Guelph-Humber News

Published on November 15, 2016 | by Rob Jowett     Photography by Rob Jowett

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Ignite rebrand report still leaves burning questions

Ignite released the expense report for its rebranding this year, and many said the report left more questions than answers.

Kody Jacobs, a fourth-year business student at Guelph-Humber, thought the student government should release more information. “If they do I think it would be very beneficial to the people who are keeping an eye on it, just to make sure they know what exactly the money has been spent on.”

Taylor Renwick, a Media Foundations student, agreed. “How did they spend $56,000 on a website? That seems suspicious.”

Humber Students’ Federation launched the rebrand earlier this year, allocating a budget of $400,000 for all of Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber, with the plan being to increase student advocacy and differentiate Ignite from Humber altogether. Ignite executives cited student confusion about HSF as the primary need for the rebrand.

The executives promised to release an expense report due to student resistance to the change and questions about their process and decision making.

Ignite executives said they hoped to put an end to any confusion at a Special Meeting of the Members on Oct. 19. The entire executive and board of directors were present on the stage in the Student Centre.

As far as Ignite is concerned, the issue was settled since releasing a financial statement for Ignite’s entire $10 million budget at the meeting. However, the rebrand was barely mentioned in the statement. The report with more specific details was later released to their website.

When questioned, Ignite president Ahmed Tahir said there will be a few more renovations on campus to remove HSF branding but that the costs are not expected to rise much.

“Students want to hear about other things that we’re doing, not only the rebrand,” he added. “There is no rebrand info session upcoming.”

There were approximately 30 students in attendance and they were able to ask a series of questions about the organization. There was a vote to make the name change legal, which passed overwhelmingly.

The report said Ignite spent $207,000 of the $400,000 budget has been spent, including:

  • $46,000 to interview students and determine the need for a rebrand
  • $43,000 to create the actual brand
  • $56,000 on creating the new Ignite website
  • $61,000 on renovating the campus to replace the HSF brand with Ignite

“I think this is very comprehensive in terms of the details that it mentions… we can’t go into itemized detail because our partners are not comfortable with that and confidentiality really reigns supreme in that regard,” Tahir said.

Students should not expect more details from Ignite, says Guelph-Humber professor Justin Medakiewicz. “The board of directors would then get a very detailed summary of the costs and the breakdown and they determine, ‘is this appropriate yes or no’. Now would every employee in that organization get a detailed record of the costs? No.”

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