Congress Weekly

ENJOY YOUR LONG WEEKEND: Congress Weekly – September 4th, 2020

Written by Si Wen Shen
Edited by Bhromor Rahman

Next week is sure to be a busy one, with the Club Planning Session, Fall Elections Debate, and Join a Club Day. Stay tuned for updates on all various platforms. 

Anonymous Forum
Tristan’s Social Justice Committee is finalizing their platform for students to ask questions anonymously. There’s no need to create an account, no need for email. All the data is stored on the cellphone, which means all data will be lost if users change cell phones. The app is 100% anonymous and so much so that even the administrators cannot track it back to the senders. This protects the identity of the senders very well, but can also cause some problems. Due to not having to sign in, the SJC cannot use a common account, nor can they keep the same account for the next few years. Presently, any questions sent will be received by Tristan, who will post them in the SJC discussion to discuss an answer and will, if needed, consult a counselor. The committee is currently trying to resolve a few problems, but the app will be ready for launch very soon. 

General Assembly
A tentative date for the General Assembly is September 29th, but it may be in session online for a few days instead of holding it on campus. Things remain to be discussed on a later date. 

Club Planning Session
To all club execs, if you haven’t yet seen the post in the Club Exec Facebook group, the Club Planning Session is on Tuesday, September 8th, at 6:45 pm. If you have not yet joined the Facebook group Mari Club Execs 2020-2021, please do so now as important information will be posted there. Only ONE EXEC PER CLUB can attend. If you are an exec of more than one club, you are encouraged to represent multiple clubs for this session. 

There will be food provided at the planning session (probably pizza), which participants can pick up upon signing in. It will take place in the Auditorium and each seat will be at a two-meter distance. 

The session itself will be providing information about club grants, club finances, club forms, information about Join a Club Day, as well as some ideas for activities and ways to raise money during this online semester. 

It is completely understandable if certain participants do not want to attend the planning session on campus for safety reasons. In this case, please MIO Trudy Ste-Croix or Adam Reider, and they will send you the important information after the planning session. However, you are highly encouraged to come in person, as the Club Planning Session is a good opportunity to get to know other fellow club execs, and a MIO with information cannot replace the in-person experience.

For more information, please refer to Emmanuel Curto’s post in the Mari Club Exec Facebook group.

Joining a Club Day
The date for Join a Club Day has been set to Sunday, September 13th, from 10 am-4 pm. Execs should arrive at around 9 am to set things up. Every table will be kept at a two-meter distance. If the weather is good, tables will be put outside in the courtyard. If not, they will be set up in the bigger facilities on campus, such as the gym, the cafeteria, and the Student Lounge. 

Students will be coming in during different sessions, much like orientation and the Welcome Back Event. There will be 2 execs per club. For those who are an exec of multiple clubs, it may be possible to move around your clubs depending on the locations, but it is advised to have at least two “fixed” execs per club. 

Due to circumstances, some students cannot attend or may not want to, and that is understandable. In order to give all students a chance to join clubs, every club will be asked to make a 30-seconds video to introduce their clubs and the links will be made accessible to students during or after Join a Club Day.

Details will follow during the Club Planning Session.

Club Fundraising
Emmanuel will have to design a new system for the online club fundraisers since online transfers can be logistically challenging. He will have more information about that at the Club Planning Session.

Welcome Back Event Budget
After Emmanuel’s panic last week over the budget used for the Welcome Back Event, he calculated everything and came to the surprising conclusion that Congress was actually under the planned budget by a few hundred dollars. Emmanuel predicts that many Congress activities may end up actually going under budget, which opens up opportunities for more activities especially with the large budget surplus. 

Marianopolis Student Union Facebook Group
Following up to last week’s discussion about the regulations of the MSU Facebook group, Congress has come up with a simple set of community guidelines for all official Marianopolis student Facebook groups:

  1. Bullying and hateful posts are prohibited.
  2. Spamming is prohibited.
  3. Book sales are discouraged on the Facebook groups. Students are encouraged to redirect their sales to Omnivox, under “Secondhand Books”. However, it is noted that some people are more active on Facebook. There will be a topic created specifically in the group, and textbook sales posts will need to be tagged accordingly, as not to spam the group. 

Congress is currently looking into putting a Marketplace in the group if possible. 

Another worry about Facebook groups being spammed are the posts about the Fall Elections. There will also be a topic created for that, and such posts will also need to be tagged accordingly. 

Elections and Debate
Due to this semester being online, there has been little interaction between both old and new students, making the elections rather difficult. Many are reluctant to vote for candidates they have never even met or seen. The debate has always been the best opportunity for candidates to speak their mind and for other students to get to know the candidates, so there have been various discussions about the format of this year’s debate, which will take place on Thursday, September 10th.

If the debate takes place on campus, it will either be in the Auditorium, with 70 spectators who can register online, or it will take place in another room with more space than the Auditorium stage, with only the candidates, Congress members, and the Marianopolis World Review staff. Either way, the debate will be livestreamed online, available for all students to watch. However, there have been concerns about the quality of the livestream, as there would be problems with volume, echo, and etc. There is also the question of how students who have class right before and after AP will make it to and back from campus.

Opinions are divided within Congress on whether the debate should take place on campus or online. At the time of writing this article, a decision is still pending. More information should be available by Tuesday.

Just like in past years, the debate will be moderated by the Marianopolis World Review. If you have any questions for this year’s candidates, you are welcome to submit them anonymously in this Google Form: 

The MWR team will select the best ones for the debate. 

With this big number of candidates this year, there have been a great number of Elections-related posts on the student Facebook groups. Congress is worried about saturating the group, which may reduce interest in the elections or turn the Elections into a popularity contest. 

Appointed Positions
The appointed positions will be selected through 3 rounds of elimination. Congress has already received all the letters of intent and will finish choosing which students to interview for the second round by the end of the weekend.

Next week is going to be loaded for all of us, so enjoy your long weekend while you can.

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