KSA exec says conference hotel rooms were a matter of safety

KSA pays for hotel stay at Richmond conference, bringing total cost of attendance to $1007.20.

Four Points by Sheraton hotel near YVR.

KSA pays for hotel stay at Richmond conference, bringing total cost of attendance to $1007.20.

By Samantha Lego

Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) delegates attending a local conference in Richmond B.C. last month, spent the night in a hotel paid for by student fees.

Four Points by Sheraton hotel near YVR.

The KSA paid $285.60 for two hotel rooms at the Four Points Sheraton hotel for seven elected officials, staff and volunteers who attended the Volunteer B.C. conference Sept. 27 and 28, so they wouldn’t have to take public transit at night.

“Due to the time frame it would have been challenging for some of our volunteers to make it there and back because there were debriefs after the days,” said Christopher Girodat, the KSA’s director of student services and executive chairperson.

The attendees included the director of finance, Tony Chiao, the director of student life, Amrit Mahil, and Kwantlen senator Iman Ghahremani.

According to Chiao, the money spent was beneficial because there were several volunteers who would not be able to get home afterwards.

“We’d have to send them home through the transit [which would be] three hours at night,” said Chiao. “If we don’t care about volunteer safety then [the hotel] was not a good idea but if we do care about volunteer safety for getting home then I believe we should provide them with a shelter.”

The conference sessions ran on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and on Friday, Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and focused on training and retaining volunteers for non-profit groups.

The conference was held in the hotel, five blocks away from the Brighouse Canada Line station.

The KSA also paid $100 for dinner at the No.9 Restaurant that, according to Chiao, was meant for networking with other organizations.

The dinner was an added cost because “it wouldn’t be nice to ask the volunteers to pay for it,” said Chiao.

The total costs for the seven attendees was $1007.20 as of Oct. 10.