Another one bites the student association dust
Featured / August 7, 2013
Kwantlen Student Association’s director of student services resigns.
By Sarah Schuchard
Christopher Girodat has resigned from the Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) to takes the reins as the top employee at another student association.
Girodat, director of student services and chairperson for the Kwantlen Student Association’s (KSA) executive committee, will be leaving Kwantlen to become the Capilano Students’ Union’s (CSU) new general manager. This will be an entirely new position at CSU, as the position of general manager was non-existent before.
During a KSA special meeting of council on July 26, women’s representative Arzo Ansary was voted in to take over Girodat’s position.
Although Girodat has been involved with the KSA for several years, starting in 2011, he insists that the change of position has nothing to do with his feelings towards the controversial student association.
During his time serving the KSA, Girodat experienced contributing at the KSA during one of its most controversial moments. Girodat was heavily involved in the KSA, and was a part of the Special General meeting on November 30 of 2011, that resulted in the impeachment of a number of the KSA’s previous directors.
“In terms of career progression, and in terms of what I can personally get out of it, I think [CSU] is better. I’ve been at the KSA for two years, I’ve put in a fair amount of effort into getting stuff done there, and introduced a lot of projects. I think at a certain point you put in what you can and you sort of hit a bit of a wall in terms of what you can’t continue to contribute.”
Girodat has decided to move on to a position at CSU, but he intends to finish his term as a student representative for the KPU senate.
Before being appointed into the position as director of operations, which was later renamed as director of student services, Girodat first ran unsuccessfully for director of academics against the previous directors, and had also served as a student senate representative. In December of 2011 Girodat was appointed chairperson for the KSA executive committee.
Since the impeachment of 2011, Girodat has become the director of student of student services, and has helped to implement a number of programs for Kwantlen students. Some of the KSA’s accomplishments during Girodat’s time as a director include student discount cards, an extension to the intercampus shuttle services and the instalment of WaterFillz h20station, which can now be seen in Kwantlen’s hallways.
While serving his term as chairperson for the executive committee, there has also been an increase of in camera minutes, where the KSA held secret discussions and made decisions in private sessions.
Girodat insists the in camera minutes were necessary for the operations of the KSA, and has been lacking in previous times.
“There’s more of a focus on making sure that we’re having a conversation about the performance and conduct of management in terms of us actually doing out job, to make sure that the general managers are doing what they’re supposed to do.”
Melinda Bige, director of student life, says the the resignation of Girodat will affect the KSA greatly. His knowledge of Robert’s Rule of Order, and his attempts to keep order, have been evident in the KSA. But, she says she is “thrilled” to see him resign. Bige reveals that her, and others’, attempts to create social justice will be better achieved without the level of bureaucracy that Girodat brought to the KSA.
“It will be great for social justice because the barriers of a bureaucracy will be able to be diminished,” says Bige.
Girodat also stresses that a learning curve has been present to the KSA, when trying to be transparent. Although transparency is very important to him, restrictions to issues that dealt with human resources, and employment matters, such as job descriptions, need to be private, says Girodat.
Girodat’s last day as the chairperson of the KSA executive, and director of student services will be on August 11.
The CSU’s chairperson did not respond to a request for comment before deadline.