KSA lost $50,000 on Cram Jam; inexperience blamed

November 18, 2008 by  

(Note: This article has been edited to correct Trevor Loke’s name, which was misspelled as Locke in the original.)

The Kwantlen Student Association is blaming inexperience for a $50,000 loss on this year’s Cram Jam.

The event was held Sept. 26 and attracted fewer than 900 people. Given that there were three well-known headliners – Daniel Wesley, Ten Second Epic and Sloan – the newly-elected Director of Events and Student Life, Vanessa Knight, thought that the concert would have been a lot more successful.

The original budget for Cram Jam was $100,000 but it ended up costing almost $120,000. Knight says that the concert “took on a life of its own” and the money needed to be spent. She says that the KSA, a non-profit organization, never expected to make money.

Knight didn’t become involved with Cram Jam until the beginning of August, when she was appointed to the position after Trevor Loke resigned as Director of Events and Student Life for the KSA.

“He came up with all of the ideas and had this big grand plan and he resigned,” Knight said.

Knight thinks that the huge loss was because of unexpected costs because “we didn’t know what we were doing.”

Loke had allotted around $5,000 for advertising and he says that he had set up a provisional deal with CFOX, which would have allowed Cram Jam to be advertised cheaply. He says that CFOX understood that the KSA didn’t have a lot of money to advertise; when he left the KSA the budget for advertising was still at $5,000.

The actual cost of advertising on CFOX ended up costing $29,000. Another unexpected cost was the bill for advertising in the Vancouver Metro, which was supposed to cost nothing but ended up costing $12,000. Knight blames Loke for not planning properly for the actual cost of advertising.

Loke responded: “When the trains do not run on time you don’t blame John A. Macdonald for building the railroad.”

About two weeks before the event was held, James Manear from Precision Entertainment, offered to kelp the KSA out and ended up saving the KSA some money, which helped to make sure the loss was only $50,000.

Loke said he started planning Cram jam before he even took office last year. He drew up the first budget and a number of provisional dates that showed how the concert would look.

However, Knight says that concrete planning for Cram Jam didn’t actually start until early June.

“We pretty much did the revised budget as we went along. It would have been done in like August,” said Knight.

Loke said that he originally proposed a $70,000 budget, but there was a debate between council members about the size of the event, the bands and the location. Loke increased the budget to $100,000, which was approved by the KSA council. Knight says that nobody went over the budget with an experienced eye until Manear came. He knew that there was something wrong right away, she said.

The budget called for ticket sales revenue of about $102,250, but the actual income was only $9,030. Knight speculates that this huge difference is because the KSA charged too much for tickets sold to the general public. She also thinks that holding the concert on the south side of the Fraser River was a bad idea, and that there wasn’t enough advertising during the summer because the KSA was waiting for students to get back into school and to buy tickets.

Loke, however, thinks that the KSA, after he left, should have picked a target audience, instead “they just poured money into media outlets.”

Loke said that his original idea for Cram Jam was to have a break-even event. He proposed cutting funding to all other events going on around that time, so if there was a loss “it would come out of the same line.”

The $50,000 loss will come out of the KSA’s capital reserve fund.

Related: Locke suggests politics played a role in Cram Jam deficit

A political agenda inside the KSA may have had something to do with the $50,000 Cram Jam loss.

Trevor Loke, previously the Director of Events and Student Life, said that before he left, he had lined up a few Canadian Federation of Students-aligned school that were going to help sponsor the event., but that some people within the KSA had problems with that association.

In March 2008, as Cram Jam was coming together, the KSA was embroiled in a campaign to convince Kwantlen students to opt out of CFS membership. Students voted to reject the KSA’s proposal. Loke, an avid critic of the CFS, said that there are no reasons why the KSA shouldn’t have worked with the schools as Cram Jam was not a political event.

Loke had gotten a few of the CFS-aligned schools on board with Cram Jam to help with advertising costs and ticket sales. Locke said he later found out that those schools were not only not part of the event, they hadn’t been contacted, either. Loke also says that there were other sponsors that the KSA was looking at, and after he left, they weren’t contacted either.

Vanessa Knight was appointed to Locke’s position after he resigned two months before Cram Jam was held. Knight says that a few CFS-aligned schools were supposed to sponsor Cram Jam in return for cheap tickets for their students but it didn’t end up happening. Knight said that Kwantlen didn’t sponsor Cram Jam because it thought it was a bad investment. However, the CFS did sponsor Cram Jam “but not nearly as much as we thought they would,” she said.

Related articles:

NEW: Cram Jam: The Video

The Chronicle’s Cram Jam coverage from late September


13 Responses to “KSA lost $50,000 on Cram Jam; inexperience blamed”

  1. Trevor Loke on November 19th, 2008 1:32 am

    First of all it’s Trevor Loke.

    Second of all, I’m not sure I said some of the quotes you’ve quoted me on or even some of the assertions made that have been linked to me.

    Third of all, I don’t think I ever blamed anyone in the KSA or especially Vanessa for the event not selling out. Tickets were really the only issue with the event (and whose fault that is, I wouldn’t know…probably whoever was designated to sell the tickets!) – ticket sales, aside from poor spending choices and sponsorships maybe. I wasn’t there for two months prior to the event, I’m honestly not even sure what happened in that time period or even what the final numbers look like. I went to the event and it looked really good, that’s basically all I know about it after the time I left – that Vanessa replaced me and that the event looked great, literally.

    Basically when I left we had a rough picture of the event, it was really becoming a transition from vision to technical aspects. The budget passed was one which obviously wasn’t finished, it needed to be broken down more. It was vague for a simple reason, the contracts would contain the specifics and this budget was before we had the contracts on the exact breakdowns of spending. While I think it was probably an error on the part of people to not invite me to help with the events technical process, which I had offered to help volunteer with – they made the decisions that they needed to make. They had a good event, but they abandoned some vital revenue sources and went over the top on marketing, that’s something they can look at. I’m not going to say “I told you so”, I wasn’t there, I don’t know what happened.

    Though I do like the line about the South Fraser being a poor location. The event was in the second largest city in the province, if people go to Merritt Mountain Music Festival or Sasquatch Fest (the middle of nowhere Washington state) or other places, then they’ll go anywhere for the right event. What a silly assertion, especially given that I’ve been to concerts south of the fraser much larger then Cram Jam.

    People can criticize the KSA all that they want, but given that the entire event department resigned and Vanessa came in with some new people that really hadn’t a clue what was going on – I think that they did their best to adapt to the situation. Perhaps in hindsight they could have made a lot better choices, but regardless people had fun, the KSA established some important links. Not to mention, $50,000 really isn’t that much when you look at the entire KSA budget. Given that 2/3rds of the budget is allocated to one of the largest staff bureaucracies of student unions in the country. I personally see a lot more benefit to losing $50,000 on fun events then seeing nearly a $1Mil go up in smoke on staff redundencies and an oversized student council.

    If the amount of scrutiny went into other portfolios as much as the events portfolio then perhaps we’d see a real outcry for change. As far as I’m concerned it’s not hard to be the Director of Events and Student Life, so long as you’re the only Director in the room. Things get hard when others make them hard for you, and it’s pretty clear that with the huge size of the KSA, some people just don’t have enough work to do. That eats up time and money and leads to stress.

    It’ll take some mass structural reforms to clean the place up, it should ideally mean a lot of people in the organization getting fired. When you look at the structure, how many departments does the KSA REALLY need? How many members of council really need to be there? Are campus councils effective? I’ve said over and over that if the KSA maintains a smaller council, eliminates the silly campus council structure and gets rid of some redundant staff then that’ll save enough money so that students will be able to first of all, know who is responsible for what in the organization and second of all let the organization have some money to do some real things with. Mind you, it won’t happen – the kind of changes needed involve some people leaving and those who can to implement the reforms. I don’t see certain people leaving the organization and I don’t see any motivation for reform from those who can achieve it. Alas, the KSA status-quo train will continue to whistle along the dusty trail of student politics.

    Best wishes.

    Trevor James Loke

  2. Jessica Rolli on November 19th, 2008 11:59 am

    “Not to mention, $50,000 really isn’t that much when you look at the entire KSA budget.”

    Trevor, If losing $50,000 isn’t really considered “that much”, I wonder how much more of OUR student dollars have been wasted without a thought by the KSA. Maybe I have it wrong, feel free to correct me if I do, but isn’t the whole point of the KSA existing to look out for the students best interests? I don’t think wasting $50,000, and then saying it is not really that big of a deal, is in the best interest of our students at all. Every single dollar we give them should be valued, if not, why is it being handed over?

  3. Steven H. Lee on November 19th, 2008 2:26 pm

    Every single dollar is valued. And the KSA is working very hard to look out for the interests of students. Cori had contacted me about the event and I referred her to Vanessa and Catherine – here is what I noted in my e-mails with Cori:

    E-MAIL 1: November 4, 2008

    “Hi Cori,

    I was not involved in the planning or execution of Cram Jam. A budget was brought to Council earlier in the year by the Director of Events and staff of the society in relation to possibly holding this event. The event plans were approved and the main thrust of execution was by our Director of Events, Vanessa Knight; our Director of Operations, Nathan Griffiths and our Commercial Services Manager, Catherine Wilkinson. They are far more knowledgeable and familiar with the details of the Cram Jam budget and would have copy of the expenditures and revenues related to this. I am cc’ing this e-mail to them so that you have their e-mail addresses. You can find their e-mail addresses on the following page:


    The only general comment I can provide in regards to Cram Jam is that the organizers of the event did a tremendous job working within a fairly short time frame to pull of a very good event. To my knowledge, there were no operational glitches, and the approximate 900 people in attendance enjoyed themselves. I know that there have been many inquiries into next year’s event, the planning for which is already in the preliminary stages. Although we did post a financial loss for this year’s event, our staff is confident that should we do a Cram Jam event in 2009, after having worked on and learned from this year’s event, next year’s will see the KSA break-even and possibly even make some revenue for us.”

  4. Steven H. Lee on November 19th, 2008 2:28 pm

    In my other e-mail with Cori, I provided her with background on how the budget came to Council and how our reserves work:

    “I appreciate Vanessa’s confidence in me, but I don’t know anything about the budget for Cram Jam as I did not work on it or develop it. I am attaching copy of the final budget that was given to me by Catherine Wilkinson, our Commercial Services Manager. This same document, which you may already have, was distributed to the KSA Council at an open meeting held on the Cloverdale Campus in October 2008. The document includes the original budgeted amounts for items, the revised budgeted amounts and the actual costs. We spent about $120,000 on the event, and brought in about $70,000, leaving us with an approximate $50,000 loss.

    Earlier in the year, our Board of Directors (Council) previously approved a motion stating that any losses from the event could be covered by our reserve fund. I believe that in approving the event for Cram Jam, it was hoped, based on the budget presented at the time, that we could minimize our losses through ticket sales and sponsorship. We knew that there was a possibility of a loss, but the Council decided that the KSA needed to try and pull off a larger scale event like this – as for years, the KSA has always talked about doing something like this but never has.

    The KSA reserve fund is composed of the accumulation of all the surpluses the KSA maintained at the end of each fiscal year since the late 1990s (2005 & 2006 notwithstanding – had the RAF party not been in power and had very significant losses in each of those years, our reserves would probably be a lot higher than they currently are). Currently, we have approximately $1 million in our reserves, but due to the mortgage the KSA has we can only access approximately $600,000 of that at any given time. In the late 1990s, the KSA took a loan of approximately $1.8 million which was donated to Kwantlen to help construct the Gymnasium, the fitness centre, the conference centre, the Grassroots Cafe & Lounge space as well as the KSA office space on the Surrey Campus in the G-Building. The KSA still has about $800,000 outstanding on that loan to pay off. All of our reserve fund is currently invested in a fairly conservative, risk free investment portfolio with CIBC and it generates a good amount of interest on an annual basis for the KSA. To date, we have not had to draw on the reserves and have left them invested, opting instead to cover the overruns from our day to day cash flow / base budget.

    That’s as much detail as I have on the event. Again, I cannot tell you why one thing cost more than another thing as I wasn’t involved in planning this event. Beyond the decision to allow any losses to be covered by our reserves, I did not develop or execute the budget, so if you have any specific questions regarding decisions about sponsorship rates, ticket sales and any other specific costs of the event as presented in the budget, they would better be answered by Catherine Wilkinson, who tracked the Cram Jam Budget on a day to day basis throughout the planning and execution of this event. I am again cc’ing my response here to her, and you can find her contact phone number here:


  5. Steven H. Lee on November 19th, 2008 2:30 pm

    My last E-mail to Cori, gave her information on which meetings the event was discussed at:

    “E-MAIL 3 – November 6

    Hi Cori,

    If it helps get a better understanding of the approval for Cram Jam, and the planning that went into it, the following minutes and agendas are available:

    April 2008 – Agenda, Pages 22-24 and Pages 31-33. This seems to include one of the first draft budgets regarding Cram Jam. Agenda located here: http://kusa.ca/files/pdf/1724.pdf

    Minutes, Pages 26 – 28 for cram jam, although the events discussion continues to page 30: http://kusa.ca/files/pdf/2037.pdf – it appears the first draft of the budget was passed at this meeting, and a motion to allow money from the reserves was also passed.

    May 15, 2008 – Minutes, Page 6 reference efforts towards Cram Jam – http://kusa.ca/files/pdf/2036.pdf

    May 27, 2008 – Minutes, Page 7 discussion – http://kusa.ca/files/pdf/2072.pdf

    June 17, 2008 – Minutes, Pages 6-11 discussion. http://kusa.ca/files/pdf/2073.pdf

    At the same meeting, an alternative budget was presented to change the direction of Cram Jam and this had been included in the agenda on page 36: http://kusa.ca/files/pdf/2071.pdf – as you can see from the discussion on that topic was dealt with during the meeting, as reflected on the above minutes. I was not involved in the drafting of this alternate budget.

    July 8 / 15 2008 Meetings – It appears the discussion on approving Cram Jam happened at a meeting on July 15, 2008. Those minutes unfortunately are not available and the individual responsible for completing them is away right now and won’t be back until the week of November 17. Discussion was to have occurred on July 8, 2008, and those minutes are available but it was at that meeting that the July 15 meeting was called. On Page 5 / 6 of those minutes from July 8 it states:

    10. Reports of Committees and Executives

    2. Director of Events and Student Life and Events and Communications Committee Report

    Loke noted that at the last meeting of Council, a resolution was passed directing him to present a budget and planning tool for Cram Jam at this meting. He recommended that a special meeting of Council be held next week to consider such motions.

    COUNCIL:2008-07-08:06 MOTION
    Kovacic / Mamchur
    Resolved, That a special meeting of Council be held on Tuesday, July 15, at 1:30pm, for the purpose of considering resolutions relating to Cram Jam.

    COUNCIL:2008-07-08:07 MOTION TO AMEND
    Robertson / Griffiths
    Resolved, That the motion be amended by adding: “and to the upcoming Canadian Federation of Students – British Columbia general meeting”

    It was agreed that the special meeting of Council would be held in the KSA Surrey board room.


    I was on vacation at the end of June and beginning of July but had asked to see the plans that were to be presented to Council on July 8 / 15 but they were never forwarded to me by Trevor, the Director of Events at the time. Sadly, there seems to be no agenda available for the July 15 meeting either but I do know that the plans presented at that meeting were adopted by Council and work on the event proceeded from that point.

    Also, I do not know if any events committee meetings were held during the months of April – June; no minutes / agendas are online from that period if any meetings were held to discuss the development of the event. I know many meetings were held after the decision to move forward with Cram Jam occurred, but I think those happened on a daily or every other day basis – and I don’t think minutes or agendas were kept for those sessions.

    Again, operationally the event was pulled off very well. The main weakness was not having enough time devoted to getting the event off the ground. We did in July / August what should have been completed much earlier in the year – which is why preliminary planning is occurring for next year’s Cram Jam right now, and a solid figure for what we will allocate to the event will be included in the 2009 budget which will go to Council in December / January for adoption.

    - Steve”

  6. Steven H. Lee on November 19th, 2008 3:53 pm

    Trevor, you state that “Though I do like the line about the South Fraser being a poor location.”

    And perhaps it wasn’t a poor location in general but for students the venue was impossible to get to by public transit (many of our KSA officials who rely on transit did not come to Cram Jam because of it). Also, I later learned after being contacted about this article that when the venue was booked by you, we did not ensure that we had access to revenue streams like liquor sales.

    You also state that “People can criticize the KSA all that they want, but given that the entire event department resigned and Vanessa came in with some new people that really hadn’t a clue what was going on…” From what I have also learned, the events department (two people) quit because they felt that their opinions were not being listened to. I was told that they felt their opinion on not doing Cram Jam on the scale you had put forward was not listened to.

    There are also people who are sour with you for quitting and applying for one of the jobs that had been vacated. People saw that as you just looking for more money; and they also felt you were not serious about the events plan you had put forward. You should have stuck it out as events director. You also criticize the KSA for having a bloated staff budget, but you complained bitterly last fall when I put forward a budget proposal that did not increase the wages for elected officials to the high levels you lobbied for when you were a member of finance committee.

    Finally, the article states: “In March 2008, as Cram Jam was coming together, the KSA was embroiled in a campaign to convince Kwantlen students to opt out of CFS membership.”

    Here I would note that you were not Director of Events until April 2008, and had already quit a campus outreach position you were hired into in 2007 so that you could run for events. From my knowledge, no work was being done on Cram Jam prior to April 2008. Although I do know that you were working on an events plan prior to taking office, you never brought anything to the KSA Council prior to April 23, 2008. I encouraged you in March to hold events committee meetings prior to bringing your plan to Council in order to gather input but you never held one. You also got Council to change the structure of events committee so that you could more easily get people involved in the committee but again, you never followed through on utilizing the benefits and input you could have gathered from the changes you brought forward.

    Furthermore, it is my understanding that other schools were approached but none of them were interested, or if they did say they were interested they failed to follow through with motions authorizing involvement from their respective councils. This aspect of Cram Jam had nothing to do with whether or not a school was pro or anti CFS and it is silly for you to suggest otherwise.

    As to some of the other comments you have made – you are right, improvements can always be made and as I stated above, a lot was learned from this year’s cram jam and staff has told us if we organize for next year another Cram Jam, from what we have learned, the event should break even and could even post a profit – which I think would be great.

    Also, the bloated staff that you say the KSA has – is not bloated. It is running efficiently. Yes, we are bigger than many other schools but most other schools are much smaller than Kwantlen. We are a large institution serving more than 17,000 students. At one time, when Kwantlen had a larger continuing education department, we served close to 30,000 students. After a year and a half of hard work, our cafe is now posting consistent profits each month; our member services are finally expanding and our campus councils are doing more for students. But yes, we can do more better – but democracy as you know is a slow moving process but it is moving and I think the students of Kwantlen are better off.

    - Steve

  7. Steven H. Lee on November 19th, 2008 4:01 pm

    I’ve posted copy of the Cram Jam budget to the KSA website:


    The document was distributed to Council members at an open meeting of the KSA Council in October (the meeting that happened in Cloverdale).

    In looking at the revenue, Kwantlen ticket sales weren’t too bad, but it seems Trevor had pinned hopes on getting the public to attend – and they just did not come. So although we had more than 900 in attendance, that could have been stronger. So I’m glad that the Kwantlen sales were stronger as that is who we are here to serve.

    From looking at the budget, one area that far exceeded original budget expectations was media sponsorship. Trevor had originally budgeted $15,000 but more than $50,000 in sponsorship was brought in. That far exceeds the combined sponsorship estimates that were originally budgeted. So seeing things like that does make me confident that should the KSA do a cram jam in 2009, that our staff are right – that it can break even, and possibly even make some money. Especially if we can get some money off of a beer garden, and have a location that more students can get to more easily.

    - S

  8. douglas hope on November 19th, 2008 9:03 pm

    what a joke, an absolute waste of money on something that wouldn’t have been successful from the get go.. you need to have more student appeal and get some feed back before you expect students to go to an event like that.. I am sorry but “sloan” as a headline band will not entice many people to go, I guess thats self explanatory by the turn out… The lack of planning with advertising is sickening.. I am glad to see that students money is really put to good use.. there are alot of other things that the money could have been used for and I really hope that the KSA re-thinks planning this event next year, and if they do.. not only plan it properly but PUT SOMETHING TOGETHER PEOPLE WANT TO SEE!!!!!

  9. Trevor Loke on November 20th, 2008 2:50 am

    (Editor’s note: This comment has been edited)


    $50,000 is very minimal in respect to the entire budget, which is also frightening – I agree completely. Yes, I do think there is a lot of wasted money. Most of it goes through the bureaucratic channels.

    My point with Cram Jam is that at least people liked the event and had fun with it – and saw the money being put to use. That $50,000 is spent on events throughout the year anyways, and nearly 1000 people at one event is unprecedented for the KSA, the only difference is that this event was actually fun and done all at once.

    Everyday thousands upon thousands of dollars is blown out the doors through paper-pushing bureaucracy which has reached unprecedented levels. Half of council out to nought exist, and they have far too much extra staff then required. At one time we had one person looking out for all commercial services, for the past couple of years they’ve had a CSM, two Café “co-managers” and have paid a fitness centre attendent. They only needed one person for those jobs.

    We did Cram Jam to make it break even, it didn’t come close. My plan was endorsed to break even – that plan wasn’t even CLOSE to being followed. Of course I’m sure it must be my fault that no one followed the plan or that I wasn’t even there for most of the decisions – council took on the responsibility, passing it off is not what responsible directors do (although there really aren’t very many left, so I guess we can’t expect it). I left the KSA, I wasn’t around for the event. Call me the scapegoat, but for two months I don’t know what on earth was going on in terms of the event. I just know I would have done things a lot different. Like why were Red Bull and American Express dropped as sponsors? How come no one stayed in touch with Douglas about continuing to present the event with us? How come no one followed up with the other schools who were pledging support? My insight from Kwantlen about why they didn’t sponsor the event was because of a former staff person of the KSA, no because it was just a ‘bad investment’.

    Oh and Jessica, I believe in voluntary student unionism. I don’t think you should have to pay the student union if you don’t want to – however your MLAs have enshrined it into law, so we’re stuck with this reality.

    I’m really disappointed in you trying to scapegoat things on me. I’ve always defended you at your worst moments and been there as a friend for you. If you’re going to blame me for trying to pay for rent and school by working several jobs in addition to my KSA job then go ahead. In fact I was the only KSA executive member to not live at home and to have a job outside of work. It’s not easy, but I still showed up to do my hours, I still followed through on my plans, I still stuck to my election promises I made to people, and I didn’t complain about it.

    In terms of why the staff quit, let me say – I’m one of the events people who quit, and it’s not because I didn’t listen to myself!

    Steve, I left my position partly because I was looking for more money and partly because I wasn’t going to be a student in September and mostly because of the politics of the executive. Even if I WANTED to stay, the bylaws say I can’t – and I agree with them. Non-students shouldn’t be representing students, so I left. I don’t care if people feel sour about my decision to leave, I never felt included anyways. I realize I’m not into Battlestar Galactica, I’m not a left-winger and I like to go out to clubs every now and then; so no, I’m not like the rest of you all in that regard, but I think our differences really started to shine through towards the end. We all know that Events is already a position that is cut off by everyone, and I really felt cut off.

    In terms of transportation regarding the south fraser region. Did my plan not expressly include a transportation plan? It did! I think that was one of my most key points to the event actually – bus transportation. I’m not going to take the blame for your guys abandoning the plans that had been put out. I offered to help you guys stay on track with the events – never heard back.

    “Here I would note that you were not Director of Events until April 2008, and had already quit a campus outreach position you were hired into in 2007 so that you could run for events. From my knowledge, no work was being done on Cram Jam prior to April 2008. Although I do know that you were working on an events plan prior to taking office, you never brought anything to the KSA Council prior to April 23, 2008. I encouraged you in March to hold events committee meetings prior to bringing your plan to Council in order to gather input but you never held one. You also got Council to change the structure of events committee so that you could more easily get people involved in the committee but again, you never followed through on utilizing the benefits and input you could have gathered from the changes you brought forward.”

    Wow, so many mistruths!

    KerryLee Manuel (Cloverdale Rodeo) was contacted in March about Cram Jam. I had preliminary budgets going back to March. I was finished my first events plan by March. All volunteer work, all before I took office. Why? Because I was serious about the job and tired of the same old ways. My failure was thinking I could make change in the organization, I didn’t.

    The very first meeting of council, I passed over SEVEN motion regarding events.

    Your so-called encouragement, which I don’t remember, actually led to two full day meetings with David and Erin (events staff) prior to me taking office. We had a full schedule of events lied out prior to me taking office as a result of those meetings.

    Steve, I had FULL turnout as a result of my changes to meetings. People were able to show up and vote, the changes worked well. They were far more democratic in allowing people to participate. Of course you were also NEVER at them. Much like you missed a majority of your own scheduled meetings for Finance Committee – which I showed up to…as the only person there. There’s a stark contrast!

    In terms of a bloated staff. I dare you to compare and contrast the KSA with any comparable student union in the country. Please do it. I’ll tell you that the KSA has far far far more staff then many even CFS schools. It is a bloated bureaucracy. I think when we had our governance structure reviewed and it was called something along the lines of a Marxist paradise, that that’s exactly correct, it is one.

    I’ve always defended the KSA in the best and worst times – because I believed in a lot of people in it. It’s sad to see that at the first opportunity I’ve fallen victim in the same way others have in the past, I’ve become a scapegoats for the same old peoples failures. If this is how the society is running, then lord help it. I remember once thinking that it might be in the best interests of the students to simply disolve the KSA when RAF was around. I’m starting to remember why.

    -TJ Loke

  10. Kelly Saunders on November 20th, 2008 11:19 am

    Cori’s article reveals the poor planning of one event which has uncovered how poorly the entire KSA is run.

    Lets put all blame aside and look at the real problem

    Trevor stated:

    “$50,000 really isn’t that much when you look at the entire KSA budget. Given that 2/3rds of the budget is allocated to one of the largest staff bureaucracies of student unions in the country. I personally see a lot more benefit to losing $50,000 on fun events then seeing nearly a $1Mil go up in smoke on staff redundancies and an oversized student council”

    First of all, it was only a fun event for 900 people. Roughly 16,000 Kwantlen students paid for 900 people to have fun. That to me is not money well spent.

    Secondly, losing $50,000 is a big deal no matter how much money is wasted on other things. If there is close to one million dollars being thrown away on staff redundancies and an oversized student council, something needs to be done about it.

    And lastly, I am in the marketing program. One of our courses requires us to collect donations for the Scholarship Fund. One of the objections we receive from potential donors is that they do not want the KSA to receive any of their donations because of how the money has been spent in the past. It is up to the current KSA to break that bad reputation and so far, they are doing a terrible job!

  11. Trevor Loke on November 20th, 2008 12:51 pm

    I fully agree that something needs to be done.

    If you got rid of the campus council structure alone you’d probably be able to save about one-hundred thousand dollars from student politicians that have little to no responsibility and certainly no accountability.

    I’m not saying losing $50,000 is ok in the least. I’m saying that if you care about losing that much, you ought to be downright outraged about where every cent is going – because Cram Jam was not even close to being a waste of money in comparison with the way all of the other money is being spent.

    Cram Jam was for 900 people, sure – but the whole concept was for it to break even. My plan, had it gone through would have had it break even. Of course that was fully contigent on a number of things, including selling a lot more tickets and doing the event in partnership with other schools who had agreed to do it with us. When I left, people figured it was better to go it alone and drop some key corporate sponsors. So in the end, even though the concert rocked and was really well orchastrated, it was a financial mess. Steve Lee is the Director of Finance, of course he says he had nothing to do with Cram Jam…perhaps that’s part of the problem, he wasn’t doing his job keeping the finances in order or blowing the whistle well ahead of time.

    I guess what needs to be said is that if you want to change things – then when the KSA has its annual general meeting, show up with 250 students and a set of bylaws that scraps the entire system and start fresh. Any students can do it – but getting 250 people in one room is not easy at all. And expect a huge fight even once you get people in the room. I’m not going to say that it’s impossible to change the KSA, only that they’ve essentially made it very very difficult to do so that it can only be done if they use their own vast resources to get people into a room to make the changes that they want.

  12. Steven H. Lee on November 20th, 2008 1:53 pm

    “The very first meeting of council, I passed over SEVEN motion regarding events.” I never said you didn’t – but the first meeting of Council wasn’t until April 23 > 3 weeks into the month. I had encouraged you to get people together earlier in April before Council – even if you didn’t have an official committee at that point. You did bring the draft up at the first meeting of the executive board and there is record of discussion there on April 1. But that is it.

    I just want to ask this then Trevor – “Steve, I had FULL turnout as a result of my changes to meetings. People were able to show up and vote, the changes worked well.”

    How come you never reported about the events committee meetings or appointments to Council? I see on the events calendar at kusa.ca that on April 24 there was an events meeting and the agenda is posted in the calendar part. There are no minutes for that meeting. In your April 23 report to Council as contained in the agenda for that meeting, you reference that the next meeting will be on May 5. Reference of that meeting also appears in the minutes. There was no mention of the April 24 meeting.

    There is one meeting listed for May 5 on the kusa.ca calendar, but no agenda or minutes. At the May 13 meeting there is nothing in your report to Council (in either minutes or the agendas) detailing what happened at the May 5 meeting. There was no events report to the May 27 meeting – but it seems many people didn’t write written reports for that meeting. No reference to the May 5 meeting in the minutes either.

    At the June 17 meeting, in both the agenda and minutes, you reference a past meeting but not when it was held, and you note the next meeting will be June 26 at noon in Cloverdale. But there are no listings on the calendar for June events meetings, and no minutes or agendas are posted. June 17 was the meeting where you were directed to bring back a more detailed plan. And I was away when these plans were discussed on July 8 and 15.

    No report to council was submitted in the agenda for July 8 or 22, and you quit at the end of July. It also appears that no agenda was produced for the July 15 meeting. And unfortunately, no minutes have yet been produced for the July 8 / 15 meetings.

    Finally, the only agenda or minutes for events committee for 2008 are the ones listed for August 2008 – http://kusa.ca/index.php?pid=1

    I’m not saying we are perfect – and I do acknowledge that all of the executive could do a much better job posting agendas and minutes for their meetings. And people coming out to meetings has been a problem. And my own record in this area is not hot. It’s why I’ve put forward a proposal for tweaking when various bodies in the KSA meet during the month, that I hope would allow the meetings to move more smoothly in the spring.

    Also, I know there were many almost daily Cram Jam focused meetings that occurred – especially after you left. And notice was regularly sent out about them and those meetings were talked about by Desmond, Catherine, Nathan and Vanessa at executive and at council. I don’t think minutes / agendas were kept of these daily meetings which is okay – they were working groups of the many diverse cross section of people who were helping with the event. But they were discussed and people asked for input at other meetings – both formal and informal – and I know that input was brought back to those working groups.

    But again, there appears to be no official record of how the changes you brought forward worked for the main official events committee body.

  13. George on November 21st, 2008 6:09 pm

    I had an awesome time at Cramjam; it was tons of fun. I wish there was more stuff like this at kwantlen. It sucks it lost some money, but you’ve gotta start somewhere I suppose.

    More fun events please!

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