May 1, 2020

Marianopolis Student Union Congress

2019-2020 Academic Year

29th Meeting

Location: online

Day: May 1, 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, Cherry Sun, Zhaoran Wu, Laurence Liang, Ying Chen, Ying Ge, Misha Fotovati, Zhenling Wang, Steven Gong, Michael Chalkhoun, Darya Jabbari, Andrew Petrecca-Berthelet

Regrets: none

List of attendees (guests): Alicia Shen, Mahin Sekendra, Emanuel Curto, Tristan Boucher

Student Services Representative: Trudy Ste-Croix

Quorum: 7


Agenda Items



  • Call to Order


The Regular Weekly Marianopolis Student Union (MSU) Congress Meeting of May 1, 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, Cherry Sun, Zhaoran Wu, Laurence Liang, Ying Chen, Ying Ge, Misha Fotovati, Zhenling Wang, Steven Gong, Michael Chalkhoun, Andrew Petrecca-Berthelet, Darya Jabbari



  • Guests presented by Aria Khiabani


The guests who are present at this meeting are Alicia Shen, a representative from the Marianopolis World Review, Mahin Sekendra, Emanuel Curto, and Tristan Boucher, members of the 2020-2021 MSU Congress, and Trudy Ste-Croix, the Student Services Representative.



  • Approval of last meeting’s Minutes


The Minutes of the Regular Weekly MSU Congress Meeting of April 24th, 2020 were written by Zhenling Wang. These Minutes were approved by Aria Khiabani on the 1st day of May.



  • Approval of the Agenda


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



  • Unfinished Business and General Orders
  • Coffee House presented by Trudy


Congress will live-stream an edited video with all submitted performances that were recorded in advance to assure the performance quality and avoid technical problems. Students will be welcome to comment pictures of them drinking coffee and tag their friends while watching the live-stream to participate. 


There has been no tentative date set yet for the live-stream; however, Aria aims to collect and edit the performances and advertise the event within the next two weeks. 


Laurence proposes to organize an intercollegiate sing-along event of similar nature and will reach out to COAC about this. 



  • New Business
  • Finances update presented by Amanda


Congress was informed by MSU’s banker that MSU is not eligible for the Canadian Emergency Business Account loan as it requires the nonprofit organization to distribute an annual minimum of $20,000 worth payroll. 


The Congress bank account will be transferred to the new VPF in August. 


Given that Canada’s prime rate has dropped by 1%, MSU’s banker has also recommended Congress to switch from the current variable rate product, whose interests has shifted with the economy from 1.25% to 0.25% as of the moment, to a fixed-rate product that will generate a fixed annual interest of 0.75%. He assured that MSU will be able to switch back to the previous variable rate product whenever necessary to generate the most interest. This product is entitled to the same terms and conditions as the one before. The initial deposit of $70,000 and all gained interest ($77) from the previous product will be moved to the new product. 


Amanda will confirm with MSU’s banker if there is a mandatory time limit for keeping the money in there. Currently, the only penalty of withdrawing within the first 30 days that she is aware of is gaining no interest on the deposited money. 


Motion to vote on switching MSU’s investment from the variable rate product to the fixed-rate product 

– Passed (unanimously)



  • Club participation Award presented by Trudy


At the end of this semester, Congress will be able to grant a club participation award to a small, one that consists of 25 or less active members, and a large club, one that consists of more than 25 members. The selected clubs will be given a plaque of recognition by Student Services for their club accessibility, development, and outstanding contribution to the Marianopolis community. This year, especially the ones who remained active online and supported their peers throughout the pandemic will be recognized. 


Congress members will nominate and vote upon it in future meetings. 



  • Short Welcome video for new incoming students presented by Trudy


To compensate for the off-campus Marianopolis 101 and 102 orientation sessions, Trudy proposes to create a short welcome video for new incoming students at the end of May. Incoming and outcoming Congress members can both be featured in the video to encourage students to stay involved and motivated. 



  • Major Plan (do we know if our students are using the service?) presented by Trudy


Aria will reach out to Major Plan and request for applicable analytics on the usage of the app of Marianopolis students. Congress has received positive feedback from students who found the app’s featured articles helpful. An official feedback survey on the app will be made in the Fall semester. 



  • Update from admin presented by Aria & Ying 


The meeting system with the administration has been proven effective as Congress is able to answer many student concerns directly. 


Some main points discussed at the meeting are as follow: 


  • Student Services launched an Outreach program and have been sending personalized MIOs to students who completed the previous survey. 
  • The material of the finals will be tailored to each course; however, the method of conduction will be determined by individual teachers. The department chairs are aiming at arranging a maximum of 2 finals per day, if possible. Students will be able to reach out to Maria at the Academic Dean office, if necessary, regarding so. Students should receive more information regarding finals over the next week. 
  • May 26th has been set as the last day of school. Congress proposes to arrange one week between the last day of teaching and the final exam period. This point will be relayed to the administration. 
  • The finance office is looking into options for partial tuition refunds. However, this might be unrealistic as the staff and faculty are still being paid. 
  • Marianopolis students are eligible for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit plans until August and can consult Pauline at the Finance Department through MIO.  
  • There will be a Dean’s List and other academic distinctions as usual. 
  • Graduation has been postponed.
  • Congress has received some feedback from the administration regarding the Memorandum of Agreement. The agreement will be signed electronically.
  • Summer school will take place online as physical school will only open in fall. 


Congress members are welcome to refer students to the new COVID-19 information page on the MSU website for questions and concerns. 



  • Art contest update by Zhaoran


The Art Recreation Contest has only one week left but has only received one submission. Zhaoran or Lisa from the photography club will make another post on the MSU group. 



  • Shave to Save presented by Cherry


Cherry has made a post advertising Shave to Save on the MSU Facebook group. Cherry will consider upgrading it to a live event to encourage people to participate. 


Laurence suggests marketing the event to other COAC CEGEPs and collaborating with them.



  • G-Suite Club Emails presented by Ying G


Club executives can now apply for G-Suite club emails through a Google form that Ying posted on the Facebook Mari Club Exec group. 19 clubs have already applied and all think this new feature will be very beneficial. Clubs also have access to the Google calendar feature on the MSU app to advertise their events.


Congress members will move their files to the new MSU G-Suite account that will be passed on to future Congresses. 



  • Zoom Poetry Night by Darya 


The Social Justice Committee is collaborating with the Spoken Word club to host a virtual Poetry Night this Sunday. The posters will be posted tonight. Participants are welcome to read poems of others or their own or to simply spectate. The logistics of the event have not been finalized, but Darya is considering hosting it on Google Meet at 7 pm then streaming to the MSU Facebook group. Darya will reach out to interested participants in advance and share a sign-up link in the Facebook group.



  • Social Justice Netflix party by Darya 


Darya is planning to host a Social Justice Netflix party on the following Saturday to keep in line with the ongoing Congress Saturday movie screening. 

She will reach out to social justice-themed clubs and invite their members to participate. 



  • MSU APP presented by Ying G & Laurence 


Ying will make an announcement to advertise the newly launched MSU app in the MSU Facebook group later.  



  • Congress Live Update presented by Michael


Michael has almost finished the production of the Men’s Mental health video. The video is about 10 minutes. He will collect consent from the participants. The video can be posted on MSU’s IGTV and Instagram highlights. 


Ying C. and Michael have designed a few logos for the CongressLive series. Congress will vote on a final logo in the Facebook group chat. The animated logo will be added to the opening scenes of every CongressLive video.


Congress is interested in creating some videos regarding the COVID-19 situation.



  • GA? presented by Michael


As outlined by the MSU Constitution, Congress is required to host a General Assembly three weeks after the 2nd-year elections, which is next week. However, hosting a GA online is not very feasible as the vote results are valid only if the MSU members that are present have met quorum. 


If the 2019-2020 MSU Congress decides to host a GA during the current school year, it must brainstorm for possible incentives to encourage student attendance. Options such as random raffles of gift cards were proposed. 


The current Coordinator of Student Advocacy proposes to publish the proposed constitutional amendments to the student body, then vote upon it during the next GA, which will be scheduled at the beginning of next school year. An alternative is to invite the student body to submit their proposed amendments. 



  • Constitutional amendments 🙁 presented by Michael


Congress members will have two weeks to submit any constitutional amendments to Michael. The Constitutional Review Committee will meet and discuss the following week after. 



  • Varia
  • Mairfilms update presented by Michael


The photography competition will take place from May 9th to 17th. A promotion video will be made and posted on the MSU group on the 9th. Gift cards of $50, $30, and $25 will be given to the first, second, and third place. 

Students participate by submitting a 1-minute video. 



  • Idea for Slack between student unions presented by Laurence


Laurence is proposing to create a Slack group for all student unions including but not limited to COAC member unions. COAC representatives from different student unions currently communicate through a Messenger group chat, but they were not able to contact Francophone CEGEPs easily. 


Congress agrees that a common platform other than Facebook will facilitate communication with other CEGEPs without privacy issues. 


Laurence will bring the idea to the next COAC meeting. 



  • Adjournment


Motion to adjourn – Passed (unanimously)


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

Total duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes

By |2020-05-10T18:30:21+00:00May 10th, 2020|Minutes|0 Comments

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