Twelve Kwantlen Student Association directors impeached

Five new interim board members appointed.

Five new interim board members appointed.

By Matt DiMera
[news editor]

The vote was unanimous: 352 for, and zero against.

Students braved pepper spray and multiple fire alarms to send a clear message to the Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) as they voted overwhelmingly to impeach 12 board members at a special general meeting Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Former Kwantlen Student Association director of operations Nipun Pandey gets involved in a heated exchange with students attempting to oust him from his position, in the Cedar building courtyard outside the Nov. 30 special general meeting. (Matt Law/The Runner)

The meeting had to be paused twice. The fire alarm was pulled and a noxious substance released in the hallways where students were registering to participate in the meeting.

KSA council members Harman “Sean Birdman” Bassi, Nipun Pandey, Balninna “Nina Kaur” Sandhu, Parminder “Bobby” Padda, Jaspinder Ghuman, Tarun Takhar, Shivinder Grewal, Money Dhaliwal, Gaven Pangly, Simmy Grewal, Kamalpreet Dha and Jagraj Hayre have all been removed from the board and placed in bad standing.

A thirteenth council member named for impeachment, Karamveer Dhillon, had already resigned, but was also put in bad standing.

“The Kwantlen Student Association’s board of directors have brought shame and embarrassment to the Kwantlen community,” said Richmond representative Sasha Mirza, after she moved the motion to impeach the 12 council members.

She criticized them for dropping the civil case that alleged former KSA directors and staff members had misused more than $2 million in student fees to commit mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty. She further attacked them for not revealing that some board members were directly related to defendants in the case and called the KSA’s recent hiring of Danish Butt, one of the defendants being sued by the KSA only a month prior, “a shocking twist.”

“Kwantlen students deserve so much better,” Mirza argued. “They need to be reminded that it is us, the students, who are in charge of the Kwantlen Student Association and not them.”

Students present at the meeting cheered and applauded as each motion passed without opposition.

In order for the resolutions to succeed, a minimum of 250 students had to attend the special general meeting and 75 per cent of those attending had to vote in favour.

Another 13 current and former students and staff members were also placed in bad standing: Aastha Arora, Gary Dhaliwal, Justine Franson, Parmvir Lehal, Harman Mann, Joty Padda, Mehtab Rai, Pavan Sodhan, Yasser Ahmad, Jatinder “Joey” Atwal, Danish Butt, Jaivin Khatri and Aaron Takhar.

As members in bad standing, all 26 are barred from running and voting in future student association elections.

Five transitional board members were appointed at the special general meeting: Christopher Girodat, Arzo Ansary, Devon Richards, Ehssan Ghahremani and Sunita Sohi. The resolution appointing the transitional board members also directs them to hire a general manager and a chief returning officer and to hold a general election as soon as possible. According to the resolution, the new board members will not be paid.

The KSA’s current board now consists of nine students, including the four remaining council members who were not up for impeachment: Langley campus director Jennifer Campbell, Langley representative Ken McIntyre, Richmond representative Corbin Mountford and Richmond representative Sasha Mirza.

The meeting was ordered because of a 277-signature petition presented to the KSA by Girodat earlier in the month requesting that the meeting (SGM) be held Nov. 30 to remove 13 council members and to install a new set of bylaws.

The petition alleged that the named directors had brought “the Kwantlen Student Association into disrepute through reckless decision-making and the irresponsible use of student funds.”