Kwantlen Student Association increases executive pay

Compensation for faculty and constituency reps cut.

Compensation for faculty and constituency reps cut.

By Sasha Mann

All four executive members of the Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) voted to raise their respective position’s pay for the next fiscal year. The change, passed at a Jan. 16 council meeting, will increase executives’ salaries by $4,000 annually.

The whole pay structure for the KSA has been altered and will take effect on April 1, 2013, when the next set of elected officials take office.

Proponents of the changes argued that they would improve accountability. Under the previous system, student council members who didn’t show up to meetings would receive the same pay as those who did.

Diana Fournier, the KSA ’s mature students representative, stressed that the new system will change that. Kwantlen students have been “paying for a whole lot of nothing,” she said at the meeting.

Christopher Girodat, the current director of student services, echoed Fournier. Although, he is one of the four executives who could potentially benefit from the raise, if re-elected, Girodat made clear his support for the new system was for the sake of fairness. He clarified that more hours of work would go along with the extra money.

“I’m certainly not trying to use this as a mechanism to pay myself more,” Girodat said.

As student council executives see $4,000 extra a year, others will receive less.

Constituency representatives — who serve as a voice for marginalized voices such as queer students, students of colour and international students — get a regular monthly honorarium of $375 to help cover the work they put into their advocacy role.

Under the new system, constituency and faculty reps will instead get paid $75 for each council meeting and $50 for each committee meeting they attend. There is usually one council meeting each month. Board members who sit on a single committee will make $125 monthly; a significant step down from the previous system.

Some reps put more emphasis on their advocacy work with the Kwantlen community. Lydia Luk, the queer representative, and Melinda Bige, the aboriginal representative, have both repeatedly argued that their advocacy on campus is somewhat removed from the world of student politics and is of more value to them and to their constituents.

Luk has, for the most part, refused to take pay for her work this term.

Bige however, was frustrated at the new arrangements. “It seems like you’ve taken away all of the money away from the representatives and given it to the executives and the chairperson,” she said.