On 22 March 2016 SAC launched a new Facebook group called “MGCI Updates 2015-2016” in an effort to increase student body participation. The group is another addition to the multiple outlets SAC uses to notify the student body. However, unlike the current Facebook page SAC maintains, members of this group will be sent notifications of posts. Posts will consist of school events organized by SAC, events run by clubs, apparel sales, and other school-related information appropriate to the student body. With the flood of posts on a Facebook news feed, students may easily miss updates from student council. The extra notification will benefit those who wish to get involved in school initiatives. Although SAC representatives will be the main content creators in the group, members, MGCI students, can request to post questions or club events with the approval from SAC representatives first.

President Ejay Vidad commented that the goal of SAC’s new Facebook group “is to hopefully promote more participation and interaction amongst our student body. SAC has a lot planned for the end of the year[,] with opportunities to earn volunteer hours, help decorate for SAC spirit days an events, and just express Garneau spirit. Increased participation in set up and execution through this group will aid in making all our plans more enjoyable for everyone.”

As of 5 April, the group has already amassed 292 members, with new members constantly being added. When asked how the group was coming along, Ejay responded, “As of now we consistently reach about 45% of the group’s members. It’s a start.”

However, with the group already being active for almost two weeks, awareness is relatively low. Information letting the student body know about the Updates group is absent on the school walls, announcements, and even SAC’s own Facebook Page. It started out as a closed group, meaning that it can be searched on Facebook, but only members can see posts. Students can join by either being added by a current member or by requesting access from an administrator. Still, the majority of the group’s members were added by SAC members with whom they are friends with. However, SAC has recently made this group ‘public’, meaning that anyone can see the posts made in the group.

Fortunately, SAC is working to expand the group further. Lisa Wang, SAC’s Grade 10 Representative, who is leading the initiative stated, “We are working on providing more effective advertising outlets so students know what’s going on, and an updates group would notify members which is something we’re hoping will be more effective.”

This isn’t the first time SAC has created a Facebook page though. Earlier this school year, SAC started a Clubs Council Group which was geared towards communication between Club Executives. Although there are 60+ clubs registered at Marc Garneau, the group has 36 members. When asked about the comparison between the Clubs Council and the Updates Groups, Ejay responded, “For the most part we’ve noticed that commitment issues from council members have led to the muffled success of some of our plans, the clubs council page being an example. The new members on council have helped fill the spaces where commitment has lacked and therefore allows us to accomplish more. We understand that everyone has other commitments in addition to the council and now learning from such commitment. We are working on being a better organization for the student body with all the extra.”

SAC is also planning an open meeting on Tuesday, 5 April, in its efforts to increase student body awareness and participation. The meeting will update those interested on its internal changes and upcoming plans, and through discussion, they hope to hear from students’ opinions towards what SAC has done and has planned.