“The skills you learn are definitely ones that I wouldn’t have been able to develop anywhere else.”Jenny Trang
Have you ever wondered what the IGNITE Board of Directors do to advocate on your behalf?
The Board of Directors are students elected by you to work for you. The nine members take the helm in guiding IGNITE. They establish its strategic route and approve all the significant decisions that impact how IGNITE stands up for Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber students.
We sat with directors of the board, Jasmine Bates and Jenny Trang, to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to be part of the IGNITE Board of Directors.
Bates and Trang were always big on getting involved with the student community. Bates is the former and Trang is the current leader of the Student Transition and Resource Team (START) at the UofGH, helping prospective and freshmen students to transition into first year.
All their student advocacy interest and experience are what got them into their board positions today.
So, what’s a day in the life of a Board of Director like?
Trang shares that one of the main things they have to keep in mind is their monthly meetings. They all together convene, discuss and vote on different matters that have to do with IGNITE’s plans and priorities.
Within the board, there are three different committees that shares IGNITE’s steering wheel: CEO Evaluation, Governance Review Committee and Finance and Audit.
Trang is part of the Governance Review Committee and mentions that they make sure IGNITE is always staying in line with bylaws and implement new policies when needed. She shares that this position aligns with her interests in the legal field.
As a team, the Board of Directors often interact with students and see what issues that they have going on. This helps the board direct and address those concerns.
“I think the most beneficial thing for all of us is the fact that we get to be on campus. You can connect with people, that’s definitely important to me,” Bates said.
The role, though, is serious and it takes a mix of skills.
Trang points out that collaboration and teamwork plays a big deal between the members, especially because when working with other nine members, their opinions won’t always align. They have to find the middle ground to what is best for students and IGNITE itself.
Bates emphasizes that they have a safe environment to communicate and they trust each other’s abilities. Since everyone has different advocacy priorities, she believes they cover a well-rounded representation of all the different perspectives.
“We are always collectively working together to make sure that we are benefiting students,” she said.
Having interest in leadership and advocacy is also an asset. Trang adds that they have to be able to advocate not only when they were trying to be elected, but then afterwards to advocate for students.
The position has also been a game-changer and helped them develop important parts of their personal life.
Bates believes that being a director of the board solidified everything she has been doing over the years. She’s sure she wants to pursue advocacy and law down the road. She also highlights that the topics they are discussing and making decisions on now, can shape the lives of students ten years from now.
“Just that impact is something that has made me feel really happy about the things we are doing,” Bates said.
Trang adds that being a director has been very rewarding, especially the relationships you make with the students and IGNITE staff.
“The skills you learn are definitely ones that I wouldn’t have been able to develop anywhere else, so I’m glad that I was able to get this opportunity,” she said.
If you’ve ever thought about launching your candidacy for the IGNITE Election but felt like you weren’t quite ready, don’t worry, they get where you’re coming from.
Bates and Trang wanted to be on the board since their early university years, but they too had their doubts. However, they encourage everyone interested to give it a shot. Trang adds that just going through the campaign process is an awesome learning experience.
“If you are thinking about applying or running for candidacy, that probably means that you have the qualifications, you have the experience and are more than capable of doing it,” Trang said.
Feeling the excitement to advocate on behalf of your fellow students? Mark your calendars, nominations for the 2024-25 IGNITE Election open on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. For all the latest information and updates, visit IGNITE Election and follow us on Instagram @shareignite.
It’s time to develop your leadership and advocacy skills and champions the causes of your peers!
Wondering how IGNITE supports your student life? Check how IGNITE can elevate your post-secondary journey!