RE: TCSA Opinons

To the editors of Arthur and the students of Trent University,

I’d like to jump on the bandwagon calling into question the validity and legitimacy of the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA). Where others offered extremely insightful qualitative commentary on what’s happening in and with student politics, I thought I’d offer a different lens – that annoying one involving numbers and money.

The following figures are taken directly from their (or should I say “our”) budget, and should hopefully speak for themselves. Presidential honorarium: $25,065 (raise of $4,904 since last year), VPs Honoraria: $35,111 (a raise of $4,544), Communications Coordinator: $17,847 (raise of $1,957), Reception: $20,000 (raise of $5,923), Operations Manager: $64,405, Auditor: $2,500 (never used), water bottles: $600, ATM Revenue: $21,000, Board Retreat: $4,483, Accessibility: $5,000 (only half used), “Office Appreciation:” $2,500, College Funding: $8,000 (distributed evenly amongst colleges – only $1,771 distributed total). TRANSIT: Expenses = ((For Example) Snow removal, last year actual: $121,190, this year estimate: $60,000, this year actual: $0, Card Office: $30,000) Total Expenses: $1,548,841.98. Revenue = ((For Example) Levy: $1,421,918, Opt In: $144,000, Replacement Cards: $12,000) Total Revenue: $1,581,688, Revenue After Expenses: $32,846.70. TCSA Cumulative Surplus Total: $759,443.89.

(I said I would let the numbers speak for themselves, but I can’t ever stop from blabbing, so here I go…)

Just look at these figures for a minute – look at the raises that these positions are getting. The president got a $4,904 raise this year, and the operations manager gets $64,405 (for context according to StatsCan, the median Métis woman brings in a yearly salary of $17,520, and in order to run buses on weekends and reading weeks, the TCSA would have to allocate only an extra $18,000). These are our ‘representatives’… elected by about one seventh of the Trent population, and in many cases uncontested. For reference, they also abolished the office of treasurer (i.e. VP Finance) this year and are currently chiefly administered by the president and operations manager. The question remains: Shame on them… or shame on us?

Loyally Submitted,
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Fighter of Apathy

“Go forth, and be shit disturbers for love!” –Right Reverend Peter Short, 39th Moderator of the United Church of Canada

Re: Green Student Centre

I am writing in response to the opinion piece about the proposed student centre. I am relieved to hear that they are “not tied to a particular site” because I had understood the Student Centre would be built between the Athletic Centre and Bata library, beside the river, and on a site that is currently home to a lovely forest.

I have thought that building the centre there would be ridiculous due to the fact that it is one of the few remaining forested areas in the central campus area, one which many students pass through every day. I truly hope that the student centre is not built there, as it would involve deforestation – not a green choice at all.

The large patch of grass  just south of LEC, west of West Bank Road, would be the most sensible choice to build the student centre, as it is still centrally located, easily accessible, and would not require any trees to be cut down.

That being said, I look forward to see what green building techniques are used, particularly recycled materials, sustainably harvested resources and a commitment to using locally-based construction companies.

Diane Therrien