KSA election candidates: Get to know them

Director of Finance
Kan Wu
BBA in Accounting

What do you want to do while in office?

First of all, I would like to at least stop the fees from increasing, and I cannot decrease the fees without a referendum. And of course, by decreasing, I will have to first get 250 signatures. Even though I think they should be decreased, not everybody in the student body does. Other than that, I also want to hold up ethics in a high standard, because right now there are rumours, and I don’t need to say that out loud what those ar, and if I cannot change that by myself, I will at least hold myself with the highest ethical standard.

What would you change?

I think it’s kind of obvious where they’re spending their funding: it’s mostly free food, free concert events and that’s not really bringing the students together. And although I’m doing finance …if I see an event that’s really good, I will not only provide support but funding too to help those events. Right now, I think there are some really good events, like the Leadership Conference and Career Day. These kind of things really bring students together.

Do you think Kwantlen Students get their money’s worth?

Right now, that entirely depends on the student body. [For example] I understand that it’s going to cost us $40 [for the U-Pass] a month, and if you enroll for three semesters in a row, then you will have to have $500 per year basically. I know that’s really high, and I also know that in the contract it says that there’s other gym memberships and stuff that’s included in there. But I think that right now, what students need the most is the U-Pass by itself so I think the contract should be renegotiated.

Director of External Affairs
Matt DiMera
BA in Journalism

Why would you be good?

I would concentrate more on developing better relationships with other schools, other student associations, basically working together on common issues like reducing interest on student loans, and basically just trying to reduce other student fees in general. Students pay way too many fees as it is, and most students are poor or working or struggling to pay for tuition, and any reduction, anything we can do to try and reduce that burden, is what I’m trying to work for.

A recent study showed Kwanten’s student life in the bottom 50% of Universities across Canada. Thoughts?

Kwantlen is a unique situation because we don’t have residences, which means student life is harder to generate, especially since we’ve traditionally been a commuter campus. But I know the school is working on trying to develop student life. I hope that the KSA, in concert with the university, can start to try and address these things through better events, through stronger support for student clubs [and] more campus space for students to study [and] socialize. One of the KSA’s goals, that if I’m elected I hope to work on, is negotiating the student union building on campus in Surrey.

Director of External Affairs
Ashley Fehr
BA in Political Science

What would you change?
I wouldn’t necessarily change anything, I would just take a different
focus than what’s’ been taken last year. So a stronger focus on lobbying and more interaction with the liaisons to work on social
justice kind of lobbying. I know there is a lot issues that have been had with international students being put aside so I would like to work closer with liaisons.

A recent study showed Kwanten’s student life in the bottom 50% of Universities across Canada. Thoughts?

I think the KSA could work closely with the school to help improve student life, and we are already working closely with them. I think
it’s a sad fact, but I think it means we just have a mandate to do better.

Do you think Kwantlen Students get their money’s worth?
I think they’re on their way too. The reason fees are so high is because there is a lot of new programs that haven’t been implemented
yet, so in the coming year they will all be very well implemented.

How would you defend yourself when people say that you’ve stalled council for personal reasons over the last semester?
I would say that I showed up to every council meeting that was set. So I couldn’t have council, I was there at every meeting at every meeting trying to move forward, with soutions for compromises. but other members didn’t accept those compromises.

Director of Operations
Matt Todd
Associates of Art

Why would you be good?
What I’m interested in is the student union building and some of the changes in how the KSA functions. So I’m most interested in developing a strategic plan and insuring that we have the management and the system set up in such a way so that we can actually develop on that strategic plan. It is supposed to be required in our bylaw that we have a strategic plan, but we don’t have one.

A recent study showed Kwanten’s student life in the bottom 50% of Universities across Canada. Thoughts?

I’ve known about these stats for a long time and we’ve already started working on addressing them. So sometimes it’s hard to answer a question as though I’ve first heard them right. I think that most students would not be surprised and I think it’s a huge challenge that the KSA needs to take a leadership role in addressing.

Do you think Kwantlen Students get their money’s worth?

Yes.

How would you defend yourself when people say that you’ve stalled council for personal reasons over the last semester?
I was not a member that was boycotting meetings, I attended all meetings whether I was happy about who was on the agenda or who was in the room or not. I think that whether I like the people that I work with is irrevelevant to me trying to get the job done.

Director of Events
Doug Hinshe
BA in History

What would you change?
I think that there’s a lot of opportunity at Kwantlen. This past year year it seems like it’s been really distant at Kwantlen for students, and I want to make more of a university feel, like a classic movie almost, but obviously you’re not going to have a Van Wilder situation, but I just think that there’s a lot of opportunity at Kwantlen, especially with the four different campuses, we’re able to do a lot more things than we do. And I’d just really like to have students meeting students. I’ve been here for four years now and I really don’t have any friends to know about, and I just think that there’s a lot of opportunity to change that.

A recent study showed Kwanten’s student life in the bottom 50% of Universities across Canada. Thoughts?

That doesn’t surprise me at all. Coming back to the first thing, there’s not really opportunities to do anything, I mean we have one really big event a year and even that event, I went to the last one and it kind of didn’t really seem that great. I sound like a broken record but it’s full of opportunity to change that so it’s definitely something that would be on my agenda, like the first thing on my agenda is to change that. Definitely raise the bar.

Do you think that Kwantlen students get their money’s worth?

No, they’re definitely not.

Director of Events
Reena Bali
BBA in Human Resources

Why would you be good?
I am running for director of events. What I want to do, is bring a little more of what
I started this past term. More student life through pub nights, and club nights, and
career related events. Community focused events, as well as bigger and better free food events.

A recent study showed Kwanten’s student life in the bottom 50% of Universities across Canada. Thoughts?
It’s relatively hard [to be in the top 50% for universities of Canada] as we don’t have any residents on campus. So we have a different factor to face, compared to other universities and colleges across our country. But hopefully with more sort of pub nights or theme events, we can fix that.

Do you think Kwantlen students get their money’s worth?
I think they do if they get involved.

How would you defend yourself when people say that you’ve stalled council for personal reasons over the last semester?

I would say there’s more to the story than that. It was more of a boycott for a political reason, and it was used because members….Well I can say for myself that it didn’t feel like we were heard out.

Director of Events
Shanal Prasad
BBA in Finance

Why would you be good?
I would like to see more events dedicated to development training. For example, more focus on conferences, workshops, seminars; things that give students the opportunity to learn and develop. Because right now the focus is more on events that are supposed to be fun, but all that ends up happening is free food is given away and nothing really happens. I think it’s a waste of money. We should be trying to fill gaps, and get an education and try to get them ready for the working world.

A recent study showed Kwanten’s student life in the bottom 50% of Universities across Canada. Thoughts?
Well campus isn’t really open that long. We’re open until about 10 or 11 on Sundays in the library. There is no where to stay and hang out, or there is nothing to do, or they don’t live around here, so why would they stay on campus? Other universities, like UBC for example, have their own village. I really think that in order to hear the student life, we need to have a student union building first. I think that would greatly contribute to student life.

Do you think Kwantlen Students get their money’s worth?

No, I don’t think students are getting much value. In terms of student fees that they are paying, I really don’t think that students get value. It all depends on how much you actually use. For example, if you are a volunteer, if you are getting your computer fixed, then you might get some value, but overall I think our student body basically will never see that money back.

Director of Events
Davinder Chohan
BA in History

Why would you be good?
Right now at school, I don’t see any school spirit going around. [I] just want to make more events for the school and have people more aware of what’s going on in our school’s atmosphere. And get a little more school spirit around everywhere. It’s been about three years since I’ve been at Kwantlen, and I rarely hear about events going on. If there are events, sometimes they fall short towards the end. I really want to get more student involvement and get the school spirit upbeat

What do you think of the U-Pass Referendum?

According to what I’ve been reading, I think they gave an okay on a $45 U-Pass. Is that correct? But what we were promised from the government was that there would be a universal one, which would’ve been a lot cheaper. Sure the referendum is good in a sense that Kwantlen students would be getting a U-Pass, but there is a negative aspect that we are paying a lot more in tuition. So the referendum is going to get the student’s opinion, but in the last couple referendums that the school has had, not many people have come out and voted. So with this referendum, hopefully a part of my campaign will get the students more aware of what the referendums are actually about, and how much more they are going to be paying, and hopefully that will result in more students coming out and more people aware of the situation.

Director of Academic Affairs
Christopher Girodat
Associates of Political Science

What would you change?
First, I would make education more accessible through reducing fees instead of spending money on pizza. I think if most students had to choose between a slice of pizza in C building or being able to take that fourth class that they can’t afford, they’re going to choose the second option.

A recent study showed Kwanten’s student life in the bottom 50% of Universities across Canada. Thoughts?

I think the problem of student life at Kwantlen is community engagement; students know we’re a stepping stone school, not a destination school. That’s why we need an advocate on KSA Council and the Executive Board to work with the Senate and push for more degrees and programs so we can change into a one-stop university.

Do you think Kwantlen Students get their money’s worth?

No. That comes back to making education accessible by reducing fees where
we don’t need them; for example, $3,000 on pizza.

Director of Academic Affairs
Nicole Joe
BBA in Human Resources

Why would you be good for this position?
I am currently running for the director academic of current affairs. The current director has done really well, but I want to change on some stuff right now that he probably hasn’t touched on yet. I know that the library has extended their hours, which has extended the school hours a bit. But I’ve noticed during exam period the school isn’t open long enough for students. One of the things I want to go for is keeping the school open 24/7 during exams periods, if not at least a little bit longer on regular days, just like UBC and SFU do.

A recent study showed Kwanten’s student life in the bottom 50% of Universities across Canada. Thoughts?
First thought it is ‘wow’ because I didn’t think that. Personally, I’d be pretty surprised that we’re at the bottom. I think right now Kwantlen is in the change from a university college to a university. So right now they’re trying ease into it a little bit more.

Do you think Kwantlen Students get their money’s worth?
I believe that students are getting what they’re paying for, I think also it’s up to students to taking advantage of what they’re paying for. I mean, for events or for any campaigns or advocacies, I believe they should be going to these events because they are for students. And I also think that has something to do with student life, because it’s not high school, you don’t just go to school just to study. You should be able to enjoy student life as well, so I believe they should be able to take advantage of that.


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