Marianopolis Student Union Congress
2019-2020 Academic Year
|Location: Marianopolis College, on the traditional unceded Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation
Day: November 8th, 2019
Time of Start: 4:16P.M.
|Facilitator: Aria Khiabani
Meeting type: Weekly
Note taker and timekeeper: Zhenling Wang
|List of attendees (Congress members): Aria Khiabani, Andrew Petrecca-Berthelet, Ying Ge, Amanda Morrone, Michael Chalkhoun, Darya Jabbari, Cherry Sun, Zhaoran Wu, Zhenling Wang, Laurence Liang, Steven Gong, Ying Chen, Misha Fotovati
List of attendees (guests): Aaron Gao, Natasha Yang
Student Services Representative: Trudy Ste-Croix
- Call to Order
The Regular Weekly Marianopolis Student Union (MSU) Congress Meeting of November 8th, 2019, was convened at 4:16 P.M. by President Aria Khiabani.
- Roll Call of Members
The MSU Congress Members who are present at this meeting are: Aria Khiabani, Andrew Petrecca-Berthelet, Ying Ge, Amanda Morrone, Michael Chalkhoun, Darya Jabbari, Cherry Sun, Zhaoran Wu, Zhenling Wang, Laurence Liang, Steven Gong, Ying Chen, Misha Fotovati
- Guests presented by Aria Khiabani
The guests who are present at this meeting are: Natasha Yang, executive of Jams4Justice, Aaron Gao, a representative from the Marianopolis World Review, and Trudy Ste-Croix, the Student Services Representative.
- Approval of the Agenda
The Agenda of this day’s meeting has been unanimously approved.
- Unfinished Business and General Orders
- New Business
- Jam4Justice update presented by Laurence
Due to the small amount of Indigenous students supporting this event, Laurence wants to change the theme from Indigenous recognition to general social issues that cegep students are concerned about. Place Des Arts metro isn’t big enough to host the event, thus he suggests to host the event on Nov. 29th in conjunction with MBN’s karaoke night. Natasha says Jams4Justice would be interested as long as they’re notified ahead of the time and place of the event.
Unfortunately, it is not feasible to reserve a room at Marianopolis during the weekend as there’s no working keyboards. The option of hosting it at a cafe or combining it with Poetry Night was proposed. Moreover, it wouldn’t be appropriate to join the two events together if MBN’s karaoke night is just for fun.
Aria suggests to stick to a theme, whether it being Indigenous recognition or not, plan it properly and host it next semester if possible.
- Congress Office Hours Rules presented by Aria
Regardless of how many people are in the office, members who have office hours should be able to have a seat and are able to work.
- Tree Proposal presented by Aria
Congress has reviewed the document of Plant-A-Tree Proposal by Education’s End class.
Congress motioned to vote on endorsing the Plant-A-Tree Proposal
- Memorandum of Agreement presented by Misha & Aria
The Memorandum of Agreement has been started by Aria last year and continued by Misha. It outlines how the relationship between the MSU and the college will function, obligations of both parties and some essential deadlines regarding each obligation. Aria and Misha have already had a meeting with the Director General regarding the Memorandum, which will hopefully be effective starting from next semester.
The document is usually not entitled to a review period; it stands until one party motions to make a change.
Some changes have been suggested by Congress members, for example:
- Under Article III: remove “Proof of the hiring of a bookkeeper to maintain financial records in accordance with sound accounting practices”. There’s no need to hire a bookkeeper since Congress has added the new position of “Financial Assistant”
- Addition of page numbers to facilitate reference
- Specification of deadlines regarding finance. For collected Congress fees, the college usually transfers the half of the sum within the first week of school, the rest during the first few weeks of the year. Outlining a deadline for transactions is very necessary. For example, payment of world MUN has already been made, but the college hasn’t sent Amanda an invoice to request for refund yet.
- Under Article XIX: change date
- Under Annex II 1.d.: remove rental fees
Misha and Aria are seeking insight from Congress members to outline in the Memorandum in the case of 1) a dispute with Student Services; 2) the college failing to hold a part of their agreement.
In the case of the college failing to hold a part of their agreement, Congress proposed to send a formal document citing the outlined agreement and/or responsibility in the Memorandum to draw attention to the problem. However, the College prefers to find a solution that’s less bureaucratic. Trudy suggests to first properly communicate and have a meeting to make the other party aware of the problem. If necessary, mediation should be considered by bringing in a third party, which can be a review board made up of representatives of the general student population and that from Student Services. All meetings and attendees of the mediations should be recorded.
The Memorandum of Agreement will be included in the Google Drive folder and reviewed by future Congress. Regardless, essential clauses regarding finance are suggested to be added in the Congress Constitution.
Congress agreed that the College should be granted access to MSU’s financial records. Moreover, technically all students are able to access the records upon request. At the end of the year, Congress should be able to make and publish a clear financial statement. Currently there’s no financial statements to look back upon since the project has only been started this year.
Congress will later decide on if the Memorandum will be made public to members of the MSU.
All Congress members are reminded again to read the Memorandum carefully and report any necessary changes as soon as possible. The document will be reviewed together and voted upon before submitting to the College.
- Major Group Insurance Plan presented by Aria
Congress will need to vote on whether or not to move forward with the insurance plan offered by Major Plan. The recent survey held among students received a quite low response rate; thus the validity of the results is not guaranteed. The insurance plan will be the same for everyone and cost about $40-45 per semester. The cost will fluctuate in the second semester since the insurance also covers the 2 months during summer vacation.
Major Plan will create a plan according to the survey once the MSU Congress agrees to move forward with it. A referendum will be held on Omnivox concerning students’ needs in their insurances.
Congress motioned to vote on moving forward to create an insurance plan with Major Plan
- Joint cegep sustainability proposal presented by Laurence
Laurence has uploaded a Google form of joint-cegep sustainability proposals in the Facebook group. Congress needs to fill it out by Sunday evening.
- Locker Decorating Contest presented by Misha
Misha proposes to host a locker decorating contest during the holiday season. Wayne said students are allowed to decorate the outside of lockers as long as the decorations used are removed by the end of the exam period. This will also allow the MSU to host another decorating contest in the future.
Amanda, Darya and Misha will work on it together.
Students will be given one week to decorate; on the Friday of that week, selected judges will pick a winner and award them prizes.
Congress is considering hosting the contest during the week of November 18th or 25th.
- Moneris & meeting with Bank presented by Aria and Amanda
Moneris is an Canada-based alternative of Square reader. Their representatives can come to the College and set up the machine. Compared to Square, Moneris costs a bit more to set up but costs less per transaction.
Congress’ banker suggests the MSU to invest some of their funds into a savings account, specifically a variable GIC account. The deposited money will be frozen during the first 30 days, but will be entitled to an annual interest of 1%-1.5% after then. The investment poses zero risk and will allow the MSU to make about 890 dollars every year. Money deposited in this account will all be spare money accumulated over the past 4 years that isn’t included in the budget of the current year, meaning Congress does not have to touch it constantly.
Amanda and Steven will determine the exact amount to put in the savings account.
- Movember presented by Michael and Andrew
On November 12th, Congress will be hosting a free haircut event in the student lounge with the barber shop Wild Cutting Club. The barbers will come in at 11am and leave by 3pm.The barbers Andrew invited are mostly specialized in men’s haircuts. Congress suggests to invite eyebrow services and women’s haircuts as well in the future.
Andrew will make a list of people who are interested in getting a haircut. Ying C. will make a post on Sunday to market.
On a side note, since part of Michael’s mandate was to campaign for awareness on mental health, he would like to create a fun event or fundraiser for men’s mental health and is asking Congress for recommendations. Darya invites him to add a booth at her self-love workshop to raise awareness on men’s toxic masculinity and some tips.
- Meeting with the Accountant presented by Amanda and Steven
Amanda and Steven had a meeting with the MSU’s accountant.
Congress members are reminded to keep receipts of all payments and notify Amanda about the payment.
- Reusable plates update presented by Ying G.
Initially Congress lent out 20 plates but only have 12 by the end of Friday. Ying G. will make a post on the MSU Facebook group regarding this issue. The Honesty system isn’t working so Congress might need to take down the names of students who borrow them. Hygiene is a big concern as well since it is hard to know if clubs are cleaning the plates properly.
Some solutions were to add a line on the plates saying “please return after using them,”to make a box for all plates and stick a rules sheet on it, and to put up rules on the board behind the bake sale.
Congress will work with the current 12 plates for now and stick to the honesty system after marketing this new project. More plates will be bought in the future if the applied solutions are effective.
- Social justice committee update presented by Darya
The Social Justice committee has 2 events coming up.
On Thursday, the self-love workshop will take place. Goodie bags with tea, encouraging notes, masks, and candies will be distributed at the end. Darya has also invited Cody from stress management and a yoga teacher to teach a yoga session. Counsellors were all booked during AP but said they might come by.
Posters will be posted this weekend.
Poetry Night will not be taking place at Shaika Cafe since they’re booked for the whole month of November. Darya is still looking for a cafe that provides a stage, microphones and audience space. If Congress can book a cafe for next Thursday, the event will still take place; otherwise the event will have to be postponed.
- Coat hanger options presented by Ying G.
Ying G. will send links of possible coat hangers to purchase for Congress in the Facebook chat.
- Buddy the Therapy Dog presented by Aria
Many students would like for Buddy the therapy dog to come in during exam season. Trudy says she’s still waiting for Blue Ribbon to respond on which days exactly that will come. Buddy is certain to come on December 3rd. Owner of another dog, Danielle, said that she will resume coming every Wednesday for sure.
- Open House PM by Aria
Congress representatives who have participated in Open House will be receiving a survey in regards to the Open House.
- Basketball game presented by Michael
- Empowerment month adoption by Laurence
Congress motioned to vote on adopting COAC’s monthly initiative of “Empowerment” for the month of November
- Food bank for the holidays event idea by Laurence
Laurence proposes to organize a volunteer event at local food banks near the end of November and beginning of December.
- Remembrance day post? By Laurence
The College will also dedicate a moment of silence at 11am on Monday and read something over the loudspeaker. Congress will make a post in honour of Remembrance Day and potentially announce the moment of silence.
Motion to adjourn – Passed (majority/unanimously)
This meeting was adjourned at 6:07P.M.
Total duration: 1 hour and 51 minutes