Congress Weekly

GENERAL ASSEMBLY WEEK: Congress Weekly – September 25th, 2020

Written by Catherine Pépin
Edited by Bhromor Rahman

As of September 21st, Fall season has officially started. Meanwhile, Congress has recently discussed numerous interesting topics in their weekly gathering.

General Assembly (GA) Coming Up!
Congress would like to remind the student body that the bi-annual General Assembly is approaching quickly. It will be held from September 29 to October 1st. During this period, students are strongly encouraged to participate. The GA will take place virtually, with a link to a Google form for students to answer on the amendments. Please note that club executives are obligated to participate in the GA. For the participants, the Congress agreed that two 20$ Amazon gift cards will be randomly bequeathed to two of the students who complete the form. Stay tuned!

Orange T-Shirt Day
Write this date in your agendas! Wednesday September 30th is the Orange T-Shirt Day: a special day to pay tribute to the Indigenous survivors of residential schools. Tristan would like for every committee to join Congress by taking a picture of themselves with orange shirts. The deadline for these pictures submissions will be September 29th. Those pictures will be posted on the Social Justice Instagram and Facebook pages to support the cause.

He also strongly encourages students to take a picture of themselves with orange shirts so he can make a collage to convey Marianopolis’ support for the Indigenous community. For the members of the Indigenous Studies Certificate, Tristan would like to share the awareness texts they wrote for this occasion with the student body, through classes or simply through social media posts.

In fact, students are also encouraged to put their green background option on Zoom as an “orange” color to support this special day during their classes.

Congress Members Office Hours
Tristan and other members of Congress discussed how students could reach them to make appointments. A post was already published on MSU Facebook about their office hours on September 21st. If you would like to make an appointment with any of the members, feel free to do so during their convenient office hours on Microsoft Teams.

Reopening the Fitness Room?
Pratham had a lengthy discussion with the other members of Congress regarding the petition to reopen the fitness room at Marianopolis College that he started in the second week of CEGEP. In fact, this petition has reached 230 signatures! Despite the validity of this petition, it remains to be voted in a future General Assembly to be granted permission by the student body to present this request to the administrators of Marianopolis.

However, Montreal just entered the “orange alert level” as defined by François Legault recently, and the second wave of Covid-19 has begun. Due to those turn of events, the Congress believes that the timing to present this petition now to the busy administrators is ill-chosen. Nonetheless, Congress acknowledges the solid support for this petition, and will begin the procedures to present the petition after this high peek of Covid-19 returns to tranquility.

Please be aware that the petition will not be neglected! The Congress will simply await for a better time to begin the procedures. What needs to be prioritized now is everyone’s safety and health during this ongoing global pandemic.

Heads-Up on Online Fundraiser Contract for Club Executives!
Anne Sophie announced she is drafting a contract for all fundraising activities for any Marianopolis club. This contract will elaborate how online fundraisers will be regulated, how money will be collected (to make sure the money goes to the right place…) and more. Congress confirms that any club executive that violates this contract will be subject to a range of consequences to be determined by the members of Congress, from being removed access to all the money raised to being banned from the club. These consequences will be established to ensure honest intentions on the behalf of the club executives when fundraising money. Please note that this contract is in the making and is not available at the moment. However, once this contract has been finalized, it will be presented to the club executives.

Yearbook Committee Update
This semester, Maria Azadian is organizing the Yearbook Committee with a different procedure in place. Unlike previous semesters, there will be a team of nine members instead of four. In addition, she is speculating on organizing the committee into sub-committees: such as one for Layout, Illustrations, Photography, and Outreach (to reach out to clubs and photographers).

As for the publication of this year’s yearbooks, there are no guarantees of paper copies. In fact, some of the members of Congress are more inclined to support online copies of the yearbook in order to be more environmentally friendly.

Social Justice Committee
Tristan confirms that he is drafting a Social Justice Committee contract for the members to sign later this semester. In fact, he is dedicating great importance towards examining confidential and anonymous forms to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of these studied cases are respected. This said, Tristan is creating a contract to assure that no members will break this important rule of confidentiality. He is currently working on writing the boundaries that must be respected by the members and listing the possible consequences that one could receive by violating the agreements stipulated in the contract.

CASAQ Updates
Pratham announces that he modified one clause regarding climate change, which will be reviewed by the students in the General Assembly. This modified clause, regarding the green plan, consists of banning all plastic bottles from CEGEP campuses. Despite this initiative, John-Abbott considered this measure to be impossible to apply now, due to Covid-19 measures and complications. More details are to come.

Green initiatives… In Progress
Tristan is also configuring a green plan. The goal of this agreement is to work with the administrators to assure Marianopolis respects a 5-year agreement on green initiatives. He is also envisaging the possibility to collaborate with other green clubs at Marianopolis. Nothing is confirmed at the moment, but ideas and plans are in the making.

In addition, members are open to plan a fundraiser to support the finances of these green initiatives. In fact, they have speculated over organizing a second harvest activity or an apple picking event, similar to what Champlain College has done. Second harvests are crops classified as non-perfect shapes or ripped that are simply left on stocks or trees. To not waste food, Congress believes that picking these crops from a local farm to donate a portion of the apples or other types of crops to homeless shelters or soup kitchens would be a good deed.

Congress perceives this activity as a great project with lots of positive impacts. However, the members do acknowledge that Quebec has just entered into a second wave of Covid-19. Depending on the government’s future restrictions, this activity may not occur. Moreover, the apple picking season is limited from the end of August to mid of October, and will all depend on organization, timing, and health security measures.

Congress Takeover on Instagram?
Misha would like to help the student body better understand the role of Congress. In order to do so, she is envisioning a takeover session of Instagram, similar to what Silver Key did on the Marianopolis Student Union Instagram account a while ago. If this activity does occur, the Congress members will be able to present and answer questions regarding their roles, directives on how to contact them and more. The activity could begin next week or before midterms depending on the Congress members’ preparedness. If you have not followed their Instagram account, be sure to do so @maristudentunion.

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