The Kwantlen Student Association has failed to post transcribed records from its past five meetings of council, its annual general meeting in March, and several committee meetings, including weekly executive committee meetings.
KSA minutes are kept on the association’s website, and are supposed to be updated shortly after they are approved by vote at subsequent meetings.
Article 11.3 of the KSA bylaws state that, after the minutes from the previous meeting are approved, it is the Speaker of Council’s duty to “post, or cause to be posted, the minutes of the General Meeting no more than five (5) business days after the meeting of Council at which the minutes were approved.”
For the Executive Committee meetings, the responsibility publishing the minutes is held by the KSA president.
“[Minutes] are the gist of what happened at the meeting, and what motions were moved, and a little bit about the discussion on why the motions were moved,” says KSA President David Piraquive. “It has to be approved by council or the committee just in case there were any mistakes, and to see if council is okay with what’s said, and then it’s posted online afterwards.”
According to KSA Executive Director Ben Newsom, the student association is having difficulties with designating another person to transition into the role of minute-taker at the meetings.
He says that, while he has been recording the meeting minutes, he has yet to convert them into pdfs to be posted online.
As previously reported, the KSA has been holding its meetings without a Records Coordinator and Archivist since the fall of 2018, when previous RCA Kelsey Silk left the position.
As of May 11, the most recent council meeting minutes posted are from October 2018, but Newsom says that he is working on posting the up-to-date minutes.
“At the moment, the important ones that we have to make sure we have the minutes for are SGMs, AGMs, council meetings, and exec. meetings. That’s where all of the money [related] decisions are made, so we have to make sure we can get the reports out on them,” he says.
The purpose of taking minutes is to keep an accurate account of what happened at the meeting so that the membership, which includes a majority of the KPU student body, can see what occurred during the meeting. This is the most effective way for students who cannot attend the meetings in person to stay informed about the decisions that KSA councillors make, which often include budgetary decisions, event planning, approving partnerships with external organizations, and carrying out other duties.
Newsom says that one way for students to hold the association accountable is to file a complaint with the KSA.
“If we’re not sticking to our proper process, it’s one of those things that members should be concerned about,” he says.