When Trust is Garbage

About a week ago I started seeing the Tweets streaming from members of the Kwantlen Student’s Association (KSA) with regards to the 2006-7 scandal involving allegations of election fixing, misappropriation of moneys, theft and fraud from that council. I was attending Kwantlen at that time, 2006-7, and I do remember having personal issues with the, then Student’s Council. But since then, with all the news about what was going on with that council, at that time, eventually student life mellowed down, and my time there as an undergrad went smoothly.

There was also apathy on my part becuase as I looked at the student’s council as nothing more than just a group of students having fun. I never took into account that that was my money they were squandering with. In fact, I now wonder why I even had to pay into it. I now believe that students should have a choice as to whether they wish to become a member rather than being held hostage with the tuition. I see a need that the government needs to change the law regarding societies, and that students must have the op-out option. Sorry present day¬†KSA members, but this is how I feel about it right now.

Yes, I am that mad about it. When this trust is broken, it can never be rebuilt, because in Canada, white collar crime seems to be nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Justice is lacking here.

I believe that the student’s council must be reconstructed from the ground up, reflecting these past years of abuse, so that transparency and integrity are forged into law. Having elected officials secretly spending money with no worries, covering their tracks¬† – is – sickening, disturbing and weak.

Very rarely did I have the option of participating in any events with the KSA during my time as an undergraduate. I was a student who worked during the day and did my classes at night. I commuted to the campus, attended my classes, then commuted home. When I think back now, I fed these guys very well with my forced contributions, and that angers me when I read the Forensic Accounting Report of 2007. It is one thing when our Federal, Provincial and Civic leaders miss use our tax money, but quite another when it is a society whose acting in my best interest. Listening to it all over again on the news just opens old wounds again.

What triggered me to write this post?

When I read this news story from the Surrey leader, titled: “Kwantlen student lawsuit on ice,” August 5th, 2011, it made me want to write this post. However, it was not until I read the Forensic Audit from 2007 today that I started writing this post with heated energy. You can read the document here, PWC Forensic Audit 2007, as someone secretly posted it on line. The PDF file is 8.1MB, at 108 pages, and covers a lot of details and heart wrenching accounts of what was going on during that time at the KSA.

This is the first time in a very long time that I had to stop and really focus on what it was I was writing becuase of how much, and how close, this hits home. In hindsight, I should have paid closer attention to the KSA, perhaps even getting involved with it more, but my situation at the time limited me from doing that.

It all seems to be coming out in the wash anyway. Thanks to some students, both members and non-members of the KSA, for caring and taking on the fight to rid the bad, dirty and disgusting from a place of public privilege and trust. If it were not for them, I would be too ashamed to tell people that I was student associated with the KSA.

As for the future students who will pay their fees to the KSA: beware, be forewarned, and be suspicious by keeping an eye on your representatives. These people, your elected council, are there for you. Vote, participate, and get informed becuase without this attitude, the chances of this repeating again in the KSA is a possibility.

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