Proposed LSU bylaws could prohibit all students from attending board meetings

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Under the proposed new Langara Students’ Union bylaws, all students, including Voice reporters and editors, will be barred from attending board meetings.

Photo credit: Jana Minor
Queer liaison Adam Giesbrecht states that the LSU is planning on putting out its own newspaper to publish information from every board meeting. Photo: Jana Minor

“Because every meeting will be a closed meeting, we are required to report on every meeting,” said Adam Giesbrecht, adding the LSU will be publishing it’s own newspaper to keep students informed, “pretty much within the week” of meetings being held.

Langara Students’ Union still a public body

LSU board meetings, like Vancouver school board meetings and Vancouver city council meetings, are currently open to the public.

For the school board and city council, that is a measure taken to hold publicly elected bodies accountable to the people they represent.

Langara students, including those working on the Voice, vote on who should represent them in the LSU.

Student reaction to proposed bylaws

One student was not so hot on the idea of the LSU not allowing students to attend board meetings should the bylaws pass.

“It’s for the public so that means that the public should be able to see,” said Langara business student Daniel Tkach.

He said if public bodies’ meetings were not held in the open, “they’d have control over us and we wouldn’t have any say over it.”

As common practice, Canadian government board meetings do go in camera, meaning closed to the public, for special circumstances like internal employee issues or deciding on bids from outside contractors.

Any time they are not in camera, reporters are also allowed to attend and record meetings to report to the public.

Little information being given about new bylaws during voting period

The LSU bylaw vote has been open to the public since Tuesday in the A building.

Photo credit: Ashley Viens
Proposed changes to LSU bylaws are being presented during the referendum, held in the foyer of A Building. Photo: Ashley Viens.

Voting booth attendees have been unwilling to share any information with anybody representing the Voice and refused to give their identities except to say they are volunteers.

While bylaws are posted on a board in front of the booth, no take-away information about the proposed bylaws is available there.

“We’re not giving them out on paper as a way to be environmentally friendly,” said one volunteer.

The voting ballots themselves are printed on standard 8.5″x 11″ paper.

Reported by Audrey McKinnon

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  1. Barbara Wilson says

    Where is the exact bylaw.language – current and proposed change?
    This must be published and posted in advance. Listing reasons for a change has nothing to do with the actual bylaws being changed and sound very much like campaign promises. No clarity here!

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