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BSG business manager threatens The Stylus

By Cassandra Negley
On February 5, 2013

Brockport Student Government Business Manager Kathy Yarid threatened The Stylus last week, telling the newspaper's business manager "if she saw her name in the paper, there would be hell to pay." 

Yarid had no comment when asked to explain what she meant by it. 

A member of The Stylus and its business manager approached Yarid Wednesday, Jan. 30 to ask about a discrepancy in in a check made out to the American Red Cross. 

Members of The Stylus raised money in the fall for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Three people, including business manager Lois Caldwell, who holds an associate and bachelor's degree in accounting, counted the amount raised. The amount written on the purchase order and deposit slip, both given to Yarid, was $274.78. Yarid signed the deposit slip. 

The receipt of the check payment received by Caldwell was for $269.75 and the copy of the purchase order (P.O.) given back had the original amount crossed off with $269.72 written it in its place. The difference is $5.03.  

In September, a P.O. for Crystal Rock water for $30.64 was crossed out and replaced with $35.62, a difference of $5.02 

At the time, Yarid said the bill from Crystal Rock was more than the P.O. was made out for. 

Approximately 20 minutes after a meeting with Yarid about the discrepancy with the Red Cross check, Yarid called Caldwell. 

"She called to tell me that the Crystal Rock bill ... basically she said we didn't really end up being charged for it," Caldwell said. "She said they crossed in the mail and if we had seen the statements, we would have seen the credit to our account. She then said if she saw her name in the paper, there would be hell to pay." 

Caldwell said Yarid did not offer the statements to look at. 

"I don't think she meant it as a threat," said BSG President Sam Wheeler. "I think she meant it as it's frustrating for her since she's doing it by protocol, so what that means is when we get an invoice, unless there's a huge discrepancy, the invoice is paid in full. It's like getting a bill at a restaurant: you hope it costs this much but sometimes it costs a little more or a little less."

According to both Yarid and Caldwell, the money wasn't counted when Caldwell first gave it to Yarid in the business office. 

"She said when she counted it that it was a different amount and she had counted it numerous times and she can't count it for more than it is," Wheeler said. "They should have counted it together and she said that's something she should have done."

Said Yarid: "I can't tell you why [there is a discrepancy of $5], but from now on anything that's done here, someone will have to stay and have it be counted to make sure it's correct."

Adam Goldstein of the Student Press Law Center said when an employee such as Yarid makes such a statement, it's not always clear  if it is a statement coming from the institution or not. 

He went on to say in New York state, the only right of privacy is the commerical right of someone's image, meaning one cannot make a profit off of another's image without permission. He said even if there was private information at stake, it wouldn't be protected by privacy laws. 

Early the following morning, a Thursday, a flier was distributed by Yarid saying that timecards were due at 12 p.m. Thursdays. The Stylus did

Caldwell said Yarid called again Friday to ask if it would be a problem if she wasn't paid for the two-week period ending Wednesday, Jan. 30. Caldwell said Yarid told her she would be able to squeak Caldwell's check through, but not the rest of the staff.

Yarid confirmed that The Stylus staff will not be getting paid this week because their timecards were not submitted until 3:30 p.m. Thursday. 

Both Wheeler and Yarid said the deadline is not new and that organizations submitting timecards should have known about the deadline. 

In the past, Yarid has accepted late timecards and had never mentioned the deadline. 

"[I didn't enforce it] because I was being agreeable," Yarid said. "I don't have to enforce it if I don't want to." 

Yarid then said she needed to start enforcing it because "there's too much going on [and] and I need to dot my "I's" and cross my "T's."  

Wheeler said some members of BSG will also not be getting paid this week because they didn't hand in timecards. 

"She's (Yarid) really tried in the past to make it work, and it's just been getting us into trouble, so we can't keep letting people get paid if they're not handing their timecard," Wheeler said.

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