New LSU bylaws work to reduce transparency

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LSU bylaws referendum poster. Photo courtesy: Google Images.

The Langara Students’ Union has passed a new list of bylaws that will affect student involvement starting March 31, 2013.

“These changes will help our organization serve its members and will lead to a well-organized Board which is dedicated in serving our members,” said LSU media liaison, Gurbax Leelh.

Why care?

Students at Langara who are enrolled in a minimum of one course per semester pay a set fee towards services provided by the LSU.

With these funds, the LSU provides students with health and dental insurance, locker rentals and a bike repair shop which is located beside Duke’s café.

Approximately $2 million is collected from mandatory student fees by the LSU each year, which averages out to nearly $390 per student.

The bylaw changes will disallow students from attending student union board meetings, copying student union records and taking minutes from in-camera meetings.

Stonewalling The Voice

The new bylaws were passed in December 2012 and will commence at the end of March this year. When asked about the referendum, LSU associates said they were unable to comment without the presence of their media liaison.

On Monday Jan. 21 The Voice attempted to attend and to contribute to an LSU meeting, but were denied access. The Voice was told that students are not permitted to enter LSU “internal meetings.”

The meeting in question was a regular bi-weekly LSU board meeting that The Voice has previously attended.

Technically, all students are permitted entry until late March.

Langara student Siddharth Gautam was seen entering the meeting but afterwards confirmed he was no longer part of the board.

“My term ended June 2012,” he said.

The Voice proceeded to try and speak with members of the LSU last week. Leelh deemed the persistence to be unprofessional. “It really does waste your time to be waiting around to get information,” said Leelh.

Emma Munro, a former honorary board member of the LSU said that she doesn’t have a clear understanding of the new bylaws due to poor public relations by the union.

“I pretty much don’t know anything about the new bylaws since they haven’t been advertised. The Voice attends [LSU board meetings] and that’s their job to kind of relay what’s happening back to us as accessible,” said Munro.

“Most importantly, we hold an open door policy and welcome your participation in making our organization a strong voice for democratic and social change.”

Reported by Jacqueline Langen

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