September 20, 2019

Marianopolis Student Union Congress

2019-2020 Academic Year

6th Meeting


Location: Marianopolis College, on the traditional unceded Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation

Day: September 20th, 2019

Time of Start: 4:19PM

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, Misha Fotovati

Regrets: Ying Chen

List of attendees (guests): Jerry Zhu, Aaron Gao, Mahmuda Sekendra, Kalliopé McCall, Edward Li, Director General of Marianopolis College

Student Services Representative: Trudy Ste-Croix

Quorum: 7


Agenda Items



  • Call to Order


The Regular Weekly Marianopolis Student Union (MSU) Congress Meeting of September 20th, was convened at 4:19PM 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, Misha Fotovati



  • Guests presented by Aria Khiabani


The guests who are present at this meeting are: Jerry Zhu and Aaron Gao, two representatives from the Marianopolis World Review; Trudy Ste-Croix, the Student Services Representative; and Mahmuda Sekendra, Kalliopé McCall, and Edward Li, students who initiated the Marianopolis climate strike and created the petition “Shut Marianopolis Down for Climate Strike”. 



  • Approval of last meeting’s Minutes


The Minutes of the Regular Weekly MSU Congress Meeting of September 13th, 2019 were written by Zhenling Wang. These Minutes were approved by Aria Khiabani on the 20th of September, 2019.



  • Approval of the Agenda


The Agenda of this day’s meeting has been unanimously approved. 



  • Unfinished Business and General Orders




  • New Business
  • Results of Referendum presented by Aria


The purpose of the General Assembly was to confirm with the students if they wanted a referendum or not. The amendments of the Marianopolis Student Union Congress Constitution were also voted on. In regard to the referendum concerning Marianopolis’ participation in the Climate Change Strike on September 27th, a total ballots of 1293 have been collected, in which 1130 voted “yes” and 163 voted “no”, which means 87.4% of the student population are in favor of the  strike. 

Brebeuf and Champlain College also obtained similar results from their respective referenda.

The Academic Dean is not present, who has been invited to the weekly Congress meeting, is not present today as the Director General (abbreviated as “DG” below) would like to discuss the result of the referendum. 



  • Climate Strike presented by Mahmuda, Kalliopé, and Edward


The three student representatives, who are in favor of closing Marianopolis College on the day of the climate strike, explained the context of their initiative and their motivations. Three hundred thousand Montrealers will participate in this protest in order to demand for progressive climate policies. From a student’s perspective, the reason why they’re asking for the school to close on that day is that they don’t want to be penalized by their education, or to have to choose their education over their future. As part of the vision of Marianopolis College, they also feel the need to practice responsible stewardship of the natural environment. Kalliope and Edward created a Facebook page for the event, on which they have obtained 178 likes and 136 people confirmed that they are either interested or going to the climate change strike. 897 members of Marianopolis are supporting the cancelation of classes. 305 students participated in the General Assembly, and the majority agreed on holding a referendum to further discuss Marianopolis’ participation in the Climate Change Strike. Along with the referendum results and petition signatures they have collected, they have proof that both the students and faculty at Marianopolis are very eager to join the strike. 

The results of the referendum was not released to Congress members until this meeting. 

Aria invited both the Academic Dean and the DG as this meeting happens to be the first meeting that Congress had the chance to invite them. The Academic Dean will be invited to the next meeting when there’s a chance. 

The DG has expressed his concerns on the cancelation of classes as it is a very unusual occasion for Marianopolis to change its schedule last minute. Regardless of the trend, Marianopolis should not blindly follow the trend of other cegeps and deliberate before making the decision. There are many ways to show that Marianopolis cares about global issues. The DG would like to learn more about why students want to do this and the message the College is sending from its participation. The MSU Congress has previously mentioned at the General Assembly that another day will be added into the school calendar if classes are canceled because of the climate strike and students are informed. Regardless of a lengthened school schedule, a result of 87.4% voting yes shows that a strong portion of students are very devoted to participate in the strike. 

Edward thinks regardless of how effective protests are and the attendance rate, not participating and supporting simply shows Marianopolis does not care. Dec. 5th is proposed to serve as a replacement of Sept. 27th.

DEC, the inter cegep front which coordinates student actions on the strike, has adopted a climate strike goal demanding 4 specific policies of what the students want from the government on which many cegeps of Montreal have agreed on. The MSU Congress is considering whether or not to join it. 

The MSU Congress will make an official request for cancelation of classes after this meeting and will inform the students on the results of the vote. The results should be posted as soon as possible since students are eager to know about them. However, the access to Omnivox is limited since it’s late. Congress will notify the DG when the results are available to the students. 

The Coordinator of Communications, Ying Chen, is not present. Aria will make a draft of the Facebook post to announce the referendum results. It must be made very clear to the students that the result of the referendum is only a recommendation to the administration.


  • Representatives on College Committees presented by Aria 


Aria, Michael and Misha will sit on the Academic Council, which is chaired by the Academic Dean.

Congress motioned to vote on selecting Aria, Michael, and Misha to sit on the Academic Council


Andrew and Michael will sit on the Anti-harassment Education Committee, chaired by Pauline. 

Congress motioned to vote on selecting Andrew and Michael to sit on the Anti-harassment Education Committee



Cherry and Darya will sit on the Sexual Violence Policy Committee, chaired by Louise. 

Congress motioned to vote on selecting Cherry and Darya to sit on the Sexual Violence Policy Committee


Food Services Committee will meet next week.



  • General Assembly PM presented by Aria 



The General Assembly held on September 19th received the highest attendance rate in 30 years. All who attended did a great job as the Assembly was handled professionally. Students were generally engaged and satisfied. It’s important for the students to be informed about the Constitution. The shout-out to the volunteer fair was helpful and well-appreciated. 

The only problems were that people sitting in the back cannot hear since Aria and Michael were mumbling a lot and students can’t see in the back. Speak a little more slowly and clearly next time. 

Counting the votes was also very difficult. In the future we need to force people to fill in seats in the front to free up the back for late comers. This would also be easier to count and for them to hear. Congress should maybe block out the back with tape to force people to sit in the front. 

Words of mouth and presentations are very effective and we should advertise more by talking to people. The social media posts (Facebook) and physical posters were very effective. Notes should be written down for next General Assembly and stored on Google Drive. Next year there should be a more formal debrief and Congress should communicate more in advance. Potential counting systems such as sending a message to a specific number(online system) and a clicker are considered.

Another issue of a possible upcoming Bill 21 strike is brought up. 



  • COAC invitation presented by Laurence Liang


Laurence was added into the group chat of COAC, an association between anglophone cegeps which unite student voices and bridge gaps between students from different backgrounds. The first meeting will be held this Sunday at John Abbott College. Laurence will be representing the MSU at COAC. 

Congress motioned to vote on selecting Laurence to represent Marianopolis on the COAC




  • Inter-cegep Front on climate strike presented by Laurence Liang


This business has been tabled to the next meeting.



  • Inter-cegep Activity: Jam4Justice presented by Laurence Liang


This business has been tabled to the next meeting.



  • Entrepreneurial Club Scholarship presented by Amanda 


This business has been tabled to the next meeting.


  • Social Activity filtering by Andrew 


This business has been tabled to the next meeting.



  • Movie-License Purchase/MOOSE Camp contribution presented by Amanda 


The movie license which allows us to play pre-released movies on campus costs $1845.35 in total after tax. Without the license, pre-released movies will be charged at a rate of 40-75 dollars. The Student Services Department is willing to contribute in buying the movie license, and proposed a split half-half between Congress and Student Services, in which case Adam would pay for $450 and Trudy will pay for $450 from their respective budgets. Trudy told congress that she received an annual budget of 2250 dollars.

About 2-3 clubs have already reached out to Cherry about fundraising together. In order to maximize the use of the movie license, Congress should promote and make aware of the purchase of the movie license. Cherry is planning to have at least 3 movie nights this year, therefore she supported purchasing the movie license.

Amanda proposed for Congress to pay for 800-850 dollars. However, considering the increasing Congress fees, there would be more budget to work with. Congress already appreciates the amount of help student services has offered in the past and feel responsible to contribute more than half of the payment. 

Congress motioned to vote on paying for $1000 in the purchase of the new movie license

(passed-majority, with 7 votes for, 4 votes against, and 2 abstaining)


Congress motioned to vote on notifying the DG that Congress is ready to announce the referendum results




  • Varia
  • Spreading out midterms initiative update presented by Michael


This business has been tabled to the next meeting.



  • Climate workshops next week by Laurence


Many cegeps which are officially participating in the climate strike have organized workshops on how to make posters for the strike. Congress should communicate with the green team in regards to this. 



  • Sharing info publicly with other CEGEPs by Laurence


Congress members are allowed to share all information that has been made available to the student population to other cegeps.



  • How to endorse the climate strike? Presented by Michael


Congress now must endorse the results of the referendum officially as promised. Congress has agreed to add onto the Facebook post announcing the referendum results “Congress endorses the results of the referendum and recognizes the voice of the student body and has brought the results to the administration”. 

In the event of the college officially closing, Congress will try its best to gather as many people as possible to attend the strike through word of mouth, social media posts, physical posters, etc. Congress must make a plan as specific as possible so students will know what to do.  

In the event that the college does not close, Congress will continue to remind the students of their option of participating in the strike. However, it must be made very clear that there will be no guarantee of no consequences of such actions. Students are still responsible for their own academics and are encouraged to reach out to their teachers in advance. Congress will consider offering the service of drafting an official letter to send out to teachers and convincing them to allow their students’ participation in the strike. 

Note: At around 6:45P.M., the Director General has announced through Omnivox that a decision of cancelation of classes has been made in response to the students’ demand. Classes are confirmed to be canceled on September 27th. 

Congress will write a formal thank-you letter to the Green Team and the Director General.  There must be as many students present as possible; otherwise the chance of another supporting policy for any other strikes in the future will be minimized.



  • Adjournment


Motion to adjourn – Passed (majority/unanimous)


This meeting was adjourned at 6:51P.M. 

Total duration: 2 hours and 32 minutes

By |2019-10-05T22:05:12+00:00October 5th, 2019|Minutes|0 Comments

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