Written by Alicia Shen
Edited by Abigail Wolfensohn
After a hopefully restful break, Congress resumed its activities with its first meeting of the semester. Amanda Morrone, the Vice President of Finance, began the meeting by suggesting the potential purchase of a Square Card Reader device that would primarily be used for bake sales. Up until now, bake sales have only accepted cash, but with the school’s acquisition of a card reader, students would be able to purchase using a credit or debit card. However, in order to make up for this addition, a 2.65% reduction would be applied to each purchase with the sum of money deducted being factored out of the club’s bake sales funds. Following a unanimous vote in favour of purchasing this device, Congress plans on having the card reader in place before the first bake sale of the semester.
Next, Andrew Petrecca-Berthelet, the Coordinator of Social Activities, stated that the MSU End-of-Semester Party was overall a huge success; 360 people attended the event, surpassing Congress’s goal of 300 people. Despite the party’s success, several Congress members noted one glaring issue: the coat check. Early into the night, the coat check ran out of space due to the lack of racks and coat hangers. Additionally, several items ended up getting lost or stolen, and their owners had to be partially reimbursed by Congress. Part of the blame lies upon the coat check company, since it provided significantly less racks and coat hangers than demanded, resulting in the lack of space. In the future, Congress will likely hire staff and security for the coat check in order to avoid similar problems.
After that, President Aria Khiabani reflected on Congress’s work this past semester and provided goals for the upcoming winter semester. One of these goals is for each member whose mandate requires them to organize events to plan at least three events this semester.
Next, Cherry Sun, the Coordinator of Charities and Volunteering, presented her campaign against nicotine, vaping and smoking. As part of this campaign, Cherry wishes to educate students about the harm that vaping and smoking can cause. Some of her potential ideas include trivia posters addressing the adverse effects of nicotine use, wristbands, informative pamphlets and a fundraising effort for lung cancer research.
In other news, Congress is considering an event with Chris Funk, a magician who has appeared on America’s Got Talent and performed in Las Vegas, and Spidey, a hypnotist, mentalist, magician and Marianopolis alumnus who has also appeared on several TV shows. Congress members debated over booking the event; some argued that the turnout may be low, while others stated that the event is a unique and exciting opportunity to see a magician perform live. Should they agree to book one of these acts, Congress will advertise the event such that they maximize attendance.
Finally, Michael Chalkhoun, the Coordinator of Student Advocacy, gave updates on a couple of his projects: Congress LIVE and the Student Advocacy Committee. Congress LIVE will consist of videos introducing each Congress member and explaining their mandate. Michael is also looking into a potential collaboration with the Marianopolis Broadcast Network for more personal videos featuring each member, possibly in a style similar to Vogue’s 73 Questions or The Office. Additionally, he is working on ponderation mapping, meaning how much students are expected to work during the week according to the ponderation guidelines versus how much they are realistically working; a survey on this issue will soon be released. Lastly, he announced the upcoming availability of sweaters that students will be able to personalize with their names and programs.
This concludes yet another very fruitful Congress meeting!