with an expectation of filling the executive vacancies with the highest quality candidate as opposed to popularity, Perrone said in the release.

He said they are moving away from the open government approach which students often mistake them for having.

Students will still have a say in who speaks for them, but will not necessarily have the privilege of presence in board meetings.

They don’t have the privilege of having full access to their meetings. Students may request to attend but ultimately the board can decide to admit them, he said.

What qualifies students to be a part of these meetings is unclear.

“The intent is to move towards a more formalized non-profit organization style way to work, which is to say meetings with the board of directors and guests the board wants to hear from,” Perrone said.

IGNITE President Monica Khosla agrees the process will ensure the competency of executives she passes the torch to.

“There’s certain skill sets and certain things you just need to have that qualify you better as being an executive, and sometimes when you’re elected you don’t always get,” she said.

But some question the transparency of the organization, which according to the 2018-19 financial statements has capital assets of more than $7.2 million.

Humber College executives hold some skepticism. Jason Hunter, vice-president of Humber College, Student and Community Engagement, said he has never worked with a student government who has taken this approach before and is going forward with an open mind.

“My advice would be that students understand what you’re [IGNITE] doing and that students are supportive, while still having a transparent process,” he said.

Students will have an opportunity to voice their opinions. They are asked to attend IGNITE’s Special Meeting of the Members on Jan. 16, where they can vote to determine the future of the organization’s structure.