New Councillors Elected to the KSA
News / April 19, 2017
Queer students, students of colour, aboriginal students, and students from Langley and Richmond are now represented on council
Alyssa Laube, Associate Editor
Six new councillors were elected to the Kwantlen Student Association at its annual general meeting on Mar. 30, bringing the total number of students on Council up to 20 out of a possible 25 seats.
Joseph Thorpe is now representing queer students, Mariyam Muhammad is representing Science and Horticulture students, Munir Dossa is representing students of colour, and Samantha Davis is representing aboriginal students, a position she is returning to after being first elected in a by-election last fall. As for campus representatives, previous students with disabilities representative Landon Charney will now represent Richmond, and Vic Herr will represent the Langley campus.
On Council, the new members are responsible for speaking on behalf of the student groups they stand for. For that reason, each councillor will endeavour to address specific issues to increase the diversity of voices heard on the KSA.
For Thorpe, putting effort into making KPU’s pride collective more active is his first priority.
“Pride was something I was super excited about when I came to Kwantlen and I wanted to really establish it again and make it something exciting and and important because it hasn’t really been doing that lately,” says Thorpe. “In line with getting Pride started up again, that creates more of an area for people to share and understand that LGBTQ people go to this school and we’re here and we want to feel welcomed and that we have a place here.”
He will also be organizing workshops and other LGBTQ+ related events during his time as Queer Rep.
Muhammad ran for Science and Horticulture Rep. because she noticed the large number of vacant spots on Council and “thought it was important for someone to be representing students in the different positions.”
“Because of my experience in extra curriculars as well as competitive debate, I figured I could do a good job,” she says. “Science and Horticulture students are a really big group so I am going to have to find a more efficient way to find out what they want. But I think since I’m mostly focusing on [them] what I should be doing is concentrating on how I can make their academic lives better, because that is the similarity between all of them.”
She currently sits on the KSA’s Governance Committee, and is “trying to be involved to make student life in general better.”
Dossa, who is a student member on the Finance Committee and an executive for the Environmental Sustainability Association of Kwantlen, is looking forward to revitalizing the students of colour collective. He plans to do this by running town halls on each of the KPU campuses and organizing events to celebrate holidays from a variety of cultures. Because his position has been left vacant in the past, he felt compelled to represent a large and important demographic at the university.
“The collectives that are assembled don’t always have the power and voice on Council to be represented. I kind of saw that gap and thought I could fill it,” he says. “I want students to feel that their voice can be heard on Council, whether that’s coming as a guest to committee meetings and applying for student at large positions for committees, or just speaking to the councillors more. I wanted to help facilitate that dialogue.”
He encourages students who have questions or contributions to come to committee and council meetings or contact him directly.
Davis, Charney, and Herr could not be reached for an interview by press time.