KSA Election 2018: Candidates for Faculty Representatives

On Feb. 7 and 8 you have the chance to decide who will represent you in student government

Arts Representative

Natasha Farris
General Arts Major

Why are you running for this position?
I love being on the KSA. I love trying to create a community at KPU. I’m the chair of the Student Life Committee and I love trying to get people engaged and getting out there, talking to people, and getting them excited. I’m also a new student orientation leader and I find the two really work well together because you get to start meeting all the new students and telling them all of the interesting things that KPU has to offer [and implement their ideas into KSA initiatives].

Why should students vote for you?
I feel like I’m approachable. I’ve already talked to a couple people while running to get people to sign my nomination packages. I’ve talked to lots of different groups. I’ve also been helping get people interested in joining committees on my past term, into running for Council this term … and I feel like that I’m so approachable, [which] makes it easier to talk about their worries or concerns that they have.

Which experiences would you be bringing to this position?
One thing that I’m going to try to work on if I get reelected is that the music students really want to perform more at some of the events, so I’ve already been talking to a couple of the music students about them performing in the upcoming Welcome Weeks.

What would you like to change about student politics if elected?
Mostly just the disconnect between the actual Council and the student themselves. We’re all student members but sometimes I find that there’s not a lot of exchange between the other students and the Council members. I haven’t been getting out in my past two terms as much as I would have liked to talk to students, so that’s something I really want to work on this time around.

Chelsea Franz
Creative Writing Major

Why are you running for this position?
I want to see our campus community grow. I figure the best way to see this happen is to get involved hands-on with student life. We are very much a commuter school, and that’s okay for those who want it, but I also want community and social interaction to be available to those who seek it … [and] I want all artists to have a chance to engage in conversation with each other, to help one another thrive.

Why should students vote for you?
I’m passionate about what I do. I don’t like to half-ass things. I’m either in it or I’m not. I’m in this. If elected, the KSA will have my time and commitment as promised, and I’ll be doing what I can to help our community where needed. My dream is to see a flourishing arts community. It’s my goal to create, find, and help hold a safe space for supportive and successful artists here at Kwantlen.

Which experiences would you be bringing to this position?
I’ve been involved with student council in high school, along with a handful of other extracurricular clubs. I’m a dork about these things. I’m eager to participate and plan.

What would you like to change about student politics if elected?
I think that the students’ lack of awareness needs to change. There’s a lot more going on for us and [more] resources at our hands than we sometimes realize. I want to help people see that.

Shonel Kumar
Psychology Major, Counselling Minor

Why are you running for this position?
I wanted to step outside of my boundaries, open myself up to new experiences.

Why should students vote for you?
Three things that I believe in are inclusivity, diversity, and change. I feel like, if people believe in those values, then they can definitely see those values reflected in some of the changes that I would want to make.

Which experiences would you be bringing to this position?
I have been an orientation leader for a couple of years, so I kind of know the ins and outs of mainly the Surrey campus, but I also … have that kind of exclusive insider background of how the university works. I feel like I could definitely bring that to my position here.

What would you like to change about student politics if elected?
Some of the changes within the arts I would want to see is more stuff to do with open education and reducing textbook costs because that is still a major problem. [I’d also like to see] more study abroad options for the arts. I feel like it’s very limited and I feel like the business students get to dive into that more than arts students do.

Tawahum Justin Bige
Creative Writing Major

Why are you running for this position?
I want to see more of an arts community here and I see that a lot of folks who used to do the organising … have graduated, so it’s up to who’s here to take care of it. If we want to see events, then we have to do it ourselves and I’m kind of stoked to have this opportunity. I used to be the Aboriginal Students Representative … [for the KSA, so] I’m definitely in support of Indigenous issues as well as the arts stuff.

Why should students vote for you?
I have two years of experience with Council to start withc so I understand the bureaucracy. I haven’t lost any of that knowledge, so having that information means that I can get right to work as soon as I’m elected. I think that’s a big one, and in my experience on Council, I’ve always been willing to speak my mind and speak from my heart about issues that matter to me and that I think matter to students.

Which experiences would you be bringing to this position?
Two years of experience with Council. I’ve spent a term with KPIRG so I have the bureaucratic side of things. I’m a performer myself, so I would bring that experience if I want to be running performance kind of events … I have a lot of experience with event organising since I used to run the KPU Pow Wow, which happens annually, and that’s one of the biggest KSA events on campus … I also have the experience of being part of the campaign to get KPU to rescind the agreement with Kinder Morgan.

What would you like to change about student politics if elected?
I’d like to see a space that could be dedicated to writing students or arts students in general, but in terms of fundamentally what’s in the KSA, that’s not necessarily going to be my main concern. My concern is what art students want and how I can best deliver that to them.

David Piraquive
Political Science and History Major

Why are you running for this position?
I actually really enjoyed the time I’ve spent in this position and I feel like I want to accomplish more than I’ve done in the past year. I really like advocating for students. I was able to go to Victoria and lobby the government for student issues. I also went to the fair wage commission and talked about students’ perspectives. I’d like to do more of that this year.

Why should students vote for you?
I really care about student issues. I want to do more of that advocacy for students. It’s something I’m really passionate about.

Which experiences would you be bringing to this position?
I’ve been part of the KSA since 2013. I was part of the External Affairs Committee, and there’s the last year I’ve spent on the KSA.

What would you like to change about student politics if elected?
I think there’s a lack of communication with students. Not many students know there’s an election going on. Not many students know what we’re doing, so I think that’s something we need to work on.

Hannah Cenaiko
Sociology Major

Why are you running for this position?
Since I was in grade six, I ran for student council every year and I never got in … so I didn’t run for the first little while at Kwantlen. I wanted to get my grounding and focus on my schoolwork and I did a lot of volunteer work. But then, finally, a friend of mine suggested it to me, and I’m like, “You know what? I feel it is about time I really get involved, and the best way to do this is through something like this.”

Why should students vote for you?
I’ve been around for a long time and I’ve also been an orientation leader for three years, so I have experience with new students, and I know a lot of the services and a lot about KPU. I think that’s a real asset to have for someone on Council.

Which experiences would you be bringing to this position?
I also served on two committees when I was in high school for the Township of Langley: The Parks and Recreation Community and The Youth Advisory Committee.

What would you like to change about student politics if elected?
Voter turnout … When I say, ‘Come out and vote,’ they’re like, ‘Can I do it online?’ [and] they won’t come out … Whether it’s the accessibility of it or something online, I just think we could get way more people voting.

Mohammed Amir Makim, another candidate for Arts Representative, withdrew his name from the list of candidates.

Business Representative

Jay Reedy
Human Resources Management Major

Why are you running for this position?
A large portion of what I’ve accomplished over the past year has been role-agnostic to a degree, where I feel like a lot of the skills I already have will transfer very easily into finance and operations. Additionally, there was a big push last year to move what was previously the student services portfolio, which is now the university affairs, into the finance and operations role. I think there’s a big opportunity for whoever’s coming into the role now to look at which services the KSA is offering and how exactly we’re benefiting students with the fees we’re all paying.

Why should students vote for you?
I think I’ve proven over my last year and a half on Council that I have a very good sense of the fiscal responsibilities of the KSA. I’ve also had a very large hand in crafting some of the regulations that have been neglected in terms of the student life portfolio. For the most part, I think my skills lie in more administrative roles. I think the KSA always needs someone with a lot of experience and insight into the organization.

Which experiences would you bring to this position?
A year as an executive. As the business rep I’ve had a lot of dealings with a lot of faculty members. I have almost five years of experience in this program. I’m very in tune with what business students are looking for as far as representation.

What would you like to change about student politics?
The big thing I want to do is move us towards online voting. Voter engagement is sadly low. I think having a program that doesn’t require you to trudge all the way out [to campus] and having a platform where you can vote online to express your ideas is a better way to go about things. Another thing that I’m working on … is the KSA student experience survey … which is going to look at pretty much all the aspects of the KSA and our services as well as gaging the student perception of the KSA and asking what we can do better.

Shereen Bhatia
Human Resource Management Major

Why are you running for this position?
I want to represent the students because when international students [join a] program, they face many difficulties because the education system is totally different. They don’t know how to write papers … [and] feel that if they tell their problems to somebody, they probably won’t be able to relate [to] it too much. But as [an] international student, I can relate to the problems very much. I have been through the same process.

Why should students vote for you?
I can be available for them whenever they want. I can answer their questions. I can be a bridge between the students and the faculty, so that the faculty also know which problems students are facing. Sometimes students hesitate to go to the faculty and tell them their problems because, in India, we have [a fear] that we should not talk to [teachers] because they’ll deduct our marks or something like that … I want them to vote for me so that they can get the message.

Which experiences would you bring to this position?
In my home country, I did English Honours and Practical Science and Journalism as my graduation course. We had elections … for president of the college. I was elected for that, so I know how to bring students together and work with them, how to assign them tasks, what they’re good in, [and I can] just function according to their availability.

What would you like to change about student politics if elected?
This is the first time I am actually starting in KSA elections, so as I’m not in the system right now, I don’t know how politics here work. But as I have some experience from my home country … I think people do their job, and they don’t ask the upper level and lower level students of faculty, like are they doing [things] correct or not, so … they should sit together in a long table conference and discuss what’s right and what’s wrong, so that … a perfect decision is taken, because finding a decision affects students.

Puneet Bering
Accounting Major

Why are you running for this position?
I am running for business rep because I want to be the voice of accounting students. Business students as well, because business students are really hardcore and we’re always busy studying. So I want to be their voice and I’ll make sure that I organize more events, especially events related to business.

Why should students vote for you?
I really like to help people, so that is my main agenda. To make sure everybody gets help for whatever they need. I’ll try to improve their life, create more events for them, and not just educational, but for festivals too.

Which experiences would you bring to this position?
I will definitely give my best for KSA because I believe that KSA is the top society at KPU. I know it’s different from KPU, but for KPU students, it’s the most challenging society. So I’ll make sure that everything I do is good and positive and reflects what KPU and what KSA is. I’m very responsible, so I’ll make sure that whatever I do is for good.

What would you like to change about student politics if elected?
I don’t think anything needs to be changed for student politics. It’s really nice and fair in KSA society. Something I just want to change in KPU is the way students sometimes behave in such a manor, which is not appropriate. I’ll try to bring up some ideas so that some rules can be made for that behaviour.

Science and Horticulture Representative

Victoria Kalitowski
Biology Major

Why are you running for this position?
I was interested in it. I have a few friends who were in this position last year, so I did hear quite a few things about it. That kind of piqued my interest in it, and I kind of want to get more involved with the school … I feel like, in this department especially, a lot of students just go to class and then go home or go to class and study so they don’t really participate much in the school. I kind of wanted to try this out and see if I can get more people involved.

Why should students vote for you?
I like to think of myself as fairly extroverted. I feel like I’m pretty easy to talk to so I do get along with most of the other students in the science faculty. I think that is kind of an advantage that I have.

Which experiences would you bring to this position?
I used to be part of a different organisation that was also at KPU [in which] I was head of town management, so I had to work with a lot of the other students and kind of set up events and make sure that everything flowed properly …. I would say that I’m pretty organised when it comes to that and organising events. Mostly I just wanted to get more of a science background into the KSA and get the science students more involved in what happens on campus.

What would you like to change about student politics if elected?
I’m not sure what the politics are at the moment … so I’m not 100 per cent sure what the policies are at the moment. This is just my way of trying to get involved and to see what is actually going on on campus.

Rabia Khan
Biology Major, Medicinal Chemistry Minor

Why are you running for this position?
I’m in science, so I think it’s a really good way to reach out to the scientific community and to students who are interested in science as well.

Why should students vote for you?
I’m the candidate who actually cares about what goes on and how students are in the university. Everybody cares but I really, truly do care. I send emails and worry about students a lot and I really want to help the problems that are going on, because even though this is a really great institution, it’s not perfect.

Which experiences would you bring to this position?
I am the current representative, so I guess I would use that experience. I already am carrying out the duties so I feel like I’m already in that kind of zone of knowing what’s expected, so I feel like that would help me, just knowing the expectations.

What would you like to change about student politics if elected?
The KSA’s actually pretty good with their politics so far, but something that I would change is probably a little but of the structure. It’s confusing. It’s difficult to explain because it’s kind of like a textbook. There’s different types of structures and maybe the overall who-reports-to-who situation. I feel like that could be ever-so-slightly tweaked.

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