Marianopolis Student Union Congress
2020-2021 Academic Year
1st pre-mandate meeting
|Location: Marianopolis College, on the traditional unceded Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation|
Day: Monday, June 22, 2020
Time of Start: 7:00 PM
|Facilitator: Laurence Liang|
Meeting type: Bi-weekly
Note taker and timekeeper: Laurence Liang
|List of attendees (Congress members): Laurence Liang, Mahmuda Sekendra Mahin, Tristan Boucher, Misha Fotovati, Emanuel Cosimo Curto, Maria-Vera Azadian, Zhaoran Wu|
List of attendees (guests): None
Student Services Representative: Trudy Ste-Croix
- Call to Order
The Regular Weekly Marianopolis Student Union (MSU) Congress Meeting of June 22, 2020, was convened at 7:00 PM by President Laurence Liang.
- Roll Call of Members
The MSU Congress Members who are present at this meeting are: Laurence Liang, Mahmuda Sekendra Mahin, Tristan Boucher, Misha Fotovati, Emanuel Cosimo Curto, Maria-Vera Azadian, Zhaoran Wu.
- Guests presented by Laurence
The guests who are present at this meeting are: Trudy St-Croix, the Student Services Representative.
- Approval of last meeting’s Minutes
- Approval of the Agenda
The Agenda of this day’s meeting has been unanimously approved.
- Unfinished Business and General Orders
- Welcome videos presented by Trudy
The idea of making a welcome video for incoming first years at Marianopolis was brought up (by Trudy?). Mau suggested doing a Friends introduction theme. Maria proposed that Congress works on a newsletter idea. It is preferable to wear something decent at the Congress booth during August Orientation.
- New Business
- Orientation August 17-18-19 presented by Trudy
First years will receive a Mio for their Orientation session from student services that will take place over 3 days due to COVID-19 restrictions. Student services asked if Congress members can volunteer to help during Orientation. Student services will have orange t-shirts during Orientation.
Student services will provide a table for Congress to do giveaways. One possibility if giving pens, an estimate would be 500 pens at a 600$ cost. Mau and Tristan suggested giving reusable straws, reusable water bottles or tote bags.
Misha suggested that Congress should distribute welcome booklets that include information about academic advisors, resources that are available to students, study tips, and what Congress does. Misha raised the possibility of distributing the book virtually.
Emanuel said he’ll give figures next meeting on whether an increase in the Orientation budget would be necessary.
Tristan suggested to include incoming Congress project ideas in the welcome booklet.
Zhaoran asked whether Congress would need to cut its Orientation budget as Congress is also partially funding mental health kits that will be distributed during Orientation.
Maria also suggested distributing cloth masks.
Maria also cautioned that writing projects in the welcome booklet might set high expectations for Congress projects before they start.
- Welcome back activities presented by Trudy
Trudy participated in a Student Services planning session on June 29th. She invited Congress members to let her know about any ideas about welcome back activities before then.
Trudy says that school will be open in blocks next semester to host physical activities.
Laurence suggested that some Congress meetings would be held at school while the rest would be held online.
- First Year Congress Elections presented by Mau
Mau suggested inviting previous first year Congress members to the first years election meeting to give applicants a better idea of the available positions.
A consensus was reached to host election week on either the week of September the 7th or the 14th.
Also proposed during the meeting was that a 50 signature policy would be preferable.
Mau said she’ll look into improving election laws, and will share the changes with Congress for a last round of editing.
- Congress Retreat presented by Mau
Mau highlighted that a Congress retreat should be inexpensive and fun, and considered returning to the 2019 Congress retreat location, if COVID-19 restrictions allow.
Misha specified that the 2019 Congress retreat location has something for everyone.
- GIC Management and conversation with COAC about Finances presented by Emanuel
Emanuel said that he’ll look into policies that surround the GIC savings account management, and that he’ll look into contacting other student unions on this subject, including Champlain Saint-Lambert’s student association.
- Congress Photoshoot presented by Laurence
Laurence presented the proposition by the Photography Club to do photoshoots for Congress. Congress members agreed to the idea, and Laurence will follow up with the Photography Club.
- Admin Projects Document presented by Laurence
It was proposed to send the document to the administration as soon as possible, so that changes can be made before HVAC (renovations) is completed. It was also mentioned to reach out to Student Services.
Tristan suggested creating a Zen Den, a room with blue light technology and a lot of plants, and to create closed lockers. Tristan also proposed creating a page on the Congress website that allows students to reach out to counsellors.
It was suggested during the meeting to reach out to the head librarian about adding plants in the library.
Another similar project to Tristan’s idea was the Green Mari Garden project that adds green spaces at the college.
After Emanuel raised a point about how much MSU would contribute to infrastructure projects, Trudy stated that the college administration would possibly cover a portion of the infrastructure costs.
- Internal Communication presented by Laurence
Laurence asked what platforms could be used for internal communications.
Mau brought up the options of Slack, Messenger and Discord. Mau said she prefers Slack over Discord.
Misha also proposed hosting committees over the summer.
Tristan asked how many members would be present in a committee. He proposed having 3 members join a committee during the summer, and to have new members join at the start of the semester. (Not clear in the meeting notes whether it was up to 5 members, or 5 more members)
- COAC Constitution Review presented by Laurence
Laurence stated that a COAC Constitution Review was underway with proposed changes due for Friday, June 26.
- Physical Meetup presented by Laurence
Laurence asked if Congress members were interested to have a physical meetup once COVID-19 restrictions would allow it. The point ended with a follow up discussion in the Congress group chat.
- Student Advocacy Initiatives presented by Misha
Misha proposed creating a welcome book.
The idea of the Alumni mentors program was also raised during the meeting.
Another idea that was discussed was about updating scholarships on the Congress website.
There was also a point raised about picking 2 people to join the Congress committee, though the context of this statement is not clear in the meeting notes. It could be linked to scholarships.
On a separate point, Tristan specified that reaching out to counsellors on the Marianopolis website should be anonymous.
- Virtual Office Hours presented by Laurence
Laurence proposed that Congress members should continue to have virtual office hours during remote teaching weeks.
Tristan proposed that such hours should be as spread out as possible.
Trudy suggested to create a cave like Student Services’ V.A.T. Cave.
It was also raised that Laurence and Mau should bring up the issue of office hours on cave to the administration.
- Meeting Day and Frequency presented by Laurence
A consensus emerged that meetings would take place bi-weekly (once every two weeks) during the summer.
Misha pointed out that time zones should be taken into account if Congress members are travelling.
- Finances for orientation (and in general) presented by Laurence
Finances will be followed up on, possibly during a Google Meet meeting.
- MariMeet presented by Misha
Misha recommends that Zhaoran should reach out to the organizers of the Prom Party over Mio to follow up for the next Congress meeting.
A possibility was raised to merge MariMeet with Student Services’ Welcome Back Event if needed.
- BLM Meeting PM presented by Laurence and Mau
Laurence stated that following a meeting with the administration, Student Services and concerned students on June 18, the administration will draft a joint post with MSU on the issue of racism and inclusivity in the light of the BLM movement.
Tristan proposed keeping Black history month and proposed doing it sooner than in the winter semester, such as possibly in September.
Tristan also stated that he is interested to work with Dear Anybody to campaign on issues of interest.
Motion to adjourn – Passed unanimously
This meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.
Total duration: 2 hour(s) and 0 minute(s).