Marianopolis Student Union Congress
2019-2020 Academic Year
Day: March 27, 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
List of attendees (guests): Philip Yin, all first-year candidates running for elected positions(Rachel Tang, Luka Ignjatovic, Shuzhao Feng, Charles Frédette, Sherry Yang, Miriam Hotter, Daniel-Jiajun Yu, Mahmuda Sekendra Mahin, Zexi Li, Laurence Liang, Misha Fotovati, Emily Sofin, Tristan Boucher-Gould, Makéda Ékoué, Peng Xiang Yin, Gabriel-Teodor, Ying Sun, Emily Zhang, Zhaoran Wu)
Student Services Representative: Trudy Ste-Croix
- Call to Order
The Regular Weekly Marianopolis Student Union (MSU) Congress Meeting of March 27, 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: Philip Yin, a representative from the Marianopolis World Review, all first year students running for elected Congress positions, 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 20, 2020 was written by Zhenling Wang. These Minutes were approved by Aria Khiabani on the 27th 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 College Response presented by Aria
Aria had a meeting with the administration as well as other departments staff on Wednesday. The college is currently in the process of compiling a long document, which will include more information on the conducting of online classes, calculation of grades, etc. The document was prepared to be released on Thursday but is currently being adjusted according to the new directives that had just been published by the provincial government. The final document should be released by today or tomorrow.
Congress encourages MSU students to consult their specific instructors regarding their assignment deadlines. Assignments due on the Friday before school closure might automatically be assumed to be due next Monday since most of the work was supposed to be finished.
R-score will most likely be recalculated in a different manner. Details are still in discussion.
There remain many other teachers who are updating students on their own with the information they have obtained, which is not guaranteed to be entirely accurate. Teachers have been advised not to share general information but they are permitted to address things particular to their own courses.
- COAC Meeting PM (Boat Party, COVID-19, Climate Plan) presented by Laurence
Amanda, Andrew, and Laurence were present at the COAC meeting last Tuesday.
As of the moment, this year’s boat party is likely to be canceled due to COVID-19. However, COAC moved on to discuss the logistics of future parties. Each student union will contribute financially proportional to the amount of participants from that particular union, meaning in the case that 10% of the total participants are from Marianopolis, MSU will pay for 10% of the overall budget. Amanda will inform the next VPF of the event. Further decisions will be made by next year’s MSU Congress.
Laurence also suggested MSU to offer financial aid to external organizations in need. MSU Congress’s top priority remains fulfilling its students’ needs and it is willing to give back to the local community. The Vice President of Finance is currently in the process of finalizing the logistics of the MSU Emergency Fund along with the President, the Vice President, as well as the Financial Assistant.
MSU is willing to share and organize common virtual intercollegiate events with other student unions.
For petitions regarding concerns such as the suspension of classes and the recalculation of R-score, which have been circulating among other student unions, MSU will refrain from initiating to endorse for now, but necessary measures will be taken to support its students and satisfy their needs in the future.
The COAC Climate Plan has been finalized and signed by all. It will remain valid till the end of the current semester. The next Coordinator of External Affairs will renew and sign it again.
- Tech Squad presented by Ying G.
Trudy has proposed to create “Tech Squad”, which will be composed of a team of students to offer instant help to students who are experiencing difficulty arranging online learning services and technology. The Student Services Department had proposed so in the hope that a fellow student can help them instead of ITS, who will be occupied with offering support to staff and faculty.
This new initiative will be mentioned in the new edition of MWR Congress Weekly. People who are interested can contact Ying Ge. Specific criteria requirements for Tech Squad members have not been finalized since some teachers have not finalized their online teaching tools.
SkyTech is working to embed zoom into Omnivox.
- ERC Committee presented by Ying G.
This year’s ERC committee has been randomly selected and is composed of: Ella Waxman, Robert Dias, Wendy Yang, Emil Hersson-Edery, and Nicolas Torres.
- GSuite presented by Ying G.
Ying has been experimenting with GSuite, which is offering completely free service for non-profit organizations. She is working on registering accounts for the MSU Congress. Members who would benefit from a personalized email in the format of ([email protected]) can reach out to her. Ying has contacted Silvia Candet to create personalized emails for MSU students but was denied since Marianopolis is using Omnivox MIO as its main form of communication.
As an alternative, most programs that require a valid student email address to obtain student accounts often offer adapted programs that are free to use without a student email as well.
- Eligibility for cool programs presented by Ying G.
MSU Congress is eligible to receive discounts for many programs. Ying will continue working on the logistics of sharing accounts and investigate how clubs may benefit from this.
- Job Fair Alternative (April 14) presented by Laurence
Laurence is proposing to hold a virtual job fair/career fair on the scheduled date, April 14, from 6pm-8pm. He is currently experimenting with different online platforms and in the process of finalizing its logistics.
- Alternative Delivery Modes for Congress presented by Aria
Aria reminds all of Congress that regardless of the extraordinary circumstances, Congress members’ mandates are not finished and are expected to fulfill them to the best of their abilities. All coordinators will continue brainstorming for virtual events to host, such as Adam’s Facebook trivia game, which was very well-received.
ACF has offered MSU a 3-month access to stream its movies. Trudy and Congress will investigate ways to utilize the purchased movie license and look into the option of potentially streaming a movie online with this movie license.The company is willing to offer an IP address, with which one person can stream from their computer to other students, under the ACF license.
Make a groupchat of people who are willing to work on this
- Isolation Activities planning and brainstorm presented by Andrew
This point has been discussed in combination with the point above.
- Upcoming Free Events presented by Trudy
The school has received offers from different agencies, including Canadian musicians, keynotes speakers, etc. One company offers to host a free Friday night live session showcasing different artists. Next week the company is hosting a mental health panel on anxiety due to social-distancing. Congress will post the link on MSU Facebook group. Trudy will inform Congress about upcoming free events that MSU may benefit from regularly.
The Triple Crown Dance Competition will be postponed instead of hosted as a virtual event for safety reasons. The teams may be able to showcase in August the soonest.
Student Services will be hosting an intercollegiate singing competition on April 27th. Students from all cegeps may submit a recording of their singing, either acapella or acoustically with an instrument. Each school will select 3 candidates to represent their school and compete with candidates from other schools. The final competition will be a live session with 3 judges that is open for people to watch. Congress will assist in recruiting candidates from MSU upon further notice.
- Congress Emergency Fund/Grant Update presented by Amanda
Congress has created a Congress Emergency Fund to invest its money back into the student body and to help those in need.
A lot of clubs can no longer use their funds for their trips and on-campus events due to the school closure; the grants they had applied for previously are therefore not in use. Club executives may choose to contribute their grants to the emergency fund, use the grants to create virtual events, apply for additional grants, and freeze their grants till later. So far Amanda has reached out to Debate, MedLife, Global Brigades, and MariMUN to contribute their grants as part of the Congress Emergency Fund. Clubs that contribute will receive credits correspondingly.
As an alternative to online events, clubs may consider hosting giveaway events.
Students will be able to apply through a form, which will be available starting next Tuesday. The President, Vice President, VPF and Financial Assistant will review the applications together. Pauline Belliveau from Financial Aid will be paying these students directly. The four Congress members will need to meet with her and finalize the logistics before opening the applications.
After careful consideration, Congress has decided not to collectively subsidize clubs that were not able to fundraise through their scheduled bake sale. Clubs will be encouraged to fundraise alternatively.
For clubs that were not able to hold a bake sale during the 2 weeks before March 30th, Student Services will consider prioritizing them by allowing them to register for bake sales in advance of others next semester. On a side note, most fundraising made by clubs is supposed to be used for the current semester, which implies bake sales will appear as unnecessary if there are no on-campus events being planned.
Clubs are allowed and encouraged to donate their allocated grants. MSU Congress is also interested in making financial donations to external organizations such as hospitals after all students’ needs are satisfied.
Cherry volunteers to post a go-fund me page under her own name to raise money. However, MSU Congress and clubs are not allowed to launch go-fund me fundraisers to donate under the name of the college or their organization. The alternative of encouraging students to make donations through e-transfer to the VPF was also proposed.
MSU Congress is ready to adapt to its students’ needs as the situation unfolds; thus no additional allocations for external organizations will be made for now.
- CongressLIVE presented by Michael
Michael is still waiting for the “Men’s Mental Health” footage from MBN. He will be focusing on the powtoons of Congress profile explainer in the following weeks.
- N95 masks and other posts presented by Michael
A doctor family friend has reached out to Michael regarding the current lack of N95 masks. He will consider inviting students who have resources to contribute.
- Post on quarantine “tricks” presented by Michael
This point has been discussed in combination with the point above.
- Virtual CEVES Transition Week presented by Laurence
Next week was scheduled to be the “Transition Week” and a virtual strike had been proposed. Compared to a physical strike, this virtual strike, where students are invited to skip online classes, will be more symbolic than practical. The event might be difficult to manage since many classes will be taught asynchronously and will not be in the form of live lectures. The efficiency and feasibility of a virtual strike is at question. It is also difficult to hold a General Assembly online.
After discussing the feasibility of the strike, MSU Congress is proposing for the strike to be postponed. Regardless of the final decision, Congress will update the administration regularly of the situation.
Darya and Michael will contact Marianopolis La CEVES and learn about their plans.
- Volunteering Opportunities presented by Cherry
Similar to Michael’s point of donating N95 masks, Cherry will gather and post about volunteering opportunities of how students can contribute to the current situation and the local communities in need. She will look for volunteers to pick up the masks collected from Marianopolis students.
- Anti Smoke Campaign Status presented by Cherry
The Charities and Volunteering Committee is proposing for the anti-smoke/vape campaign to be conducted online or to postpone it till next year.
Cherry worries that the result of the campaign might not be as powerful as it can potentially get due to the major social concern being COVID-19 as of the moment. The committee still has around 100 wristbands.
Motion to adjourn – Passed (unanimously)
This meeting was adjourned at 5:35 P.M.
Total duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes