DISCLAIMER: This article was written as part of the final issue of the Fall 2019 semester, prior to the meeting of November 27 and to the releasing of the VCSA’s official statement to that regard. A formal update is to come in the following Winter 2020 issue
How much do you do? I should rephrase the sentence: how much do you actually do. I am questioning this as one of the students that you supposedly work for. I can count on one hand the things that you organize: barbeques and parties. I am concerned about where the thirty-five dollars I pay goes to.
We the students of Vanier have the right to transparency from our own student association that is supposed to represent us.
Until this semester, you have paid for all gym memberships for all students. However, you have quietly decided to no longer do so. You say that it is to direct funds towards all students, but many students, including me, are surprised and confused by your decision to do so.
Additionally, I was shocked to find out the general assembly regarding this decision was only publicized in the Vanier Insider. Your organization had nothing to do with the publication of the article, yet you consider it as publicizing your last-minute assembly. I beg to differ that it counts as publicity, for you have actively – no, I will say that you are inactively denying students their right to voice their opinions.
The only other advertising that you have made was a Facebook post that included a link to all the executive meeting minutes two days before the general assembly. Also, posting on Instagram a mere two hours before the actual event does not really help.
For such a last-minute affair, one would’ve thought that you would have advertised it more prominently especially when it is regarding such an important topic, but I guess not. As students, others and I should have the right to transparently know when these events are going to occur instead of having them marred in mystery.
Furthermore, as an organization that touts itself as one that is fighting for the environment, VSCA can be quite unsustainable at times.
Not so long ago was the Climate Strike and like many others, you wanted our school to stand out. You decided to order at the last minute to order a banner that sports our school’s name next to some message about saving the planet. This banner costs at least one hundred dollars and is made out vinyl, a type of plastic that is polluting our planet. Very sustainable on your part, don’t you think?
You also ordered numerous boxes of shirts sporting a similar slogan to the banner. Many members of your organization were seen running around, shouting to buy a shirt for the strike. I, like many others, bought one, though it wasn’t until later that a thought occurred. I’m not certain about where the funds made from the sale of the shirts went to. It was never disclosed whether the money made was going directly to the VCSA or to some sort of charity. To this day, it has never been made clear what was done with the funds, which is so transparent on your part.
In addition, most of us students do not know what our money goes to. As students, we should be able to know what it contributes to.
The only way that we somewhat know what you are spending our funds are through this newspaper. As published by The Insider, the VCSA spent 31,857.64 dollars on Welcome Week and 27,332.76 dollars on parties.
Many of the people you represent, including me, were and are completely unaware of how you spend your budget.
For an association that supposedly represents all the students of Vanier, spending most of the budget on the latter two types of event only targets a small population of the student body. Not all of us are into partying and alcohol.
Additionally, spending a portion of this year’s budget on the new stainless steel appliances for your office, and a 45-dollar bagel cutter does not impact all students; it only betters your lives here at school.
As students that you represent, we should be able to know what you spend on and why you do so. It is our money after all. The VCSA is supposed represent all of Vanier’s student population, though it seems that it is only representing a select few.
Until others and I know that you, the VSCA, are acting in good and transparent conscience, we refuse to back down. We simply ask for the honest truth from the organization that is supposed to represent all of us. Instead of memes on your social medias, we want our rights as students to be held.
By A Concerned and Upset Vanier Student