April 3, 2020

Marianopolis Student Union Congress

2019-2020 Academic Year

25th Meeting

Location: online

Day: April 3, 2020

Time of Start: 4:20 PM

Facilitator: Aria Khiabani

Meeting Type: Weekly

Notetaker and timekeeper: Zhenling Wang

List of attendees (Congress members): Aria Khiabani, Amanda Morrone, Michael Chalkhoun, Cherry Sun, Zhaoran Wu, Laurence Liang, Steven Gong, Ying Chen, Ying Ge, Misha Fotovati, Andrew Petrecca-Berthelet, Darya Jabbari, Zhenling Wang

Regrets: none

List of attendees (guests): Patrick Samaha

Student Services Representative: Trudy Ste-Croix

Quorum: 7


Agenda Items



  • Call to Order


The Regular Weekly Marianopolis Student Union (MSU) Congress Meeting of April 3, 2020, was convened at 4: 20 P.M. by President Aria Khiabani.



  • Roll Call of Members


The MSU Congress Members who are present at this meeting are: Aria Khiabani, Amanda Morrone, Michael Chalkhoun, Cherry Sun, Zhaoran Wu, Laurence Liang, Steven Gong, Ying Chen, Ying Ge, Misha Fotovati, Andrew Petrecca-Berthelet, Darya Jabbari, Zhenling Wang



  • Guests presented by Aria Khiabani


The guests who are present at this meeting are Patrick Samaha, a representative from the Marianopolis World Review, and Trudy Ste-Croix, the Student Services Representative.



  • Approval of last meeting’s Minutes


The Minutes of the Regular Weekly MSU Congress Meeting of March 27, 2020, was written by Zhenling Wang. These Minutes were approved by Aria Khiabani on the 3rd day of April 2020.



  • Approval of the Agenda


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



  • Unfinished Business and General Orders




  • New Business
  • Google Meet for Clubs presented by Ying G.


In order to facilitate club communications and the conduct of club meetings, Ying G. has obtained access to Google Meet services for MSU clubs. Currently six clubs are already experimenting with the service. 




Amanda has completed the MSU financial report for the 2019 Fall semester. 


She is still working on the 2020 Winter semester report as new transactions and reimbursements are made. From the 2020 Winter semester, MSU has currently accumulated a surplus of around $7000 due to the cancelation of major trips and extracurricular events that had applied for grants. 


MSU has received all Congress fees for the 2020 Winter semester from the college. 


The surplus will be partially distributed towards the Congress Emergency Funds; however, a certain amount will be set aside to support clubs who need additional funding. The application for the club additional grant will close next week. 



  • Update on the Congress Emergency Fund by Amanda


After discussion with the college, MSU Congress has modified and finalized some logistics of the Congress Emergency Fund. 


Initially, the President, Vice President, VPF, and Financial Assistant were responsible for reviewing and approving fund applications. The fund will then be distributed through the financial aid department. However, the college expressed its concerns for the peer-reviewed application process and would prefer to collaborate with Congress by taking on this particular task for its own. The MSU Congress will still have access to the statistics obtained from all applications. 


The Marianopolis Millennium Foundation has also agreed to contribute to this fund along with MSU, accumulating a budget of around $30,000-$35,000.


To avoid the distributed grants being used for unnecessary expenses, Dawson is offering financial aid to its students in the form of gift cards for groceries. For MSU, the grants will most likely be given in the form of cash. Allocations are granted for life-sustaining categories such as rent, food, and Internet services, which students are required to specify in the application form. However, the grant should not be restricted to the mentioned categories but helpful to students for all essential purchases. MSU will thus maintain its financial aid in the form of cash as it will be in the best interests of all students. 



  • Job Fair and Outreach Session presented by Laurence


In light of the COVID-19 situation, Laurence proposes for the virtual job fair to be modified to a “Job Fair and Outreach Session” to respond to the growing needs of help from local communities. The event will take place on April 16th from 6-8 PM, in the form of a video call over Google Hangout. Both employers and local community organizations will be invited to offer MSU students possible ways to support one another in the community, such as volunteer opportunities both during and after the pandemic.  

Cherry will also help gather and recruit volunteer opportunities, such as food distribution at food banks. 



  • COAC presented by Laurence


Laurence has gathered a few updates from other COAC cegeps on their responses as school resumes in an alternative delivery mode. John Abbott and Champlain College are offering financial aid in cash. Dawson, as previously mentioned, is giving out gift cards. Laurence will maintain his communications with other cegep representatives to learn about their social and financial responses to student concerns as well as virtual initiatives to enrich student life. 



  • MSU App update presented by Ying G.


The technology committee is in the process of implementing new features into the MSU app, such as embedding Google Calendars to mark both Congress and club events, and to embed the shuttle bus tracker created by MSU student Austin Huang. 

The App currently offers a list of responses to student concerns as well as Congress contact information.



  • Update from all activity coordinators for online events presented by Aria 


All coordinators have been invited to brainstorm initiatives and activities in accordance with their mandates. The following is a list of all their ideas:


  • External Affairs: Laurence

Laurence suggests Congress help raise awareness for club initiatives that students can participate in, such as Programming Club’s weekly workshops, Marianopolis Research Team’s activities featuring latest research on COVID-19, and Student Services’ singing competition. 


  • Social Justice: Darya
  • Digital art/photography gallery (at the beginning of May)
  • Earth Day bingo, collaboration with Green Team: see how environmentally responsible you are (April 22)
  • Online Poetry Night on Zoom, collaboration with Spoken Word Club (soon)

The Marianopolis Library team is currently collecting poems from all members of the community. Darya will encourage participants of this activity to keep their poems and read them out at Poetry Night. She will also reach out to students who have previously published poems in the MSU Facebook group. 

  • Netflix party of social justice-themed films   

Darya’s suggestions for movies include When They See Us and Plastic Ocean. Congress is considering setting every Saturday as a consistent MSU movie session on Facebook.


  • Communications: Ying C.
  • Hallyu dance workshop
  • Coffeehouse

Coffeehouse can be a live stream or pre-recorded performances. 


  • Cultural Affairs: Zhaoran
  • Contest of famous art recreation using materials at home
  • Forum on Facebook: for people to post baking and cooking videos
  • Ramadan: collaboration with other cultural clubs


  • Social Activities: Andrew 
  • Trivia kahoots
  • Movie nights 

Andrew is planning to host a movie night this weekend from 6-8 PM, using Twitch to stream. He will post about it in advance on the MSU Facebook group for advertisement. Misha will investigate the legality and logistics of streaming movies online. 

  • DJ live on MSU
  • Standup comedy live 
  • End-of-Year Party

The party will have to be canceled if school does not open again. A possible solution may be to have a “2020 MSU reunion party” in late August. 


  • Student Services: Trudy
  • ACF movie license 

They are still waiting to receive the IP address from the college for the ACF movie license. They will look into the logistics of using this license for online movie streaming. 

  • Congress collaboration 

Coordinators are welcome to collaborate with student services. The Student Services Department is proposing to organize their activities every Tuesday AP in order not to conflict with Congress-sponsored events. They’re planning on hosting a live session of activity every Tuesday AP. They will be giving some more updates and answering students’ questions this upcoming Tuesday. 


  • Internal Affairs:
  • Daily challenges/(film, picture)competitions: post to win prizes 

Inspired by Misha’s Marianopolis bingo, Congress can encourage students to participate in other challenges and competitions such as posting pictures of studying to win prizes, which can be delivered through Amazon. 

Congress will collaborate with MariFilms in collecting videos of students’ life learning from home.


  • Charities and Volunteering: Cherry
  • Volunteer opportunities during the pandemic

Cherry will make a post of available volunteer opportunities on the Charities and Volunteering Facebook page. (after elections, beginning of next week)

  • Shave to Save

The initiative will not be presented as a physical event but rather a project. Cherry will contact prospective participants and ask them to submit a videotape of them cutting their hair. She will also collaborate with MBN and MWR to interview people on their thoughts and reflection on this project. People may choose to fundraise for the project at their own discretion. (done by end of April)

  • Charities fundraising
  • Comedy show, stream funny videos people submit, stand-up comedy
  • anti-Vape campaign will be moved to next year




Ying has compiled a list of all student concerns obtained from the Google form posted in MSU Facebook group. All Congress members are encouraged to answer students’ questions through their indicated contact. 



  • Survey presented by Michael


To ensure the legitimacy of the survey, Michael suggests checking the submitters’ student IDs to confirm their current enrollment at Marianopolis. If needed, Congress will assist Trudy in this process since she might need to check the IDs one by one. 

Michael will post the survey between next Thursday and Sunday, between the presidency campaign and coordinator campaign. 



  • Inappropriate posts made on the Facebook Group presented by Michael


An inappropriate comment was made under a post on the MSU Facebook group containing xenophobic and offensive talk. Michael contacted the owner of the comment who agreed to remove it. 



  • Potential dance workshop (also coffee house?) by YC


This point has been addressed previously.



  • Varia
  • Sunday PM presented by Michael


A lot of students reported to Michael this past Sunday that their teachers were still setting deadlines on March 30th, right after school officially resumes. Michael assisted them by communicating with teachers, Department chairs as well as the Dean of Student Success, afterwhich all students were granted extensions. 



  • Adjournment


Motion to adjourn – Passed (unanimously)


This meeting was adjourned at 5:30 P.M. 

Total duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes

By |2020-04-15T03:43:51+00:00April 15th, 2020|Minutes|0 Comments

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