Questions over LSU treasurer’s eligibility

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LSU Treasurer Ning Li

The treasurer of the Langara Students’ Union is enrolled in classes at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus and is not a student at Langara College.

The current bylaws of the LSU (which are in the process of revision) do not directly specify that a director must be a student at the college. The bylaws only state that a director must be a “member of the Union” which is obtained through payment of membership fees that are attached to tuition.

James Li, the LSU’s treasurer, would not return initial requests for comment sent to his LSU email address.

The Voice was able to contact Li via his Facebook account.

LSU does not give The Voice a clear answer on Li’s eligibility

A representative of Langara’s student accounts department explained that if a student decides to drop classes and is eligible for a tuition refund (mid-September) their LSU fees are refunded.

The bylaws also include a provision that directors may take a “leave of absence from the Board for a period of up to one semester” subject to the will of the Board.

Based on the language in the bylaws — which Li pointed to argue that he was still eligible to be Treasurer — it is not clear if he would have to give up his duties as Treasurer should he take this leave.

Li explained that he was initially enrolled in a class at Langara, but dropped in early in the term.

He says that he will “take two classes at Langara next term.”

Li claims being enrolled at another school does not impact his LSU duties

Li doesn’t believe that his enrollment at UBC has any impact on his performance as treasurer, but would not say how many classes he is enrolled in at UBC.

“If there are any big events or other union business happening, I come to help or accomplish my duties for the LSU instead of attending my classes,” said Li.

Li further claimed that he is in the LSU office “frequently” on Monday, Thursday, and Friday.

Li was late to the board meeting on Oct. 29 and absent from the board meeting on Nov. 5.

The LSU media liaison did not respond to repeated requests for comment by press time.

Li refused an in-person interview with The Voice to discuss his status as Treasurer.

“If [The Voice is] interested in my personal life, I would say thanks for your attention, however, I prefer to hold my own life by myself,” he said.

Reported by Sam Reynolds

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  1. Lakiesha says

    My profile says the exact same thing and I’m taking two online classes at Langara and the rest at UBC. Who would include Langara over UBC as their primary education. It’s obvious that Langara won’t provide those job opportunities that UBC or any other prestigious university would. This feels like a personal attack on a lot of students like me who are just trying to be ambitious. I can’t believe that a portion of my fees goes into publishing unnecessary newspaper articles like these that would never benefit or inform students about a serious issue in any way! Thank goodness I’ll be out of Langara after this semester. At least UBC’s newspaper won’t attack its students like this.

    1. Clayton Paterson says

      Hi Lakiesha. Your case is different from the one outlined in this article as you are still a student at Langara, even if you are taking only online courses. Were that the case with the LSU treasurer, I would understand him putting UBC as his “primary education”. However, as you may have noticed in the article, he is not taking any classes at Langara, yet he is still serving as a representative of the student population.

      I disagree with your comment about this article not informing the students on an important issue. The students have a right to know what is being done with their money and who is in charge of managing it, and if that person isn’t even a student at the college, I think that is even more relevant. The LSU has had a nasty habit this year of not sharing information that should be readily available, and this is just another example of that trend. Once again, I feel the students of Langara have a right to know what the LSU is up to since it’s the group that’s supposed to be representing us. I’m sure UBC’s student paper would do exactly the same thing if its student union was pulling shady tactics like this, regardless of whether or not they are a “prestigious university”.

    2. Jeremy Sally says

      First, I do hope our treasurer has a more positive attitude towards our institution than you do.

      This article nowhere attacks anyone who is “ambitious” by attending two institutions. What it does do, is show Langara students that their LSU may be populated by non-Langara students or those only at the college part-time – something which should be of interest as it is, after all, the LANGARA Students Union.

      Secondly, it’s not an ‘attack’ if the information is factual and the story, not one sided. Li is given an opportunity to state his case.

      The reason you may read this as an ‘attack’ is because Li didn’t seize upon the opportunity for a proper interview.

      This raises questions: why is an elected member of the LSU, who should be accountable to voters, conducting his interview on Facebook? This isn’t a chit-chat about a weekend ski-trip; rather, he holds a position in an organization that has 42,000 of your dollars. (http://www.voicedev.xyz/2012/10/17/student-union-election-results/)

      Being a treasurer is not a private position. If he believes his position to be something that must be concealed, then he misunderstands his job and responsibility to students. Or, he has something to hide. Maybe he doesn’t. But because he is being evasive, we don’t know.

      So, before you criticize a student paper that is looking out for your interests, as minor as they appear to be, consider what the LSU is doing to their “portion” of your fees.

      Finally, you’ll be happy to know that the Ubyssey, UBC’s student newspaper, is just as critical of its Student Union and serves equally high-quality reporting that I am sure you will enjoy reading, if you haven’t already.

    3. Tee Gee says

      If you are a transferring student, I can understand your immature attacks on the school newspaper.

      Being a student who have been to SFU and back (at langara for over 5 years), I can say that I enjoy reading The Voice on a regular basis. They provide in-depth information about things happening within the college with FACTS. Also, the article only pointed out the bylaws for the reader. They did not “critisize”, which you may have done while you were reading. Eligibility for any position, not just the LSU board, requires you to be current holding a status with the institution.

      From my connections and people I know, this is not the first time they did this. The LSU, who “should be” fighting for the rights of the students, is keeping their operations very opaque. They have lavishly used student’s money for individual benefits. There are certain full-time staff that’s making LSU a big mess. Hopefully we won’t end up doing what Kwantlen did to their student union from extreme corruptions.

      So, please get your facts right before making claims, thank you.

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