HSF rebrand sparks debate over use of funds

The new IGNITE sign is stored when not in use. (Hayley Michaud) The new IGNITE sign is stored when not in use. (Hayley Michaud)

Zachary McGregor


Ignite may be the new name of Humber’s student government but the change isn’t garnering much interest among students.

Many are puzzled as to why the Humber Students’ Federation decided to officially change its name to Ignite this summer.

“The goal of the rebrand was to make everyone, especially the students at Guelph-Humber, feel more included,” said Ammar Abdul-Raheem, Ignite’s vice-president of student life at North campus.

In previous years, University of Guelph-Humber students thought the services provided by HSF were exclusively for Humber College students, which is not the case, he said.

“I never knew I could use the services provided by HSF or go to their events till last year,” said Tianna Smith, a fourth year family and community social services student at Guelph-Humber.

Many Guelph-Humber students never realized they could attend HSF sponsored events like Frosh.

The Ignite Board of Directors decided it was necessary to change the name of HSF so more Guelph-Humber students would utilize the services it offers and go to their events.

The process of rebranding HSF began in February 2015 when the Board of Directors approved a $400,000 budget for the entire project. The money came from about 10 years of surpluses, Ignite has claimed, without cutbacks made to student services or events.

“Student opinions were a major part of the rebrand process and students were involved in every step of the way,” Abdul-Raheem said.

Ignite hired a research company to conduct a survey of several hundred students to get a better opinion of how they should go about rebranding.

After this preliminary research another survey was taken asking students to pick one of three names. The name Ignite was voted as the most relevant and meaningful among students by a wide margin. The other names were not immediately available.

Although the rebranding process came from the results of the initial survey of students, many students are not happy with the results.

“It’s not about the name, it’s about the students and how you provide the services to them,” said Savikar Sharma, a computer-networking student at Humber.

Students argue the $400,000 allocated for rebranding would have been better spent on improving services or making events better.

Despite the initial budget of $400,000 for Humber Students’ Federation to rebrand, the student government had spent only $116,721 of the approved budget as of Aug. 31.

“Another $60,000 will likely be spent over the next few years to finish off the process of rebranding,” Abdul-Raheem said.


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