Congress Weekly

TUITION UPDATE: Congress Weekly – July 20th, 2020

Written by Si Wen Shen
Edited by Bhromor Rahman

This week, Congress has some important updates on their various activities planned as well as the current situation going into the Fall.

Social Justice Committee
The four members of the summer committee have already been chosen, but Tristan notes that all candidates were wonderful and bringing something new to the table, so he would like them to apply again in the Fall. Of course, first years are also encouraged to apply. Since the members have already been selected, the anti-racism campaign is underway. Preparations and research should be done by today and should start posting by next week. The anti-racism campaign will be on all platforms. However, so as to not overwhelm the Facebook group, the Tell Me Your Story project in the following weeks will only be on Instagram, so keep an eye out for their stories there! Including the anti-racism campaign, SJ has 5 projects this summer, so please look forward to those.

Welcome Back Event
Planning and preparations are going smoothly for the Welcome Back Event. There has been one more option added for the gifts. Activities will be the scavenger hunt, as planned last week, and Zhaoran would like to add an escape room, for which students will have to register in advance. As for food, there will be cotton candy, ice cream, and a beaver tail food truck with discount prices. In order to avoid overcrowding, the event will likely have different times with priority to reservations; only accepting drop-ins when the students who made reservations don’t show up.

MariMeet is currently being planned, It will be in the park, with food such as pizza and ice cream. Zhaoran is considering having a Polaroid photo booth, as the first years missed their prom. However, not many students will be willing to dress up like prom to go to the park, and the costs of the photo booth also remain to be discussed. 

Unlike past years, orientation this year will be 3 days instead of 1 day in order to avoid overcrowding on campus. Students will be hired during those three days for orientation. 

Logo Contest 
Congress may need new logos for various activities or committees, so there will be online contests for the students then.

When the quarantine began in March last semester, all forms of education were transferred to virtual synchronous or asynchronous platforms. As neither students nor teachers physically attended school and there were many difficulties in this way of learning, many have demanded a partial refund of their tuition that semester. Moreover, since this semester will be taught in a similar manner, students have demanded tuition fee reductions. Concerning the change of tuition fees due to virtual teaching, Congress had already asked the administration last semester. Administration has maintained and still does that tuition fees will remain unchanged because teachers still work the same hours and have the same salaries. In addition, the auxiliary fees for maintenance of the school grounds still cost roughly the same. In essence, staff’s salaries and auxiliary fee, which are the main components of the semester fees, remain unchanged, therefore the tuition will not lower, and there will be no refund. 
This is purely the statement that Congress has received from the administration and not their own opinions, but even Congress is divided on this issue. Since Congress cannot view the school’s budget, it cannot affirm nor deny any of the above. 
MSU President Laurence Liang has stated that if students ever start a petition in regards to the tuition fee, Congress has the duty to bring it up to the administration on the student body’s behalf, and will, but his hands are tied until the student body acts. 

Join a Club Day
The amount and diversity of our clubs is a famous trait of Marianopolis, and there have been concerns about how new and old students can join clubs with the current pandemic. The details have yet to be decided, but there will definitely be a Join a Club Day. Preferably, it will be on campus and will be much longer than just one hour and a half. There will also be an online component to it for students that cannot come on campus, but everything still remains to be decided. 

Activity Period
Since most of the semester will be online, many have asked whether there will still be AP. 
AP will definitely still exist and there will be activities, but how it will take place and how the activities will be organized still remains to be determined. 

Shuttle Bus
There will be shuttle buses from Vendôme metro station during the first two orientation weeks and other times when school is supposed to be on campus, but there will be no shuttle bus during periods of online teaching. However, the school and library will remain open for students to study and for various activities.

Congress would like to remind everyone that there will be no classes during the two weeks of orientation, and attendance on campus is optional, based on the latest information they received. The College administration should publish confirmation on this subject. However, Student Services will be hosting various activities during those two weeks, and participation is highly recommended to students. 

Si Wen Shen

Si Wen ''Shiya'' Shen is MWR's Editor emeritus of MariNews and one of the most important student journalists of our generation. She covered critical and controversial events that unfolded in the Student Union under her mandate. She was also the President of the Literature club which involved everything anime and pioneered the successful Archive-of-a-Shut-in column. She is currently a 1L Law student at Université de Montréal Faculté de Droit.

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