Students proceeded into the library on 9 December 2019, excited to learn about the Student Activity Council’s current accomplishments and future plans for Garneau. During the lunch period, SAC held its second open meeting of the school year. Students were encouraged to attend the meeting through announcements and social media posts. The open SAC meetings were introduced this year to build on SAC’s goals for communication, accountability, and transparency. 

The meeting started off with a land acknowledgement, followed by an update from each SAC member. Every SAC member introduced themselves, their role in SAC, what they have achieved since the start of the school year, and their plans for future events at MGCI. Towards the end of the meeting, after each member had properly spoken, students were given a chance to address any SAC member, ask questions, and give suggestions for future events. 

SAC President Nelson Lee leading their second open meeting. Photo: Jessica Xiong.

International Week, a grade lounge, and mental health initiatives were among the future ideas for MGCI discussed at the meeting. 

Special Events Convenor Qays Matadar hopes to organize an International Week in the second semester, where there will be different competitions and activities celebrating the diversity of Garneau, in addition to a flag show. 

The grade lounge is an initiative that the four grade representatives, Saesha Kukreja,  Larissa Long, Rabia Nasri, and Lucy Qi, are planning with the help of other members. The grade lounge aims to give students a place to interact and connect with people from other grades, something they typically don’t do. The lounge will be integrated with Grade 9 representative Lucy Qi’s buddy system between Grade 9 and Grade 12 students, which was an initiative she hoped to implement when first joining SAC. The grade representatives hope that the lounge will be a positive mental health space for all students. “We all know it gets stressful during exam season, so we want to provide a space after school or at lunch for students to just relax and hang out,” said Saesha Kukreja, the Grade 11 representative. 

Apart from the grade lounge, which is part of SAC’s aim to put students’ mental health first, a LetsTalk MGCI event may be held again. Stations will be set up to promote different mental health organizations throughout the community, and also bring to awareness the resources that the guidance office has to offer. President Nelson Lee also hopes to hold guided meditations with guidance counsellors at lunch, which can help to relieve stress during exam season. 

In comparison to the first open meeting which was held after school, the second meeting was held at lunch, encouraging more people to attend. SAC President Nelson Lee said, “Today’s meeting was good, our turnout has doubled from last time which has definitely increased from last year’s turnout. It’s not a bad growth in turnout and we hope to see that continue in future open meetings!” Overall, the second SAC open meeting was considered a success. 

SAC hopes to increase transparency and give students a platform to ask questions and give feedback. The students of MGCI can look forward to many more open meetings to be held in the future.