SFSS discusses expectations of executives

Ben Tichler and Judit Nagy voiced concerns about lack of consultation on the Executive Letter of Expectations

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This photo is of the SFU stadium at the Burnaby Campus. The stadium is empty but it is a sunny day.
PHOTO: Krystal Chan / The Peak

By: Karissa Ketter, News Editor

Concerns about Executive Letter of Expectations 

A presentation was delivered to Council at their November 9 meeting. Vice-president internal and organizational development, Judit Nagy, and vice-chair of Council, Ben Tischler, discussed their concerns regarding the letter of expectations. SFSS president, Helen Sofia Pahou, required executive councillors to sign the letter.

The letter highlights the job duties and responsibilities of councillors — including their requirement of working a minimum of 60 hours biweekly. The letter also outlines that councillors are required to submit their course schedule to the SFSS president at the beginning of each semester. Additionally, councillors are expected to work in the Student Union Building offices, and if they choose to work remotely they must report this to the president. 

Nagy noted this section is problematic because it is “creating rules and requirements that have nothing to do with policy.” Nagy said where a councillor chooses to work from “is your private information that you should not be forced to disclose to anyone you work with if you don’t want to. This makes absolutely no sense.”

Another concern Tischler and Nagy highlighted was regarding the executive members’ work reports. According to the letter, executive members are required to fulfill a bi-weekly report which is then posted on the SFSS website for the student body to view. If the reports are not completed, the vice-president finance and services is able to issue a written warning, then a fine of $100, and then withhold the councillor’s pay entirely. Councillors will have the option to ask for an extension on their report which would be granted by the vice-president finance and services.

Ticshler noted that these measures create “a standard, not backed by policy or by-law, by which the vice-president finance and services is able to grant extensions on work reports.” 

He felt because the president’s letter outlined a process that “isn’t backed by policy, it’s problematic.” 

Pahou responded, “I know we had a bit of a rough start at the beginning of our tenure, and I will reinforce that, it wasn’t an easy transition. The intention of having this letter of expectations is to set a new precedent for when the new incoming executives come in, they’re given a simplified document to easily read into before they can expand their knowledge into the by-laws.”

“We do not need another agreement that has been done illegitimately through the SFSS,” said Nagy. Tichler and Nagy asked the Council to pass a motion that would terminate the letter until the president consults with their Governance Committee, Human Resources and Personnel Committee, and the Oversight Committee to redraft the letter. The motion was carried unanimously.