Written by Alicia Shen
Edited by Etsub Yifru
Before leaving for their weekend retreat, Congress welcomed the newly elected and appointed first-year members. After a brief discussion about the Congress photoshoot led by Coordinator of Communications, Ying Chen, the meeting continued with President Aria Khiabani explaining the rules and procedures for Congress meetings and their shared room.
Coordinator of Social Justice, Darya Jabbari, provided an update on the climate change strike. Currently, the school’s administration is undecided on whether to close the College for the climate change strike on September 27 due to the outcomes of past strikes. Eight years ago, the majority of students elected to cancel a day of school in support of the strike against the rise of tuition fees; however, a significantly small number of students than anticipated participated in the strike. Given these circumstances, Congress decided to hold a vote on whether there should be a student referendum poll on this issue on Omnivox. Meanwhile, many teachers have decided to cancel class on the day of the strike as well as twenty other CEGEPs.
Approached by the creators of the “Shut Marianopolis Down for Climate Strike” petition, Congress weighed the option of endorsing the petition. While many of the Congress members actively voiced their support of the petition, some had different views about the endorsement of the petition. Coordinator of Student Advocacy, Michael Chalkhoun, stated that Congress represents the student body, and thus should not endorse the petition before knowing that the majority of the student body shares the same stance on this issue. On the other hand, Coordinator of Social Activities, Andrew Petrecca-Berthelet, believes that Congress should take the initiative in endorsing the petition in order to show its support for the cause.
On a different note, Aria announced that a gender-neutral bathroom will be soon available. The bathroom will be located in the basement of the library, which is currently under construction.
Next, Student Life Animator, Trudy Ste-Croix, presented M.O.O.S.E Camp, a fun, overnight sleepover experience which includes a BBQ, a movie, games, and much more. In the past, Student Services partnered with Congress to cover the costs of the event. One of the major expenses for M.O.O.S.E Camp is a movie license needed to show a movie at the College. In the past, Congress purchased an annual movie which allowed them and clubs to host movie nights at school. However, it is extremely costly; Congress is considering the option of obtaining movie licenses on a per movie basis.
Furthermore, Congress selected its representatives for the Academic Council and the Sexual Violence Policy committee. Michael, Aria, along with a third Congress member, will be on the Academic Council, while Darya and Cherry Sun, the newly elected Coordinator of Charities & Volunteering, will be on the Sexual Violence Policy committee.
Lastly, for the upcoming federal election on October 21, there will be voting booths on campus, but students will not be able to vote at these booths as they will be reserved for the residents of the Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Westmount riding.