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Scott Strasser

Students’ Union suspends arts representative’s pay

By Scott Strasser, February 26 2016 —

Students’ Legislative Council (SLC) voted to suspend Jen Tokarek’s monthly pay at its Feb. 23 meeting for failing to fulfill her duties as arts representative.

Tokarek’s $350 stipend for February was taken away following her second unexcused absence at General Faculties Council (GFC).

Vice-president student life Kirsty McGowan proposed the motion. Members of the council approved the motion in a secret-ballot vote.

“[GFC] is the highest academic decision making body on campus and a lot of important items come through that committee,” McGowan said. “It’s important the Students’ Union ensures reps are there to speak on behalf of the students who elected them.”

Under council’s attendance policy, each faculty must have a designated student representative attend monthly GFC meetings. After two unexcused absences, disciplinary action is taken at SLC.

“We want to demonstrate to students we take our roles on committees very seriously,” McGowan said. “Those specific [meetings] were extremely important. The Faculty of Arts terms of reference came through and arts students did not have anyone representing them at that meeting.”

Tokarek’s first unexcused absence was at the January meeting. She said both of her absences were due to time conflicts with a part-time job.

“[The absences] were from poor decision-making on my part, and choosing one job over another job. I do completely regret that decision and shouldn’t have done that,” Tokarek said.

Tokarek is one of three candidates running for vice-president external in this year’s SU election.

“I want to reinstate I absolutely do [take my role seriously],” Tokarek said. “I’m committed to my role as arts rep and representing students is important to me.”

Kinesiology representative Megan Kolmatiski and law representative Mark Shearer also had unexcused absences at the February GFC meeting.

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