Marianopolis Student Union Congress
2020-2021 Academic Year
13th Official Meeting
|Location: Google Meets|
Day: Friday, September 25, 2020
Time of Start: 4:17 PM
|Facilitator: Laurence Liang|
Meeting type: Weekly
Note taker and timekeeper: Thomas Khairy
|List of attendees (Congress members): Mahmuda (Mau) Sekendra Mahin, Tristan Boucher, Misha Fotovati, Maria-Vera Azadian, Emanuel Cosimo Curto, Anne Lin Arghirescu, Pratham Mehta, Yena Lee, Allison Engo, Thomas Khairy, Yu Zheng Lu, Laurence Liang.|
Regrets: Zhaoran Wu
List of attendees (guests): Catherine Pepin, Si Wen Shen
Student Services Representative: none
- Call to Order
The Regular Weekly Marianopolis Student Union (MSU) Congress Meeting of September 25, 2020, was convened at 4:17 PM by President Laurence Liang.
- Roll Call of Members
The MSU Congress Members who are present at this meeting are: Mau Sekendra Mahin, Tristan Boucher, Misha Fotovati, Maria-Vera Azadian, Emanuel Cosimo Curto, Anne Lin Arghirescu, Pratham Mehta, Yena Lee, Allison Engo, Thomas Khairy, Yu Zheng Lu, Laurence Liang.
- Guests presented by Laurence
The guests who are present at this meeting are: Catherine Pepin and Si Wen Shen, representatives from the Marianopolis World Review.
- Approval of last meeting’s Minutes
The Minutes of the Regular Weekly MSU Congress Meeting of September 18, 2020 were written by Thomas Khairy. These Minutes were approved by Laurence Liang on the 25th of September, 2020.
- Approval of the Agenda
The Agenda of this day’s meeting has been unanimously approved.
- Unfinished Business and General Orders
- New Business
- GA on September 29th presented by Misha (2 mins)
The Constitutional Review Committee met Sunday September 20th to review the Amendments of the Constitution and Bylaws. From Tuesday September 29th to Thursday October 1st, the student body has the opportunity to vote upon these edits, either voting by amendment or voting on all of them collectively. After discussion about the prize, Congress decides that 2 randomly chosen students who complete the voting form will each win a $20 amazon gift card.
- Microsoft Planner by Thomas (5mins)
In order to stay organized and to increase transparency between Congress members’ projects, the official platform for the group Task List is Microsoft Planner via Teams. Thomas presents the platform to Congress and invites them to explore it for themselves in order to familiarize themselves with its features.
- Office Hours by Tristan (3mins)
Office Hours are currently by appointment, meaning that a student has to schedule a time to meet a Congress member during their Office Hours. This is beneficial for positions like Emanuel’s, who meets about 10 club executives per Office Hour slot. It is nevertheless a change from regular Office Hours where anyone can physically enter the Congress Office to meet with a member. For the time being, the virtual Office Hours remain by appointment.
- Online fundraiser contract presented by Anne (2 mins)
Anne is creating a contract template for any club wishing to do fundraising activities. This answers questions like “How will online fundraisers happen?” and “How will the club collect the money?” As per all contracts, the infractions must be mentioned. After discussion, rather than listing all the different consequences Congress decides to mention the worst infraction and to explain how all consequences have a process to them.
- Intercollegiate Talks by Pratham (5mins)
During Pratham’s electoral campaign, one of his ideas was to organize Intercollegiate Ted Talks. Pratham informs the Congress that CASAQ shows great interest in this initiative.
- Yearbook Committee update presented by Maria (2 mins)
Maria plans on operating the yearbook committee differently than previous years. First, the committee consists of 8 people rather than 3 or 4. Second, Maria created subcommittees for layout, illustrations, photography, and outreach. Laurence confirms that there is no maximum number of members for the Yearbook Committee. Finally, Tristan suggests encouraging students to purchase the yearbook digitally but Maria hopes to print it.
- LibGuide Modifications Document presented by Tristan (3 min)
The Social Justice (SJ) Committee is working on a document for the administration proposing modifications to the LibGuide. Mau suggests that Tristan shares this document with Congress so that they can work on it collectively.
- SJ Contract presented by Tristan (3 min)
The SJ Committee is creating an anonymous forum for students to ask questions about anything. The Committee needs a contract defining the confidentiality of this forum and establishing consequences for infractions so Tristan needs to work with Anne to draft it.
- Orange T-Shirt Day presented by Tristan (3 min)
Orange T-shirt day is Wednesday September 30th. Anne informs Congress that the Indigenous Studies Certificate made a text explaining this event’s significance. Congress wants to raise awareness by creating a mosaic of pictures wearing an orange shirt in support.
- Reminder Section presented by Mau (2 mins)
Mau suggests adding a “Reminders” section to the structure of the Meeting Agenda. The goal of this change is to ensure that all Congress members know and fully understand what is being discussed during the meeting, especially when the topic is a project they aren’t involved in.
- First year Committees by Allison (2 min)
Now that the Second Year Committees (Committees chaired by Second Year Congress members) are finalized, Allison asks about the start date of the first year committees. Congress Bylaws 5.11. states that “Committee chairs must form their committees no more than two (2) weeks after the Club Planning Session.” Mau plans to get on a call with all the First Year Committee chairs the week of the 28th to explain the procedure of forming a committee.
- CASAQ updates by Pratham (5mins)
Pratham’s first CASAQ meeting was Sunday, September 20th. The only clause changed on the Climate Plan was to temporarily unban plastic water bottles during Distance Learning. On the topic of the environment, Tristan is working on writing a 5-year green plan with the administration for Marianopolis. Pratham gives news on the other CEGEPS, and Pratham and Laurence will attend CASAQ’s General Assembly Thursday October 22nd. Congress discusses organizing social activities like apple picking, but these ideas are impossible due to Montreal entering the Orange zone of the 2nd wave of COVID. Also as of September 25th the Quebec government asked Quebecers not to organize any social activities for the next 28 days.
- Reopening Fitness Room by Pratham (7 mins)
A few months ago, Pratham created a petition to reopen the Fitness Room and it received 230 signatures. Misha reminds Congress that once a petition receives 200+ signatures, a GA must be conducted to determine whether or not to bring it to the administration so she asks Pratham to send it to her for the survey. Mau mentions that Congress cannot go to the administration expecting them to say yes 100% of the time. Since the administration currently has a lot on their plate, Congress deems it unwise to bring this petition to them at this time. Tristan recommends keeping the petition on the side and being ready to pull it out as soon as a promising opportunity arises.
- Congress Takeovers presented by Misha (2 mins)
Misha explains that one of the reasons limiting communication between Congress and the student body is that the latter doesn’t know the individual members of the former that well. Misha suggests doing an Instagram “Takeover” before midterms. Pratham suggests formally posting the information being delivered during the Takeovers and Laurence suggests advertising the new dashboard as well.
- COVID-19 Emergency Fund Updated by Emanuel (5-10 mins)
As a follow up from the previous meeting, Emmanuel contacted the Marianopolis Millennium Foundation to ask if they are interested in renewing the Emergency Fund. MMF gave a positive response. Emanuel prepares 4 different options to allocate a sum of money for the Emergency Fund and Congress passes a vote to choose.
Congress motions to vote on Emanuel’s 4 options for the amount to contribute to the Emergency Fund.
Decision by majority: $4000.00
- FPC Interview and Updates by Emanuel (3 mins)
Emanuel prepares to interview candidates for the Financial Policy Committee the weekend of September 26-27. Clubs will be able to request money as of the week of September 28.
- Indigenous students taskforce petition presented by Anne (3 min)
Anne asks Congress to endorse a petition supporting the Indigenous students taskforce that 40 Marianopolis students have signed so far. Anne also asks Congress to endorse the “GNL/Gazoduq Non Merci!” petition to campaign against the project to build a 750km trans-canadian pipeline. Misha says that endorsement from Congress requires a vote done by Congress (not the entire MSU) so they decide to vote via Slack after the meeting.
- Meeting with A.D. and D.G. prep presented by Mau (7 mins)
Marianopolis’ Academic Dean and Director General will be joining Congress for their next meeting Friday October 2nd on campus. The First Year students in Congress will be introduced to these members of the administration. Mau goes over the evening’s schedule and gives reminders and instructions for in-person meetings. She asks Congress to read her comments on the September 25th agenda to better understand what to talk about at meetings vs. on Slack to maximize productivity during weekly meetings.
- Transitioning to Teams (5 mins)
Congress will decide via Slack if they transition their platform to Teams.
- Office Hours (5 mins)
To conclude point C in “New Business”, Laurence reminds Congress members that for the time being, Office Hours are appointment-based.
- Approval with MWR articles by Siwen (2 mins)
Siwen asks Congress to approve the MWR article sooner. Since Thomas has been appointed as Administrative Assistant there is now someone to facilitate communication between both parties. Siwen asks for 24 hours between the article being “ready for review” and approval.
- Student Fee presented by Misha
Student Fees for Congress used to be $20 per student but for the past 2 semesters they were raised to $25. Laurence says that the decision to lower this amount or keep it the same has to be taken soon since it requires a vote of the GA which is Tuesday September 29th. Tristan suggests knowing where Congress stands financially before making this vote, to determine if $25 is still necessary. Emanuel suggests keeping it at $25 because of the Emergency Fund but since clubs have not yet requested funds he cannot give an accurate financial report just yet. Misha suggests excluding Student Fees from Tuesday’s GA and making a separate GA for this matter once Congress has determined if they need the $25. Emanuel will therefore prepare a financial report whenever possible and a separate GA will be conducted for Student Fees.
- Club Documentation presented by Mau (2 mins)
Mau decides to skip this point for the sake of time and will discuss it on Slack.
- Registraire presented by Laurence (1 min)
Laurence explains that Congress is a registered Student Union so they have an account in the Quebec Registry. First Years must send their address to him, and Second Years if it has changed.
- Apple Picking
The discussion about apple picking from point L in “New Business” will be discussed further on Slack.
- Publicity for OH and Dashboard presented by Laurene (1 min)
Laurence plans on releasing publicity for Congress’ Office Hours and Dashboard but will give further details on Slack.
- Eco Strike by Pratham (5 mins)
Pratham says that the Eco Strike of September 26th was well discussed in class, meaning the petition discussed in the prior meeting spread well.
Motion to adjourn – Passed (unanimously)
This meeting was adjourned at 5:59 PM.
Total duration: 1 hour and 42 minutes.