Media and student body barred from executive selection.
By Matt DiMera
The Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) set a new precedent this week, when they voted to select their new executive members in a secret in camera session, barring The Runner and the student body from observing the discussion.
At the April 2 council meeting, – the first of the new term – the board voted to discuss their choices for the four executive positions in secret.
Last year’s council selected executives on three occasions. At all three, both the discussion and votes were conducted publicly.
Jared Penland, the chair of the KSA’s appointments committee and a student senate representative, moved the motion this year to consider the candidates in private.
According to KSA spokesperson Christopher Girodat, the committee chair asked that the discussions be held in camera because council would be having candid conversations about the candidates resumes and qualifications.
“I think there needs to be a careful balance struck between protecting the privacy of individuals when it comes to something that is essentially a job interview and the right of our membership to access our proceedings,” Girodat told The Runner in an April 5 interview.
Girodat acknowledged that resumes and candidate qualifications were also discussed on several occasions in 2012 at council, without going behind closed doors, but was unable to explain the difference this year.
“I wouldn’t say it wasn’t a human resources issue [last year], I would say no one had asked that we move in camera. This year the appointments committee did,” he said.
According to Penland, council was required this year to keep the proceedings secret because his committee had also conducted the candidate interviews in secret. He further explained that he did not make that decision by himself.
“Chris [Girodat] and I discussed it. It was a collective decision,” Penland told The Runner.
Penland’s term as a KSA councillor and chair of the appointments committee will end in August, but he suggested that in future years the process for selecting executives could be kept more transparent to students.
“Next year, it could be probably be done in a way where students could observe and the process could stay open,” he said.
Each year, the KSA selects four members from the council to serve on the executive committee as the directors of student life, external affairs, student services and finance.
The four executive members have more responsibilities than ordinary councillors and also receive higher pay. Each executive is paid approximately $1,400 monthly.
In the end, Gaurav (Bhulla) Kumar was selected as director of finance, Melinda Bige as director of student life, Richard Hosein as director of external affairs, and Christopher Girodat as director of student services.
Council members who wish to serve on the executive must apply to the KSA’s appointments committee. That committee then makes recommendations to the larger council.
The council then has the option of accepting the committee’s recommendations or overruling them and choosing someone else.