Platform: Financial Transparency
The current status of all Platform items can be seen via my Trello page by pressing here.
For two years, there have been a section of students who have pointed out a lack of transparency. As your director, I will advocate for financial transparency relentlessly. One of the big items I will push for is to release a more in-depth budget so students have a better idea of how their money is being utilized.
Note: The details below were not approved by the Chief Returning Officer during the campaign period, so they did not appear at that time. However, in the interest of the transparency I said I stood by, I am releasing these details.
IGNITE handles some $11 million of student money.
I will advocate relentlessly to increase financial transparency at the Board of Directors. One of the big items I will push for is a more in-depth budget that goes beyond a colourful graphic and tells you more about the financial choice that we, as your elected representatives, are doing.
For several years, a section of students have called for a line-by-line budget (source), similar to the ones produced by student unions at colleges and universities across Canada. Since at least the 2016 rebrand, there has been criticism among students at Humber College (source) related to what they call a lack of transparency at IGNITE — well documented by student journalists (source). But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Here is an example of a 12-page budget from the George Brown College Student Association. Here is the Central Student Association’s 20-page budget. Here is a 28-page overview and budget breakdown from Sheridan Students Union, which IGNITE has cited as an example to follow in ending executive elections. And here is IGNITE’s annual graphic.
The point here is that there is no excuse for us not to be more transparent at our student union. Student unions at universities and colleges, big or small are all doing better and we should, too.
As your director, I would move quickly to make sure that the 2020-2021 budget that will be presented at the March 25 Annual General Meeting is flushed out as soon as possible once my term starts on May 1.