Congress Weekly, Marianopolis News

Congress Weekly – March 27, 2020

Written by Phillip Yin

Edited by Lauren Kim

On March 27th, 2020, Congress held its regular weekly meeting to discuss important changes to school activities and upcoming events. Marianopolites are slowly adjusting to life with social distancing, and Congress is using this opportunity to be more active online.

Many new updates have been made as a result of the school’s closure. Congress has been hard at work meeting with the Dean and actively forwarding Marianopolis students’ concerns and requests to administration. On Sunday, March 29th, the college released extensive guidelines to help students adapt to learning from home.

Additionally, the Ministry of Education has announced that two R-Scores will be calculated this semester; one including this semester and one excluding it and the higher of the two scores will be kept. Congress is aware of the petition circulating online about suspending the semester while recognizing the credits for the courses taken. Congress has decided to remain neutral, as they are unsure of MSU’s collective opinion on it. In the meantime, they have forwarded the petition to the Dean.

Congress is also looking for alternative methods of reaching the MSU. They are planning of releasing official videos called Congress Live and hosting events on MSU’s Facebook page such as Kahoots and online movie streaming. Trudy is also looking to share events where students can discover artists and other forms of online entertainment.

Due to school closures, CEVES has decided to hold a virtual Transition Week strike instead. Each day of the week, they will host different online activities to educate students. Congress is unsure of the logistics behind holding a vote for MSU to endorse it.

Laurence from Congress has also been working with the COAC to finish a Climate Plan approved by all anglophone CEGEPs. The plan details actions that each student union will take to have a positive impact on the environment, such as putting pressure on administration to ban plastic water bottles. The COAC Boat Party and the Job Fair are cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 measures, although Congress is looking for a virtual alternative for the Job Fair.

As elections begin soon, Ying Ge, the Vice-President, has formed the Election and Referenda Committee from five people chosen at random. This year, the five members are: Ella Waxman, Robert Dias, Wendy Yang, Emil Hersson-Edery and Nicolas Torres.

Marianopolis will also implement a Tech Squad, formed by students who are familiar with technology, to help one another. The school’s IT services are still available for students who need help with more complicated tasks requiring the school’s permission, but they will be mainly assisting teachers and staff.

Finally, Amanda, the Vice-President of Finance, has announced the creation of Congress Emergency Funds for students and their families who are struggling with their finances during the pandemic. As a result, the Financial Policy Committee has decided to freeze all the club grants this semester in order to reabsorb unused money for the emergency funds. As for bakesales, clubs with cancelled bakesale will not be able to receive compensation from the FPC nor hold an additional one later as there are simply not enough days in the semester to fit each club’s bakesale.

The Congress meeting has been full of discussions mainly relating to changes resulting from measures taken for the Covid-19 pandemic. Thank you for reading this week’s Congress Weekly and stay tuned for more updates next week! In the meantime, stay safe, stay home, and don’t forget to wash your hands everyone!

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