KSA hires private security; bars students

Genesis security guards keep international liaison and non-voting council member Gurbaksh Dhaliwal out of the Aug. 17 council meeting. JEFF GROAT / THE RUNNER

By Matt DiMera
[news editor]

The Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) held most of their Aug. 17 council meeting behind closed and guarded doors, barring non-voting council members, The Runner and Kwantlen students from attending.

While council meetings are normally open to all students, council voted to move to a secret, in camera session with only voting members and a staff minute-taker.

The motion was moved and seconded by student-at-large Harman Mann (holding Surrey representative Jagraj Hayre’s proxy vote) and director of events Tarun Takhar.

Before the motion to go in camera was raised, student-at-large Ashley Fehr asked council why security guards were present, how much they were costing and who had authorised the expenditure.

The KSA director of finance, Nina Sandhu, told council that both the RCMP and KPU security had suggested that they should hire external security.

No member of council chose to answer questions about the cost.

Student senate representative Christopher Girodat expressed concern and outrage that some council members were intentionally being cut out.

“I am shocked that the president and the executive board would have contracted third party security and billed Kwantlen students for it in order to intimidate members of council and keep out student’s elected liaisons for traditionally discriminated against groups,” said Girodat.

After the motion passed, the meeting was moved into the KSA’s office and four private guards from Genesis Security were posted at the entry points. Genesis Security later billed the KSA $681.79.

Justine Franson, who resigned as KSA director of operations Aug. 11, told The Runner in the hallway outside the meeting that she was just a student and was no longer with the student association.

However, shortly after voting to exclude students from the meeting and reconvening the meeting on KSA property, the KSA council moved to invite Franson into the meeting. Franson then chaired the rest of the meeting.

Among the scheduled items on the agenda that were likely discussed in camera were Justine Franson’s resignation, the selection of a chief returning officer for the upcoming KSA by-election and the suspension of executive procedures to hire a former elected official.

“I’m a member of council. I’m not going to be excluded,” said Girodat. “I don’t think non-voting members should be removed from these decisions.”

No minutes or motions from that meeting had been publicly released as of press time.

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