Executive for new year elected at first council meeting
The first meeting of the new Kwantlen Student Association came to a swift conclusion on April 1. At the meeting, the councillors elected the new executives: Tanvir Singh as the next vice-president of student services, Natasha Lopes as the vice-president of student life, Rawan Ali as the vice-president of finance and operations, and Alex McGowan as vice-president external. Singh, Lopes, and Ali are each new additions to the council, and McGowan finds himself re-elected to the same position he has held for the last year.
The nominations for executives were put forward by other council members, followed by a speech from the nominee and a secret ballot vote. Each of the four times Speaker Titus Gregory opened up the floor to nominations, only one member was suggested for the role, meaning that there was no competition or contention over the positions.
Singh, who was the first to receive the title of vice-president, is a founding member of Kwantlen’s Gaming Guild and has two years of experience with the KSA. Primarily, he has four goals which he intends to accomplish during his time as an executive: create more space for clubs, meetings, and dining on-campus, integrate faculty into the council, advocate with the university’s constituencies, and lead development on the student union building.
“If you have a goal in mind, you need to be able to do it yourself, and that’s definitely something I will be doing,” says Singh.
The second to be elected, Rawan Ali, came to Canada two years ago. She says that from her experience in finances and company management, she understands that organizing budgets is key, and she will implement that knowledge into her job as vice-president of finance. “I know that finances can make or break an organization,” she says, but she currently cannot determine a concrete method of measuring her future success. Regardless, Ali’s outreach strategy is contacting students in accounting and financing as well as the relevant clubs.
For Lopes, neutrality is of the greatest importance in her role as the vice-president of student life. In her speech, she stated that she will, “work to remain neutral … for the best interest of the student body,” and the funds that they pay to the KSA. She plans to work with clubs, constituencies, and staff “constantly…so that we are on the same page and working together.” In regard to student engagement, Lopes hopes to make personal appearances in classrooms and open panel discussions to reinforce her role as a major point of contact and advocate for the school’s student body.
McGowan believes that the bar has already been set high from his past year as an executive, but that’s what he “plan[s] to continue doing.” McGowan says that he has learned great deal over the past year; he states that his conflict resolution skills have improved, and he’s become aware of Kwantlen’s lack of “issue-based policies,” which he wants to address and resolve. He also aspires to increase the role of the external affairs committee and student engagement through volunteer-run campaigns. McGowan notes the significance of maintaining relationships with other student associations and municipal and principal governments. Along the way, he will organize “consultation to make sure we’re targeting achievement.”
Four seats were also taken on the appointments committee by John Shkurtaj, Murdoch de Mooy, Argel Monte De Ramos and Sarah Barahmeh. Each member was self-elected, but none were opposed.
McGowan was also elected as president of the KSA.