Written by Alicia Shen
Reviewed by Etsub Yifru
I hope that you’ve enjoyed your summer, and the first days of school were exciting and not too demanding! This year’s first Congress meeting began with Aria Khiabani, President of the Marianopolis Student Union, giving a quick recap of the MariMeet event that was held on August 18. Overall, the event was a success with 100 students showing up at Jarry Park. However, the last-minute change of date due to the rain that was forecasted on August 17 resulted in some people being unable to attend the event.
Next, Aria presented the Major Plan insurance group, a subsidiary of the Major Group company. The Major Plan group offers an affordable dental, medical, vision and travel insurance package for student associations. Last semester, the group approached Congress about implementing a survey to better understand the demographics and needs of the College’s student body. Aria is planning on running the survey in the upcoming weeks. Some of the concerns raised with Major Plan were the necessity of the potential add-on of a 24/7 telephone line with health and wellness professionals and the duration of the commitment required on behalf of the MSU.
Furthermore, Vice-President Ying Ge provided an update on changes to the MSU app developed last year. While in the past the app consisted mostly of posts about Congress events, the app will now feature the gym schedule, Wayne’s services and, in the future, important documents uploaded by Congress, Congress events posted on the MSU Facebook group and a list of the empty classrooms. Aria noted that this allows Congress to have another outlet in addition to Facebook in order to reach out to the student body.
On a more exciting note, Andrew Petrecca-Berthelet, our Coordinator of Social Activities, announced that the annual Welcome Back event will be held on Tuesday, August 27 during AP! There will be hot dogs, snow cones, an inflatable obstacle course and a henna booth. Additionally, House 99, a barber shop on Sherbrooke street, contacted Andrew to organize a back-to-school haircut event to offer free haircuts at the College. Andrew is currently considering the idea along with its implications.
Keeping their campaign promise from last spring’s elections, Aria and Ying purchased an OPUS card reloader. Unfortunately, the OPUS card reader will not be available at Wayne’s due to the administration’s concerns. Nevertheless, Congress discussed some alternatives, including having office hours for reloading OPUS cards in the Congress room.
Similarly, Darya Jabbari, our Coordinator of Social Justice, discussed MSpeaks, one of her campaign promises. MSpeaks will be a private Facebook group where members can anonymously talk about their experiences with bullying. Another project she is undertaking is the Woke Folk’s little free library. The free library will allow students to take or give a book or school supply for free. Darya also spoke about a school strike for climate change that could potentially be held on September 27. Presently, there are two options: The College makes this day an official day off for all or students attend the strike at the risk of missing their classes.
Lastly, Michael Chalkhoun, our Coordinator of Student Advocacy, is in the process of fulfilling his own campaign promise of spreading out midterms. Currently, he is gathering information from teachers before moving on to the next step. Michael also noted that many students do not know much about Congress, especially the first years. To solve this issue, he suggested that making promotional videos, a more visible Congress sign and posters for Congress members’ office hours.