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: Jan. 17th, 2020
Time of Start: 4:15PM
|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, Cherry Sun, Zhaoran Wu, Zhenling Wang, Laurence Liang, Steven Gong, Ying Chen
Regrets: Misha Fotovati, Darya Jabbari
List of attendees (guests): Alicia Shen
Student Services Representative: Trudy Ste-Croix
- Call to Order
The Regular Weekly Marianopolis Student Union (MSU) Congress Meeting of Jan. 17th, was convened at 4:15 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, Cherry Sun, Zhaoran Wu, Zhenling Wang, Laurence Liang, Steven Gong, Ying Chen
- Guests presented by Aria Khiabani
The guests who are present at this meeting are: Alicia Shen, 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 November 28th, 2019 were written by Zhenling Wang. These Minutes were approved by Aria Khiabani on the 17th of January, 2020.
- Approval of the Agenda
The Agenda of this day’s meeting has been unanimously approved.
- Unfinished Business and General Orders
- New Business
- Square reader presented by Amanda and Steven
Congress has agreed to invest in a card reader and Amanda and Steven have proposed to purchase a Square reader. The previously considered alternative, Moneris, is not available since the MSU Congress has no financial statements yet.
Congress will be purchasing an individual Square reader which doesn’t require to connect to a device for use. The reader will be connected to an online account online, managed by Amanda, for information purposes. This card reader will be passed onto later Congress.
The terminal costs 299$ and imposes a 2.65% reduction on the payment. Clubs will be informed about and paying for this reduction. On a side note, Moneris imposes a 2.85% reduction and requires for the reader to be connected to an electronic device. Square also allows users to set a time constraint that controls transactions, for example to only accept payments from 7am to 8pm.
Congress will proceed to promote the use of the card reader by making a big sign for clubs during bake sales and a post in the MSU Facebook group. Club executives will also be informed about the absorption of the reduction fees in advance.
Amanda and Steven will work with the bank to organize MSU’s financial statements as soon as possible.
Amanda also raises the point of accountability for Vice President of Finance. With the old cash bake sale system, money earned is counted by club executives, Wayne and staff working at Wayne’s. Amanda then gets a confirmation of the amount of money through MIO. Supervision is ensured with this system. Amanda suggests to discuss a way to ensure accountability through external supervision. The account maintains all records and Amanda would like someone else to recalculate the records. Ying suggests to take a screenshot of the transaction records and sends it to club execs. Amanda will also figure out if the daily transaction records automatically deducts the 2.65%
Congress motioned to vote on purchasing a Square reader to put into use for bake sales starting from this semester
- MBN Interviews presented by Aria
MBN has asked to interview each member of Congress. Aria will confirm with Louis to make sure the content of these videos doesn’t overlap with the Congress profile videos.
These videos will increase Congress’ visibility and students will be able to learn about Congress members from a more personal perspective.
The scripts of the Congress profile videos are still in production.
- Party PM presented by Andrew
In general the End-of-Semester Party was a huge success and has received general positive feedback from attendants. Many people said it was much better than parties in the past. All members of Congress gave their feedback on how the party went. Full details can be accessed under “2019 EOS party PM”.
A big issue that all Congress agreed on was coat check. The responsible company failed to bring enough hangers racks due to busy holidays. Coat check ran out of space soon and had to temporarily leave a lot of coats on the floor. Attendants will be advised not to bring backpacks next time and not to leave valuables at coat check. The tickets used were not suitable for coat check and are hard to pierce holes on. One security guard should also be at coat check at all time. Jackets should be zipped up before being hung. Non-Congress people should not be let into the back of coat check. There should also be a money box for coat check, instead of plastic bags. There was also not enough First Aid people at the party: the only representative that night was occupied at coat check the entire time. A lot of other Congress members who were supposed to take shifts also got stuck helping coat check the entire night.
Some attendants reported that they had lost their coats and belongings at coat check. All cases have been agreed upon and are in the process of partial reimbursement by Congress. According to Quebec law, if Congress accepts exchange of items for money, in this case coat check items, it’ll be liable for whatever loss occurs.
Therefore, after careful consideration, Congress has decided to hire professionals for coat check at parties in the future and suggests future Congress to do so as well.
360 people attended the party, which is 60 more people than the estimated amount. Congress managed to achieve less lost than last year’s record with only 4000$ lost.
- Goals for 2020 Winter Semester presented by Aria
Over the break Aria called all Congress members and reflected on their Congress experience of the 2019 Fall semester.
Below are a few notes for all Congress members:
Everyone’s enjoying the team dynamic and their congress experience. Some common highlights of the semester pointed out by Congress members include the End-of-Semester party, climate strike, world map, haircut events, etc.
Congress members think coat check at the party could have been done better, meetings can be managed more economically in terms of time use, Congress member should try to increase attendance at each other’s events and keep the office clean and tidy at all times.
Congress members are all encouraged to learn from each other.
Some habits that Congress would like to change from this point on include the use of Congress office room. Congress members should make sure their belongings are not occupying space on the couch and chairs when they’re not physically in the office. This year the Congress office is more open to the MSU student body than in the past. Friends and visitors are always welcome but there shouldn’t be more non-Congress members in the room than Congress members. Members also call for less pessimism, more seriousness in Congress’ behaviours at weekly meetings and more responsiveness on the groupchat. All Congress members are suggested to check on the Facebook group chat at least once a day and contribute more input in replying. The issue of posting in the MSU Facebook group is also addressed. Ying Chen does have the administrator status and automatically notifies all members of the group when she posts, however Congress members are also encouraged to post on their own if they feel the need to. Congress members should provide both emotional and logistic support towards each other’s plans and take everyone’s statement seriously. Congress will also work on getting more feedback from the student body and re-advertise feedback mailbox outside.
Congress will keep track of all current progress and to make sure that it’s passed on to later Congress.
Below are some goals Congress has set for 2020:
Congress members should always refer back to the Constitution and bylaws to review and remind themselves of their mandates. All members whose mandates involve planning events are expected to organize a minimum of 3 events per semester. Events don’t necessarily need to be big. Collaboration between two members are counted as two separate ones.
Ying has made an event-planning calendar. Congress members with mandates of organizing events are welcome to start putting down dates in order to avoid conflicts. The calendar will also be shared with Trudy to avoid conflicts with college activities.
- Anti Nicotine/Vape/Smoke Campaign presented by Cherry
Cherry proposes to launch an anti-nicotine/vape/smoke campaign in order to educate people on the harm and consequences related to such practices. Congress has suggested to make trivia posters with fun facts and put them near water fountains and TV screens which have high visibility. Cherry will coordinate with Patrick in advance to make sure posters are put in proper places and that they won’t be blocked by constructions. The college might be interested to collaborate since they are also officially against use of nicotine/vape/smoke. Depends on if she would like to focus on raising donations or raising awareness, she can also choose to sell or give away wristbands with slogans or for the person to pledge to quit for a time period. Andrew knows someone who can get the wristbands for a really cheap price.
Cherry will advertise the event on her Charities and Volunteering Facebook page and MSU Facebook group and make information pamphlets. Charities and Volunteering Committee will help.
Cherry is also considering to raise money under her name for lung cancer research. People can choose to make any amount of donation to get wristbands. A donation box will be put next to the wristbands but they’re also free to take as well.
- Chris Funk presented by Aria
This issue was discussed earlier last semester. Two entertainer agents have showed interest in having their entertainers perform at Marianopolis: Chris Funk and Spidey.
Chris Funk is a Vancouver-based entertainer and he will be in Montreal at John Abbott on February 20. It’ll be convenient to book him around that time since the cost of travel will be eliminated. He charges 1300$ plus tax for one show. He has never performed at Marianopolis but performs at John Abbott regularly.
Spidey is a Marianopolis alumni and has performed at the college before in both the student lounge and auditorium. His performance in the student lounge received an attendance rate of 100 and that in the auditorium had 200 attendants. The students enjoyed it. He offers three different types of show: mentalism, hypnotism, and magic.
Both performances require effort in marketing. Students will not be excited about it if Congress isn’t excited about it.
Potential performances of such kind have always taken place during AP and have always been free for students. Congress might consider organizing a charity event/fundraiser as part of the event and ask for a donation of 5$. Some have proposed to sell bubble tea at the event as a package of bubble tea and admission for the show to attract people. Finally, Congress has come to agree that students should not be charged extra since Congress will be paying for the performance with students’ money already. The performance will be held in the student lounge, which can contain 120 people sitting and 200 standing, since it is closer to students so they can just walk in.
Aria will send the link to past performances to the Facebook group chat and Congress will decide on the issue over the weekend.
- Congress LIVE presented by Michael
Videos made by Congress will all start with a short intro to the video, called Congress LIVE, which is the name of the series of Congress videos. The videos will be might be stored on a separate Congress video page or a Youtube channel and shared to the MSU Facebook group and posted on the MSU website. The series will start with one video explaining the basics of Congress. The profile videos explaining each position will potentially start with someone walking into the office, tapping the member on the shoulder, and asking them about what they do while they carry out their daily tasks as a Congress member in the office. Other ideas include follow the style of “73 questions by Vogue” and The Office. These videos will last around 45 seconds each. MariFilms will collaborate with Congress for the production of these videos and videos about Congress members from a personal perspective (mentioned earlier) will be produced with MBN. The production of these videos will start in the next two weeks and will start with elected positions due to time constraint.
Congress is also considering making videos for events, holidays and any funny things to share in the future to create more approachability.
- Student Advocacy Committee update presented by Michael
The Student advocacy committee was only able to have one meeting last semester due to the busy schedule of constitutional review. As of the moment, 4 people are working on the review of the constitution and bylaws; 2 people are working on the school sweaters with personalized name and program, where students will possibly have the choice to ship it to school or home. Sweaters will cost around $30-40. The design will be ready by next Congress meeting. The above tasks will be completed by next weekend.
Michael was informed that Congress is not allowed to ask about students’ midterm dates on the Omnivox survey. As an alternative, he will work on ponderation mapping by sending out Google forms on Facebook group with questions asking about midterms. The committee is also working on new version of summary of IPESA and important documents such as Congress constitution and bylaws.
- Library Ground Floor Updates by Aria
The library ground floor will be done in a week. The floors and lights are already set up. There are round tables, benches with chargers, rolling chairs, bean bags, etc.
Aria is proposing to throw a launch party for the opening of the new space during AP on February 4th. There will be board games, music, cards, and whiteboards for students to write suggestions on, such as things and services that they would like to have in this space. Wayne’s will be temporarily relocated there. Congress will set up a sign of MSU congress at the launch party.
Ying Chen says that the administration might not want the Library Basement committee to suggest furniture or further details.
Centre of the campus will soon be under renovation and will not be open.
Motion to adjourn – Passed (unanimously)
This meeting was adjourned at 5:53P.M.
Total duration: 1 hour and 38 minutes