Members of the Kwantlen Student Association say they are planning to hold a byelection this upcoming November. Currently, the KSA has only two members on its council due to the disqualification of 21 candidates from the general election earlier this year.
Lesli Sangha, Mature Students Representative and Jaya Dhillon, Student with Disabilities Representative, are the two members on the council, taking on multiple roles.
The candidates were disqualified from the general election following accusations of cheating, slating, and forging signatures. After the disqualification was approved, it was understood that Dhillon and Sangha would be the only members until the fall when a byelection could be held.
Jeremy Law, KSA executive secretary, says that it’s taken longer than usual to call a byelection because an election involves a lot of time dedication and the KSA chief returning officer is usually busy working on other things.
The job of the chief returning officer consists of preparing for and overseeing elections, and the KSA has been working on coordinating an appropriate time with him to be available. It’s also important for the byelection to be held during the fall semester because of the higher likelihood of seeing engagement from students.
“Because a lot of students are still online during the fall, we kind of thought that we should do an online vote in order for us to better accommodate for all students because we want that accessibility,” says Law.
An online voting system has not yet been finalized by the KSA and in an email to The Runner, Lesli Sangha said the council is still in the planning process of holding the byelection and they will soon meet with the chief returning officer in order to determine both the exact date when the election will be held, and the format of it.
While the KSA is working to decide on the best way and time to have an election, new rules for the byelection may soon be set in place to prevent disqualified students from running for office for a year.
“We don’t want the slating and not following the rules to overshadow the candidates who truly want to participate in the KSA in a full capacity and are running solely because they care about what they’re doing, and they want to represent students,” Law says.
If any students are interested in knowing more about the procedures of council, they can attend the meetings held every first Friday of the month. The meetings are currently online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.