Written by Aaron Gao
Edited by Jasmine Akrivos
This Friday’s Congress meeting saw all members in attendance plus Edward Li, a guest from the Green Mari Steering Committee. Congress members began by wishing Ying Chen happy birthday in both English and Mandarin.
The first item on the agenda was the Green Mari Pilot Project, which plans to grow crops at Marianopolis in cooperation with Villa-Maria High School. The Project, led by Professor Norma Vite-Leon, is seeking support from Congress and the student body as they present their initiative to the administration. Edward stressed that “the emphasis is really about community,” and that they are only seeking symbolic support before moving forward. Moreover, Congress signalled that they were willing to provide between $200 to $300 in financing. The Project will make use of Smart Pots, which are malleable fabric pots that simplify transportation and maintenance while requiring less soil. Misha Fotovati suggested using the compost from the Cafeteria’s composting bin as fertilizer, to which Edward agreed. Congress unanimously agreed to support the Green Mari Pilot Project, with Darya Jabbari officializing it with a signature.
Congress then discussed their plan to bring hypnotist and magician Spidey to perform on February 13 during Activity Period. Aria Khiabani expressed concern regarding certain clauses in the contract, including one requesting absolute silence. Since the event is planned to occur in the Student Lounge, noise from the Cafeteria could become an issue. The event will cost around $1300, and there will also be around 200 free donuts given away before the event, which was estimated to cost around $180.
Next, Zhaoran introduced her collaboration with the Marianopolis Chinese Students Association to give away tang yuan (汤圆), a Chinese dessert consisting of a glutinous rice flour ball containing various fillings, on February 11. Darya raised the concern of whether the event would provide single-use containers and thus produce unnecessary waste. However, it would be unrealistic to make it a requirement for everyone to bring their own containers.
For Valentine’s Day, Laurence Liang proposed the COAC Love Letters, an online program that would send letters written by students to random recipients from any of the five student unions that make up the COAC. However, there are some logistical problems were brought up, and Laurence will go back to the COAC for further discussions.
After months of deliberations, Congress has finally made the decision on which coat hangers to purchase. They have also decided to add a whiteboard to jot down objectives, deadlines, and ideas. The purchase amounts to a total of $31.30.
The Students’ Society of McGill University contacted Laurence to inquire whether the MSU had a position on Bill 21. However, it was agreed that Congress would not take a stance without holding a referendum, and that it would be unwise to do so without first understanding the possible consequences of holding an official stance. Ultimately, Congress will not be conducting a referendum and instead allow students to take their own stance on the issue.
Darya then presented some updates from the Food Committee. The Cafeteria’s composting initiative has been progressing smoothly and it is looking to introduce a bin near it that would be reserved for collecting compostable waste. They are looking to purchase an aesthetically pleasing bin instead of the standard brown waste bins, to which Ying Ge suggested a student-painted bin resembling the Give N’ Take boxes. Furthermore, new vegetarian options and poke bowls will soon be introduced in the Cafeteria menu. The vending machines will be relocated due to HVAC.
Finally, Aria summarized the week’s Board meeting, where they gave a bi-annual presentation on Congress and the student body’s various clubs and events to Board members.
This wraps up yet another successful Congress meeting. See you next week!