Nominations will be open from Sept. 5 to 26
Joseph Keller, Staff Writer
As the fall semester welcomes new and returning students to KPU, the Kwantlen Student Association is gearing up for a mid-term by-election. The KSA hopes to see several student representative positions filled, some of which the association has had difficulty finding candidates for in recent years.
“There’s a lot of different spots right now that are going to be up and available and we’re hoping to engage as many students as possible to try to get people to run for those spots,” says KSA President Tanvir Singh.
Nominations will open on Sept. 5—a date chosen to coincide with the fall semester Welcome Week—and close on Sept. 26. The campaign period will run from Sept. 26 to Oct. 17, while student voting will be held from Oct. 17 to 19.
The positions that will be open include the Aboriginal Students Rep., International Students Rep., Students of Colour Rep., Queer Students Rep., Langley Rep., Richmond Rep., Academic and Career Advancement Rep., Design Rep., Health Rep., Science & Hort Rep., and Trades & Technology Rep.
Currently, many of these roles are being filled by acting representatives, elected at the KSA’s Annual General Meeting in March.
Singh admits that the KSA has had a hard time finding candidates to fill these positions in the past. The association has only had one full time Health Rep. in its history, and Singh attributes this to the demanding nature of KPU’s Faculty of Health programs which, particularly after the first year, takes up most of students’ time and leaves them unable to commit to the KSA.
Shorter programs, such as trades and technology, present a problem for students hoping to get involved with student government because of their duration. Trades students usually don’t attend KPU long enough to become acquainted with the KSA. Additionally, the KSA has had problems finding students engaged enough with the university to express interest in these positions.
“Sometimes students don’t have the opportunity to see what the KSA does. Sometimes they see it as kind of a daunting task and a little bit too much for them to handle. Sometimes they don’t think it’s worth their time,” says Singh. “But we like to think that as soon as students do get involved with the KSA they find that we’re definitely a worthwhile endeavor and we’re definitely a great place for them to grow, both professionally and personally.”
This year, the KSA is hoping to maximize student engagement with the by-election by having a prominent presence at Welcome Week. By doing this, the KSA hopes to find new students who are interested in getting involved with the campus community.
“We’re hoping that, while we’re engaging with students and putting the money and effort into Welcome Week, we’ll also be able to engage students to sign up for the by-elections at the same time.”
Singh explains that the ideal candidates for these positions are students willing to dedicate themselves to the job, balance the KSA with their other commitments, and have the ability to learn while working and ask a lot of questions. Most of all, Singh says that the ideal candidate will care about KPU students and the KPU community.
He also notes that, as some of the current KSA executives are planning to graduate and move on from the KSA over the next few semesters, an opportunity is opening up for new KSA members to step into those high-ranking roles.
“Now’s the perfect time for anyone that wants to become an executive to really get involved with the KSA,” says Singh.