Congress Weekly

Congress Weekly – May 1, 2020

Written by Alicia Shen
Edited by Emma Youhnovska

This week’s Congress meeting began with an update from President Aria Khiabani on the Coffee House event. Aria presented two ways of hosting the event: creating a montage using videos submitted from students or having a livestream event similar to the MSU Congress elections debate. Many Congress members voiced their support for the first option, as it would ensure a smooth experience without any technical difficulties. As of right now, there is no set date for the event, but Aria hopes to collect musical acts in the upcoming weeks.

Next, Trudy Ste. Croix, our Student Life animator, introduced the topic of the club participation award. In the past, Congress has awarded a small club (having 25 or less active members) and a large club (having more than 25 active members) with this prize based on their involvement within the student community and activities, among other criteria. On another note, Trudy suggested making a short welcome video for the incoming students as the usual Marianopolis 102 held in August will most likely be different this year. Both current and future Congress members expressed overwhelming support for this idea.

As usual, Congress had their weekly meeting with the College’s administration during which they presented questions from the student body. Aria provided the administration’s answers on the students’ concerns. As for final exams, over the next week and a half, teachers will communicate their plans for the final exams. Another important concern related to the demand for a partial tuition refund, which the finance office is currently still looking into. On a different note, there will still be a Dean’s List and Honour Roll, among other academic distinctions for this semester.

Moving on to upcoming Congress events, Zhaoran Wu, Coordinator of Cultural Affairs, made a call for more submissions for the ArtFest contest. Similarly, Cherry Sun, Coordinator of Charities and Volunteering, promoted her Shave to Save event. Darya Jabbari, Coordinator of Social Justice, also talked about her upcoming event, Poetry Night, scheduled for Sunday, May 3. She also announced a plan to have a social justice Netflix party that is currently scheduled for next Saturday. Lastly, Michael Chalkhoun, Coordinator of Student Advocacy, announced another competition that will start on May 9 in collaboration with MariFilms. Students can submit a one-minute video for this competition; prizes range will from $25 to $50.

In other news, Michael presented his Congress Live initiative which consists of videos from Congress promoting student life and Congress. The first upcoming video deals with mental health and will be shared through Facebook. Michael also opened a discussion about the General Assembly (GA) that would have been scheduled for next week according the MSU constitution. However, due to the current situation, this will clearly not be the case. Michael is considering either holding a live GA or having a vote on the amendments through a Google Form. The main issue with holding the GA online is the quorum, that is the minimum number of 60 people that need to be present or vote on the amendments. Michael hopes to give students incentives, such as gift cards, in order to encourage participation in the GA. Lastly, in the likelihood that the General Assembly cannot be held this semester, the GA would be pushed to the next semester under the direction of the incoming Coordinator of Student Advocacy, Misha Fotovati.

That’s it for this week’s Congress meeting! Stay safe everyone!

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