KSA prepares for general election, passes motions during January meeting

The 2021 election will be held online, and students can submit nomination packages until Feb. 11

(Kwantlen Student Association)

The Kwantlen Student Association is accepting nominations for the upcoming student council general election. Nominations are now open to all student members until Feb. 11 at 12:00 p.m., and each package needs to be signed by at least 25 valid nominators in good standing with the KSA.

The voting period will start on Feb. 25 at 10:00 a.m. and end on Feb. 26 at 9:00 p.m.

Students can find instructions on how to fill out their nomination package on the KSA website, as well as information about the running process, election rules, and the expectations and requirements for each position.

The nomination pre-check deadline is Feb. 8 at 12:00 p.m., where candidates can submit their packages to ensure no errors or omissions. The all-candidates meeting will be held on Feb. 12 at 10:00 a.m. on Zoom, and the campaign period will begin immediately after, concluding on Feb. 26.

Voting will take place online on Feb. 25 and 26, and all five campus representative positions, seven constituency representative positions, and 14 faculty representative council positions open for election.

During the council meeting on Jan. 22, the KSA discussed options for holding the election online, appointed Ron Laufer as the Chief Returning Officer in charge of the election count, and to help facilitate any subsequent by-elections.

The publicly accessible records of the KSA meeting agendas and minutes are not available online. In an email, KSA Executive Director Benjamin Newsom wrote that this is due to the KSA moving records over to the Sharepoint platform. He has not given an estimate of when they will be available online again.

The council also passed a motion to contribute $20,000 in sponsorship funding to KDocsFF 2021, and Policy and Political Affairs Coordinator Jewelles Smith announced that she was leaving her position.

KSA VP Finance & Operations Ripunjot Brar reported that the KSA executive committee members “do not seem to agree” that the KSA should continue to provide funding throughout 2021 for a Syrian student refugee to attend KPU. This sponsorship began in 2019 in partnership with World University Service Canada.

Brar also reported that Business Faculty Representative Sukmandeep Singh Gill resigned from his position of finance committee chair.

“We have not decided who will be the next chair, as no other committee member is willing to take that position, so this is a real challenge for the committee,” said Brar.

A motion was passed approving a fee structure change for the membership of the Alliance of BC Students, which according to KSA Tech Campus Representative Jeremy Law, would increase from $6,212.58 to $13,000 in the first year, and $19,700 in the second year. The increased funding is meant to cover staffing costs and reduce financial uncertainty for the organization.

“A little blow to the revenue could mean, pretty much, the ABCS dissolving because there’s just not enough finances … The purpose is to increase the fees to allow for the ABCS to operate with just one staff member,” said Law.

Law also brought forward motions to remove three of the executives after criticizing their past performance. “I feel like, personally, the reports have been regurgitations of emails rather than the action that has been taken after those emails,” he said.

The executives specified in the motions were VP External Affairs, Palwinder Singh, KSA President and VP Student Life, Gurdial Dhindsa, and VP University Affairs, Ravinder Pal Singh.

Law listed several organizational meetings, advocacy campaigns, and events that they had not attended over the summer and fall semesters.

“I’ve gotten a lot of questions about where our vice president of external affairs is,” he said.

“It’s very sad for our external affairs portfolio that the ABCS has had a really long fee discussion. It’s something that will very much impact the KSA, it’s been turbulent to say the least, and I haven’t seen our VP External at those meetings. I had to represent the KSA at those.”

The motion to remove Palwinder Singh was seconded by Kiran Sidhu but did not receive enough votes from the council to pass. The motions to remove Dhindsa and Ravinder Pal Singh failed after they were not seconded. None of the three executives said anything in response to Law’s criticism or the motions for their removal.

Tags: KSA, kwantlen, KPU, ABCS, politics