On 28 November 2017, Student Activity Council (SAC) held their first open meeting in the library after school. The meeting lasted from 3:30 pm to 4:50 pm, and consisted of debriefing past events and planning for future ones. There was also a question period for non-SAC members to ask SAC any questions they had. Around ten students participated in the meeting.

SAC members during SAC’s first open meeting. Photo: Justin Ye

The meeting began with discussing this year’s Fall Fest. Feedback and discussion from both SAC and students were generally positive, but one critique brought up was the DJ. Grad Convenor Subaani Mathy, said the DJ’s performance was lacking compared to last year’s Semi Formal. The participants praised the DJ’s transition between songs but complained about the songs themselves and his lack of interaction with the audience. Muqadas Assad, the Social Convenor, mentioned that there were some problems related to his payment, which could possibly explain the decrease in quality. Ultimately, SAC is reconsidering hiring the DJ for future events.

A detailed discussion also arose over the cancellation of the SAC ambassador program. The program was demolished this year as the ambassadors accomplished little last year due to poor coordination. SAC members argued that grade reps fulfilled the duties of ambassadors, therefore creating no need for the program. On the other hand, an audience member proposed to continue the program but alter it with better management and a smaller amount of positions to improve productivity. The attendee suggested that the ambassadors could help with promotion and spirit and brought up the program’s success in Northern Secondary School’s (NSS) student council. However, SAC conveners argued that comparing the two schools is impossible as they are extremely different. They added that the presence of spares at Garneau made promotion and announcements more difficult, as well as the size and diversity of the student body, a difficulty the ambassador program would not necessarily solve. The President had to establish order several times in the heated discussion.

Around ten students participated in SAC’s open meeting. Photo: Justin Ye

A few students attended the meeting to propose an idea to SAC: using the communication app Discord for announcements, general promotion of events, and networking. The students have created three channels, one for general chatting about school events/issues, one for announcements, and a third for suggestions. Unlike many other such applications, Discord bans the use of profanity and slurs. Huda Mukhtar, SAC Communications Convenor, welcomed the idea and was interested in implementing Discord, likely for only announcements initially.

In the latter half of the meeting, the discussion shifted to the Christmas show happening before winter break. Muqadas voiced frustration at the lack of support and awareness by administration and staff members which would affect the level of attendance. Despite that barrier, SAC hopes to have higher attendance this year as only around one hundred and fifty people came last year.

Another matter that was brought up was the changes to the names of the four houses. Potential new names are Dawson (Green), Dakota (Yellow), Marvyn/Hudson (Red), Hamilton (Blue).

Refreshments such as chips, cans of pop and cookies were provided and shared by SAC members and attendees during an intermission.

Overall, SAC President Lisa Wang said, “The audience turnout was lower than we had hoped for, but those in attendance were very vocal and shared valuable feedback! The intermission for refreshments also helped to boost the energy of the event.”

The next open SAC meeting is scheduled to be held at the beginning of next semester.