Meet the candidates for the KSA 2021 General Election

Faculty Representatives

Jasleen Kaur | Business Representative

Jasleen Kaur, KSA candidate for Business Representative. (Submitted)

Why are you running for this position?

My main aim is to make new KPU students more aware of the online study system. They don’t know about Moodle or how to log in. I would help them operate that. If I were elected, I could help more and more students.

Why should students vote for you?

I am one of them. I want them to vote for me because I will help them in the way they need it. I will be helpful to them in this online situation, and I will be their voice and tell the KSA what problems students are having in their studies.

If elected, what would you like to accomplish?

I would bring the problems students are having to the eyes of the KSA, because students may hesitate to contact them directly. They may not be confident, but I would help them be more confident and make them aware of the things that they don’t know about the KSA. I would always be there for any situation they needed me [in].

If elected, how will you remain accountable?

I will be responsible for my own duties, for my meetings, for all the work I would do with the KSA. I will be responsible for solving students’ problems with their studies or any other university problems.

What has your experience been like campaigning online during the pandemic?

Online campaigning is quite good. It’s my first time in elections. It was a good experience for me. I shared my posters with my friends, my classmates, and I made them aware that I would help them if I were elected.

 

Sharanjeet Singh | Business Representative

Sharanjeet Singh, KSA candidate for Business Representative. (Submitted)

Why are you running for this position?

My motive is to help students. I’ve come across many students who have a lack of knowledge about KPU because of online classes. They have recently joined KPU, and they don’t know much about all the guidelines and study system. I have helped quite a few students – some of my friends, too, who have recently joined. I want to have a chance to help many more people, students like them.

Why should students vote for you?

They should vote for me because I have faced similar problems when I joined KPU last year. It’s my fourth semester, and in the first semester I also had problems. I was able to resolve them easily because, at that time, the campus was open and I could talk to professors directly. I could get help from students in my classes too, but because of online studies students are not able to make as many friends. So, if they vote for me, I will help them [with these problems].

If elected, what would you like to accomplish?

I would like to bring all the hardships that students face to the eyes of the KSA so that the students can be helped. Many students are suffering, and in the future I will try to make sure they don’t suffer and face as many difficulties.

If elected, how would you remain accountable?

If any student wants help, and they aren’t being helped, I am accountable for that. I am accountable for each and every student not being helped.

What has your experience been like campaigning online during the pandemic?

The online experience is quite different from meeting people face to face. When we meet people personally, the impact we have is different. It’s bigger when we campaign on the campuses. Now, you need to share your posters online on social media. It’s a very different experience, but it’s been good so far. There is no other option, so why not enjoy it and put all my efforts into campaigning online so that I can get an opportunity to serve a lot of students, like me.

 

Gunit Pal Singh | Business Representative

Gunit Pal Singh, KSA candidate for Business Representative. (Submitted)

Why are you running for this position?

I’m a business student in the school of business. I was starting up, and noticed that there are a lot of problems the students are facing, especially in the School of Business. Some [times] you don’t receive some great help from the university, even by the professors when one case happened to me personally. And these need to be shown up somehow. So I wanted to show up as a student. So that’s why I’m [running] this election.

Why should students vote for you?

I’m ready to listen, ready to implement, and ready to work. Because I should listen to them first, [to hear] their point of views. Because every person has a different point of view. And sometimes a problem, which you think is not a big issue, but for them, that is a big issue. So I just want to be a mediator between the university and the students and act as a bridge, so that I can help them out.

If elected, what would you like to accomplish?

I would like to accomplish that at KPU students should not be suppressed. They don’t know how to reach the exact person or whom to reach, because there is a communication gap. I want them to know what benefits they can take from KSA, what benefits they can get from KPU. KPU is providing a lot more services than they even think.

If elected, how would you remain accountable?

Okay, first of all, I would be acting as a mediator between them. I have been trying my best to provide my services to them, but in case I failed to do anything, and I failed to raise their voice to the university and I failed to communicate the university to the students, I’ll be accountable to them. They can do whatever they want to do with me.

What has your experience been like campaigning online during the pandemic?

This was challenging. In the university, [there are] thousands of people. You meet the people, you do a lot of things with them, but when you start doing things online, first of all, you have only 35 people in your class, and they hardly respond to you. And secondly, we are trying to share our posters through social media and all, but still it’s a bit challenging for us, but we are trying our best.

 

Prabhjot Mann | Arts Representative

Prabhjot Maan, KSA candidate for Arts Representative.

Why are you running for this position?

Basically, we can say in my area, like the students studying with me, sometimes report some kind of issues happening with some professors and they are like having some somewhat of a burden. My intentions are, I can help those students and also the other thing will be can provide my contact to everyone. So if they need any help, as I’m a second-year student, so I had experience here studying. Because of the COVID, the students are studying in their home countries online. So I have provided my contact, I just made my main agenda is that I want to help new students so that they can go through the issues they have, because the main problem with the student is that they get depressed because of the study, and we do have to work here because, without work, we can’t get rid of our living expenses.

Why should students vote for you?

Students should vote for me, the first reason is that I’m trilingual. I speak three languages, I can communicate with them as many as I can. Because I can speak three languages. So that’s a plus point. The second point is that I am my second-year student because my oppositions are running and they are new students running. So I am an old student here. So I do have experience because last year also I [did] run for the position of science representative. So I do have an edge on the other candidates.

If elected, what would you like to accomplish?

If elected I will help the students. My main thing is that I want to help as many students as I can so that they [don’t] feel any depression, or sometimes when we know like the students because of depression, they attempt suicides and do some harmful acts like that. So I just want to help students as much as I can.

If elected, how would you remain accountable?

I’m an old student here so I knew my responsibility. I’m a second-year student and as to when and who the Arts Representative I am doing my Associates in Arts in Psychology. And so basically as we know this so that the study of psychology is around the brain and relating to that so I’m being mature is the main thing, which I think I can be responsible for that.

What has your experience been like campaigning online during the pandemic?

Now, I am, like, incorporated in the three courses of psychology. So we have made somewhat subgroups of my classmates, so I just put the posters in my group. And yeah, I do ask them to vote for me. And I do write my agenda is what they asked me “why should we vote for you?” I guess it’s good that we do come in online. My thinking is that voting online will be fairer than voting offline because sometimes on campus last time.… I complained that some of the guys are making errors. Some like they are forcing the people to vote.

 

Constituency Representatives

Akshat Garg | Mature Students Representative

Akshat Garg, KSA candidate for Mature Students Representative. (Submitted)

Why are you running for this position?

I am [running] for the mature students, because… the students here in the KPU, are mainly Indian students. So when I talk with them, [I can] understand their ideas and understand their problems. So, they’re the main reason.

Why should students vote for you?

So I have a good reputation in the university right now. So I think that people should vote for me because they already know me very much. And they also know I am a very helpful guy. And I never tell no to anyone in any kind of situation, I always believe to help. So, I think it is the main reason they should vote for me.

If elected, what would you like to accomplish?

Due to COVID-19 there are no events in KPU. First of all, my main goal is to organize some events, so students can enjoy KPU. My main goal is to organize the events to understand the problems regarding the Learning Centers, because I think that in learning centers, basically, students [struggle to] relate to the language. Because there is so much difference between the language [here compared to] in India. So I think I should mainly focus on Learning Centres and events.

If elected, how would you remain accountable?

I know my actions will always be justified because, you know, in politics, every action, when you do the action, the other students can see. So I think from my side…I can only do the things which are better for the students. I am not a selfish kind of person.

What has your experience been like campaigning online during the pandemic?

I am in India right now, because of some medical issues. I have just spent two months at the university. I told all my friends to share my posters to tell the students about me, I am always going live on Instagram, or other platforms to spread and to talk about the election going on in the university. So I think this is the only thing that I can do.

 

Vijender (V.J) | Mature Students Representative

Vijender (V.J), KSA candidate for Mature Students Representative. (Submitted)

Why are you running for this position?

I’m running for the mature student representative [position] as I can help a lot of students or new students, current students, because most of the new students are not aware of KSA. They misunderstand KSA with KPU. So I want to make all the new students aware about KSA and their benefits.

Why should students vote for you?

Students should vote for me because I’m a really helpful, outgoing person. If I see a student struggling, I don’t wait for the student to come to me, I go to the student and ask them if they need any help. And now during my campaigning period, I’ve mailed hundreds of students about my objectives, and how can I help them if I get elected. And I got good responses.

If elected, what would you like to accomplish?

Firstly, when I’ve talked with students, during my campaigning periods, most of the students requested to have some virtual or physical events when safe to make the student life more engaging in KPU. To host activities as most of the new students don’t know KPU. They haven’t seen the campus. They are not aware of activities and benefits KSA provides. Currently KSA is providing our 16-week free gym membership, a Go-Kart pass every three months for KPU students, and they are not aware of it. So I want to let every KPU student know about the benefits.

If elected, how would you remain accountable?

If I get elected, I will remain accountable, as I have promised every student that if they have any questions and any problem, they can email me about their problem. And I will make sure if I have a solution, I will answer them. And if I don’t, I will present their question to the council. And if a student didn’t get an answer, I would be irresponsible for that, and I wouldn’t remain accountable.

What has your experience been like campaigning online during the pandemic?

I’ve seen previous elections, the campaigning experience in person and an online scenario is a lot different. Because I’ve reached nearly 600 students, and I just got a response from 100. So there’s a big ratio. So if the elections would be in person, and if I reached 600 students, I would definitely get a response from more than 300 students. But in an online scenario, it’s like the ratio is a little less, but it’s going fine.

 

Lesli Sangha | Mature Students Representative

Lesli Sangha, KSA candidate for Mature Students Representative. (Submitted)

Why are you running for this position?

I am running because I’m really passionate about student equity. I was introduced to the KSA through the social justice and equity committee. And when I realised that I can identify with the platform of what the committee stands for, I realised that this was a place for me, and that passion ultimately led me to being co-chair of the social justice and equity committee.

It’s important that this committee exists to be able to address the needs of the minority groups of various minority groups on campus. So I found the courage to take the leap and run for Council. I want to have more responsibility, so that more responsibility and more power so that I can execute the goals that I have, not only in the social justice and equity committee, but for mature students over the age of 25. I also value working to create more student conversation through student engagement. That is one of the key things, I think, to being able to assist students, is to be able to be approachable and to be available.

Why should students vote for you?

I can relate. I can directly relate, through lived experience, many of the barriers or challenges that mature students can face. I’m a mature student, I’m a student with disabilities. I am the parent of a child with disabilities. I’m a person of colour. I can feel for them. I know exactly the challenges that we face.

And although I am here to promote my campaign, this really isn’t my campaign. This is the students’ campaign. What can we do together? How can we make changes? How can we better the experiences of students? And I can’t do that alone. I need students to know that they can approach me. I want students to know that they can hold me accountable.

I want to be a representative that gives students a voice, I want them to be comfortable with engaging, I want them to know that not only am I a council member and a representative, but I am also their peer. And my inbox is always open to anyone that wants to reach out, anyone that wants to share their story, anybody that has a concern, or even just to say hi.

If elected, what would you like to accomplish?

Focus has to be put on student engagement. We’re finding that even in the social justice and equity committee, and in many other KSA events, it’s difficult to assist students and help students if we don’t have their engagement. And so I think that finding ways to collaborate with students, finding ways to reach students, finding ways to let them know that I am here, and that they can reach me, I think that is one of the first tools. Because without the students’ voices, I can’t help.

I know that many students struggle with childcare, and so that is something that I would like to explore. I would like to find out: what are the barriers that our students are having? And is that leading to them taking breaks in semesters? Is it leading to them dropping out? And so if I know what the concerns are, then I can find the channels in which we can address those and see what we can do as the KSA, or even to address those issues with KPU for change.

If elected, how will you remain accountable?

Students can hold me accountable by popping into any of our council or committee meetings, and see what’s happening. They can voice their concerns, they can voice their critiques or criticisms, they can voice their feedback and their positive experiences. So they can hold me accountable by looking at or accessing the council, minutes, or council agendas, and they can see if my name is on there. They can see if I’m actually attending the meetings.

Since I got involved over the past year, I haven’t missed a meeting. I had a health emergency, medical emergency, back in October. I still attended the meeting.

What was your experience like to campaign online during a pandemic?

It’s been interesting. This is the first time I’ve ever run for a position. I’m a mature student coming back to school after 25 years of a break and studies. I have made some friendships on campus. I’ve been involved with KPU. I’m in the legal administrative assistant program so I have made some friendships that I’m able to reach out to, but in terms of campaigning, I’m still trying to figure that one out. Students will be able to find me on Instagram, I will tag the KSA. And so students that are following the KSA council will be able to find me that way. Outside of that, I just need to be creative.

 

Alexandra Taylor | Students with Disabilities Representative

Alexandra Taylor, KSA candidate for Students With Disabilities Representative. (Submitted)

Why are you running for this position?

So I am a student with a learning disability and what I really want to do is improve access to services for students with disabilities. So just making sure that students with disabilities just know all the services that are available to them at Kwantlen, but also make sure that there are channels available for students to access services through the government as well. Especially during the difficult time with COVID when we’re all at home.

Why should students vote for you?

Well, I’m committed to representing all students with disabilities. I really am looking forward to meeting with, like the Access Program, and the including all citizens program to find out how to best represent individuals with intellectual disabilities. I really feel like school is a place that should be a safe place for all students, and it should be an equal opportunity place for all students. And especially now, with the pandemic, it makes it just that much harder. I’m really committed to just ensuring that all students are having equal opportunity right now.

If elected, what would you like to accomplish?

Primarily, what I want to accomplish is easy access to services, as I mentioned before. Not only students with disabilities but also students that may just be struggling in general. So I know that the KSA was looking into hiring more counsellors at each location for Kwantlen, and… I’m totally on board with that. I’ve used Kwantlen’s counselling services before and they’ve helped me through a lot of personal issues as well as school issues. I think when students are at that point where they’re looking for help, we need to make sure that there’s other channels available to them. Not just Kwantlen counsellors, but maybe there’s an opportunity to talk to another student, there’s an opportunity to talk to a professional that’s outside of the school setting but is also recognized.

If elected, how will you remain accountable?

So at this point, I put together my email address and an Instagram account. So alexandra4KSA@gmail.com, and my Instagram is just @alexandra4KSA. I’m one hundred per cent open to hearing from students with disabilities at Kwantlen, and from all students of how I can help their time in post-secondary. Make it as prosperous as possible.

What was your experience like to campaign online during a pandemic?

My experience campaigning online during the pandemic has been extremely difficult, because I found out that I was positive for COVID on Saturday [last week]. It’s been a wild ride. I’m really committed to still running. I am not doing as much reaching out as I had planned on doing and I was really looking forward to you know, making videos and posting them on Instagram and really getting involved with the constituents and really finding out how I can best represent people, but right now I’m just like way too sick. But I do look forward to hopefully getting better before election day and getting more active online.

 

Jaya Dhillon | Students with Disabilities Representative

Jaya Dhillon, KSA candidate for Students With Disabilities Representative. (Submitted)

Why are you running for this position?

I actually was the student representative just two years ago, but I’m running again because what I wanted to do for students with disabilities, I was not able to do when I was in the council. The council doesn’t have a very good reputation for meeting quorum. So a lot of the plans that I had we couldn’t pursue because we couldn’t have quorum. So that’s why I’m running for this position. But also, students with disabilities have a complicated relationship with the accessibility department. Our resources are not being met. We do end up failing for the most part. I ended up failing my first year because my accessibilities were not being met, so I want to change that.

Why should students vote for you?

I want to change how the system is designed for us at Kwantlen. So right now, our accessibility department, the actual staff members, are constantly rotating. Many of them are leaving or many are not doing what they’re supposed to do to help us. When we ask them for help they keep directing us to other people, but they never actually solve the situation.

I want to implement more inclusion in the school. I find that there are certain designed programs that aren’t accessible to us. I also want to provide more opportunities for students, and the people who don’t have a disability. I want to implement seminars or a few teaching classes a year where students can learn American Sign Language, which is easy for students with disabilities to learn another language to communicate with each other, but also for other students. For example, for the nursing program, who may have patients who are deaf or need to communicate via sign language.

For the multipass program, for example, disability students often have to keep applying to get an exemption for the multipass from a doctor, and that goes to the registrar’s office. That is actually an invasion of privacy because the registrar’s office is not supposed to know about students’ disabilities, it’s actually confidential. That’s one of the things I want to work on.

If elected, what would you like to accomplish?

I also want to again make the possibility for American Sign Language classes. If we’re not able to make it permanent at least offer a few classes a year. I also want to fix the Multipass issue for disabled students. I want to create a safe space for disability students. I also want to try to run for vice president of university affairs, because I think I have a bit more insight as to how I can help the student. You know, I am also a minority, I’m a person of colour, first-generation Canadian, and of course, [a] disability student. So I want to run for vice president of university affairs, and then try to also change the KSA and try to make it better. So members can actually come to meetings, quorum can actually pass a lot of motions that we wanted to pass.

If elected, how will you remain accountable?

Disability comes first. Always. They’re always first. I want them to be involved. For the orientation week, they don’t mention that they have constituency representatives. They introduce the executive team, they introduce what the KSA has to offer, but most times they don’t let them know their constituency representatives. So a lot of students are not aware. So that’s one thing I want to change as well. The students need to know this is what they have to represent them.

What was your experience like to campaign online during a pandemic?

I tried to make posters and post them on social media. Of course, I’m talking to you and submitting a statement to The Runner. I do know some students who are willing to help me out. Try to get the word out there, spread the message. Because of the pandemic, there’s not much. I can’t actively go out and talk to people. Professor announcements of course. I also want to address better accessibility resources for students with disabilities during the pandemic, because it is much more difficult to get the resources we need online.

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