Singh’s multi-chairpersonship raises debate
News / January 19, 2016
He believes he’s “the best person for the job”
Kwantlen Student Association councillor Tanvir Singh now chairs three different committees as of November, which has raised debate on committee organization at the KSA.
While the situation is permitted, students with disabilities representative Kimberly McMartin suggests Singh’s triple-chairpersonship sets a precedent where one or two people could ultimately chair multiple KSA committees in future councils.
“Future councils may not be as progressive as us, as experienced as us—what will stop maybe, one or two people being the chair of everything?” asks McMartin.
McMartin says that the priority for chairpersonship should go to people who aren’t currently chair or haven’t chaired in the past. This, she says, would empower more councillors.
Singh believes he’s the best person for the job.
“The best person for the job should be the one who is appointed to the committee, regardless of how many other roles this person has,” he says.
“I think, that, if you just elect someone who is quote-unquote best person for the job, what’s that saying?” says McMartin. “What about people who may have beginnings of being the best person for the job, are we not going to help train them? Are we not going to help grow that interest? To grow that concern, to maybe bring in more people in the committees to become different executives?”
Singh was already the chair of the student life committee and appointments committee, the latter of which gets “high-calibre students” to populate KSA committees, according to the student association’s description on the website.
Singh’s chairpersonship on the governance committee makes three, and that committee actively reviews the governance structure of the KSA.
The chairperson typically takes a more administrative role at committees and isn’t necessarily a point-person. But Singh says he “would be leading the conversations just because that’s what I’d be doing anyways.”
“The chairpersonship just gives me the ability to change agendas to make sure the discussion points I want are added to the agenda for sure,” he says. “As well as any other discussion that I’d like to have or if any other member of the committee has a discussion … I can assure that their discussion is always on the agenda.”
Singh maintains that he would take more of a backseat role in the student life committee. In terms of the governance committee, which assumes more knowledge of the KSA’s bylaws and governance structures, he says the committee would need more leadership. He says that leadership is also needed in the appointments committee.
One of his initiatives, for example, is to curb absenteeism at the appointments committee. In November minutes, he suggested committee chairs be forced to report absent committee members.
Councillor Simon Massey, in reply, said it’s “important for the chair to have discretion,” and that, “A particular committee member would have been removed under the new proposed rules.”
“The recommendation in essence does cede power to appointments,” says Massey. He then noted that Singh is the chair of appointments.
Singh admitted that he wanted more discussion on the topic and that his idea wasn’t fully formed.