Every June, members for the upcoming year’s Student Activity Council are chosen through a school-wide election. Representing and coordinating the student body of MGCI this school year is SAC President Zaid Irfani Baig.
According to Zaid, his first month as SAC President was rather rushed. He admitted he spent a lot of his time “bossing around people, reminding them to get this done and get that done.” However, he added that his stress wasn’t because of his fellow SAC members but rather due to the large number of events they hosted. Fundraisers, recent renovations, Spirit Week, and the Terry Fox Run, coupled with general responsibilities took up the majority of his time. Zaid commented that it really was “a hassle to get the game going on.”
The main objective of SAC this year is to introduce new events and bring back old ones that “last year’s council couldn’t succeed in.” A few planned events include Fall Fest, Christmas Show, a Haunted House, selling of Varsity Jackets and a graduation trip for the Grade 12 students. All of these events and changes are meant to increase school spirit, which is after all, “the reason why Student Council is there”.
This year, SAC also plans to heavily invest in social media. Platforms such as the MGCI Updates Facebook Group, Youtube, and the recently created Snapchat account will be used to keep students updated. In addition, SAC is also in the process of making weekly vlogs that will focus on school events. Zaid said that these will be posted shortly as instalments of Garneau News.
Because of SAC’s presence on social media, communication with the council has become easier. Any comments, complaints or concerns can be delivered through social media or the new SAC suggestion box outside their office, both of which Zaid checks everyday. However, when asked about how SAC responds to these messages, Zaid mentioned, “There is a kind of misunderstanding of Student Council. Students think we can solve the literacy test in Garneau, or the courses in Garneau, or the toilet paper issue … We can’t fix that. We don’t have the power to do that… We’re just a medium for students to talk to.” Rather, what SAC does is make suggestions about the system to the administration of the school and to the TDSB Student Council.
In the past couple of years, SAC’s budget has decreased substantially from $10 000 to $5 000. This could impact what the club will be able to offer the school throughout the year. Nevertheless, SAC’s president “still feels confident about SAC’s involvement.”
When Zaid entered Marc Garneau CI over three years ago, he was known by his friends as just a “photographer”. Since then he has participated in numerous clubs and extracurriculars including cross country, swim team, tennis team, and his self-created Gardening Club. He has been a part of SAC for every single one of his high school years, but it wasn’t until this year that he became the president.
When asked about what his Student Council offers that previous councils didn’t, he responded, “Everybody’s motivated. There’s commitment.”