Marianopolis Student Union Congress
2019-2020 Academic Year
Day: March 20, 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
Regrets: Darya Jabbari
List of attendees (guests): Sarah Malik
Student Services Representative: Trudy Ste-Croix
- Call to Order
The Regular Weekly Marianopolis Student Union (MSU) Congress Meeting of March 20, 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.
- Guests presented by Aria Khiabani
The guests who are present at this meeting are Sarah Malik, 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 13, 2020, was written by Zhenling Wang. These Minutes were approved by Aria Khiabani on the 20th day of March 2020.
- Approval of the Agenda
The Agenda of this day’s meeting has been unanimously approved.
- Unfinished Business and General Orders
- New Business
- COVID-19 Updates presented by Aria
A lot of students were confused because they were informed by their teachers that classes will be taking place online soon. Aria received an email confirming that all forms of teaching will remain suspended until March 30th. All new measures and directives will be effective only starting from then. Teachers are not allowed to expect work from students before March 30th either. Congress members observed that some teachers were not respecting these said rules; Aria will report the situation to the Academic Dean in their call.
Currently, there is a high chance that students will not return to school by March 30th.
Marianopolis has been advised to refrain from claiming that online classes will be organized due to the ministry’s concern of possible creation of inequality between public and private schools. Many public schools are not equipped with the funds and framework to conduct online classes; while most private schools claim they’re ready to commence online classes anytime. The college has been exploring alternative modes of delivery of courses. An exact date is still yet to be determined.
As a reminder, Congress will make a short Facebook post “share this with your friends” to restate that there will be no form of evaluations, assignments, or online teaching taking place before March 30th. Students are welcome to contact Congress in the case of confusion or disobedience of directives.
There is a grey zone in terms of the studying to be assigned and to be encouraged; the borderline is very unclear. Some teachers posted “optional materials” that are not graded but still “suggested” and sometimes essential to the completion of the course. Aria will report the situation to the Academic Dean.
Emergency meetings are taking place frequently to find alternative emergency methods, which is the appropriate terminology to be using right now, instead of “online teaching”. Marianopolis College is not entirely a private institution and thus is still regulated by the ministry of education and abides by its official directives, including no assignments until March 30th.
Misha’s teacher has had a meeting with students and has been assigning homework. Aria will ask the Academic Dean about if teachers are allowed to continue hosting virtual meetings while no lecturing should be happening.
The big question remains the validity of non-graded work and assignments. Many students are also concerned about the renewed deadline of all work during the 2-week school closure, if it being the 30th or not.
Some teachers are sharing their personal opinions of the future in an attempt to update their students, but the relayed information might not be completely accurate and many have unfortunately caused confusion. Aria will ask the Academic Dean to release official updates as a college more frequently.
Congress members are recommended to collect and forward emails and MIOs containing such inaccurate information to Aria and Trudy, which will be reported to the Administration.
Aria will ask the Academic Dean if learning is slowed down or completely paused for the two weeks. The administration is expected to have an answer to the situation around next week, based on both how the situation will unfold as well as the ministry’s directives, before March 30th. The use of online teaching tools has not been finalized.
Students are very likely to be expected to make up the midterm evaluations missed during these two weeks. An alternative evaluation method and date are yet to be chosen in order to ensure academic integrity regardless of the possible electronic evaluation method. Next week will remain similar to this week for now.
The administration will take into account the possibility of some students not having access to electronic devices as teaching tools. It was also due to this concern that all evaluations are currently halted. The college will consider collaborating with TLT and explore possible ways of supporting students with available resources such as access to computer labs on campus and the option of renting out laptops. The current priority would be to make sure that there’s enough supply for the demand. Students benefiting from financial aid will be contacted first.
Congress notes that the IPESA outlines that teachers must inform their students of the taking place of evaluations in advance, but no exact number of days in advance was indicated. Aria believes it was 10 days but it was not clearly stated in the IPESA.
Champlain created an anonymous Google form for students’ questions and concerns, which the MSU might look into doing as well later. The idea of a press conference needs further discussion as Congress is not knowledgeable enough about the situation for now.
McGill has been posting a video update every day to spread information. Aria will bring up this idea to the administration and create a Google Doc for Congress members to leave questions to be asked to the Dean.
- Safe/Quick Finance Update presented by Amanda
Amanda did further research but still recommends Congress to purchase the safe which she had originally proposed. She had found no other safes with longer warranties.
The safe to be purchased on Amazon is a Century deposit safe, same as the current safe that Congress owns. Club executives will simply slip in envelopes with money into the safe.
The safe costs 620.47$ including taxes and shipping fees and comes with envelopes and multiple keys.
Regardless of school closure, the VPF is still available for reimbursements. She is currently working on one finance report sheet for both the fall and winter semesters.
Aria will consult the administration as to what to do with the old safe.
Congress motioned to vote on purchasing the selected safe
- COAC update presented by Laurence
Laurence had a call with Champlain and John Abbott External Affairs yesterday regarding the COAC boat party. COAC is uncertain if the party will be affected by the COVID-19 situation, given it is scheduled to happen in more than 2 months. Amanda and Andrew had volunteered to sit on the organization committee and will be notified in the case of a meeting.
MSU is willing to share its resources with and adopt successful measures from other CEGEPs regarding the COVID-19 situation.
- Upcoming Congress initiatives presented by Michael
All Congress coordinators are encouraged to explore alternative ways to continue fulfilling their mandates although on-campus activities are unlikely to take place. Michael will focus on making Congress promotional videos in the meantime.
Congress encourages all clubs to explore alternative ways of organizing club events and activities, such as online jam sessions, videos of performances, daily recipes, etc. Congress will also start brainstorming creative ideas.
- Elections presented by Ying G.
In light of the school closure, Ying explored online options for the upcoming Congress elections. With the help of Aaron Gao, she presented a solution for the debate to take place on Google meet while streaming through Twitch. The rules and regulations of the elections will be finalized soon as Congress awaits the school’s further decision and notice regarding its closure.
In order to compensate for the lack of physical campaigning, Congress will upload all of its candidates’ letters of intent, and as an option, their campaign posters as well as 2 social media platforms on the MSU Congress website. This action will be reproduced on the MSU Facebook page.
Unpredicted endorsements will still count as endorsements. Candidates are responsible for contacting the author of the post and the ERC to prevent demerit points.
Michael brought up some concerns regarding slander on MSecrets, watch parties, and unpredicted endorsements. Ying will be contacting MSecrets to make sure things run smoothly. Congress will take actions to ban all watch parties on all school Facebook groups, including MSU Facebook group, Class of 2021, etc. Ying will also be implementing a new rule to require all disclaimers to be presented at the top of posts.
- Quarantine tricks post presented by Michael
Congress will make a Facebook post listing free and fun things to do at home for students to keep busy during social distancing. Ideas will be collected through a Google doc.
MSU Congress will also brainstorm ideas to help the local community.
Motion to adjourn – Passed (unanimously)
This meeting was adjourned at 5:20 P.M.
Total duration: 1 hour