Opinion: LSU transparency would benefit all
Adam Levi weighs in with his thoughts on LSU's transparency
By Adam Levi
The Langara Students’ Union’s lack of transparency to the student body over the years was unprecedented and unacceptable.
New steps towards clarity
In early November, the LSU put up a new website where there are designated sections for meeting minutes and annual reports. However, these sections, at the time of this publication, read “coming soon.”
Since the students keep the LSU running through their student fees, it is unethical for the organization to withhold information regarding the LSU’s finances.
However, thanks to B.C.’s Societies Act that legally obligates all non-profit organizations to publish meeting minutes and financial records, the LSU is being forced to take a step in the right direction with the new website.
Other schools such as the BCIT, SFU, UVic, Douglas College, UBC and Kwantlen Polytechnic University all publish financial records online. However, Langara is one of the few student unions that has not made records public.
Members of the LSU have shut out The Voice reporters from meetings and have stonewalled reporters in their attempts to contact board members.
It doesn’t look good when other universities are showing these kinds of records while LSU stands isolated in its secrecy.
Secrecy is a breeding ground for scandal. In 2006, Kwantlen’s student government was marred by a financial scandal involving alleged misappropriation of student funds up to $2 million.
Any incidents like these should not be occurring on any campus at any time, and increased transparency would ensure that would never happen.
The more we know about what is going in the LSU in terms of finances and meetings, the more trusting the student body will be towards it.
An open dialogue between students and the LSU could go a long way to mending the organization’s reputation with students.