Meet the KSA’s New Executive Team

Ramini, Singh, McCutchen, and Reedy begin their year-long terms
Alyssa Laube, Associate Editor

Copy of KSA_Candidates_Spring2017_12
KSA President and VP Student Services/University Affairs Tanvir Singh (The Runner)

The Kwantlen Student Association elected their new Executive Committee at a meeting of Council on April 2.

Rawan Ramini and Tanvir Singh were re-elected to their positions as VP Finance & Operations and VP Student Services, also referred to as University Affairs, respectively. Caitlin McCutchen has assumed the role of VP External, which was held by ex-KSA President Alex McGowan, and Jay Reedy is beginning his term as VP Student Life, succeeding Natasha Lopes.

Singh was also elected President of the KSA, taking over from McGowan.

“I love doing the work that I do. I love the kind of responsibilities that are included in the portfolio,” says Ramini, about why she chose to run again for VP Finance & Operations. “I think I do a good job of being VP Finance and managing the budget and looking over our investments

She is preparing to start consultations for the KSA’s budget in July or August, with the final document being approved around December. In terms of future projects, Ramini is looking forward to working with the KSA’s soon-to-be start-up incubator and student union building, both of which will be new to the organisation.

“The start-up incubator, in a nutshell, is a program that will help students who have business ideas no matter what their major of study is [and] provide them with proper training and mentorship to turn their idea into an actual business,” she says.

The incubator will provide eligible students with funding to kick start their business, a place to operate from, access to workshops, and one-on-one mentorship with experts from the community. Funds for the project have been collected by the KSA since 2014.

In regards to the student union building, Ramini will be “heading the team that’s working on the whole project and finding designers,” as well as putting together a committee “to work on the details of how we’re going to go about doing that,” taking costs into account.

Jay Reedy admits that, although he was an unengaged student before joining the KSA, becoming a part of student life has been “really pivotal” to his identity and happiness. As VP Student Life he is planning to hold campaigns to fight the social stigma surrounding mental illness, to create a greater dialogue between clubs, and to establish more effective follow-up in response to events.

To help foster a communicative environment for KPU club leaders and members, Reedy is hoping to form an “inter-club committee, where club leaders have a more regular forum to speak to one another than just the club mixers that we put on once a semester.” He also wants to continue running regularly scheduled programming in the Grassroots Cafe, even entertaining the possibility of making events like the open mics at the end of every month more frequent.

“Having events surveys, having event reports, and just a greater degree of follow-up than we’ve had in the past,” is another one of his goals intended to establish “a database of what works and what our cost per head is, basically coming up with metrics for successful events.”

McCutchen is a political science student and has experience as a KSA councillor and student-at-large on the association’s External Committee.

“If I hadn’t pursued this, I would’ve found a job that’s basically the same thing,” she says. “I have an understanding of how government works and how policies are passed.”

She will be dedicating part of her term to getting more accessible transportation to and from KPU campuses, “potentially looking at getting a B-line here and more accessible bike lanes.” She is also hoping to join Reedy in his campaign against mental health stigma, and to continue strengthening relationships between the KSA and groups such as the Alliance of BC Students and Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.

“I know that Alex [McGowan] has maintained many amazing connections to municipal and provincial governments and I’d like to be able to maintain those relationships,” she says.

Singh, for his part, will have his plate full this year as he works as both VP Student Services/University Affairs and President of the KSA.

“I just wanted another year to take on the role of President and help further establish the role of University Affairs,” he says in reference to his re-election. “I think there are a lot of things that I didn’t get to do in my first year, such as addressing open education and access to education for students, maintaining a good relationship with the university, and helping with the establishment of a student union building.”

Although Singh did organise a campaign on the importance of open education resources in the past, he wants to run another one that is less “low to the ground.”

As President, his primary focus will be boosting engagement between councillors, staff, and the executives on the KSA.

“It’s really important to ensure that councillors are well taken care of so that they have the tools they need to succeed this year,” Singh explains. “I’ve changed the way we go about orientation for councillors. I’ve really upped the ante for the amount of training and breadth of training that they get as well.”

“I think it’s the role of the President to really make everyone work as a team and bring to light any issues that come to my desk, and the desks of others, and that we deal with that as we see fit,” he says.