During the Nov. 5 council meeting, The Kwantlen Student Association discussed holding a byelection in the first week of December, after representatives previously stated it was expected to be held this month.
KSA executive director Benjamin Newsom said there had been some worries about the cost of having a byelection late in the year due to the upcoming yearly general election planned to be held between January and February, but the byelection will still move forward.
To prepare for the byelection, the KSA has approved chief returning officer Ron Laufer to oversee the election for the 2021/2022 period.
Newsom says the council members elected in the byelection will work with KSA during January, February and March.
The only KSA council members currently sitting are Jaya Dhillon, Student with Disabilities Representative and Lesli Sangha, Mature Students Representative.
The KSA is currently working on ways to improve the turnout of student voters, and Newsom says there will be info sessions for students who want to run KSA elections to learn important information about the elections.
The info sessions will cover and educate new candidates on topics like the purpose of the KSA, how they run an election and who the current committee and council members are. Newsom wants this session to help students feel more informed on KSA and how it works.
Sangha delivered a report about her work advocating for the accessibility needs of students with disabilities. Both Sangha and Dhillon said they want to make sure students with disabilities have better access to school resources.
Sangha wants students with disabilities to be considered full-time students even if they only take 40 per cent course load, and says this approval by the government would make it easier for students with disabilities to have better access to “award scholarships, the dean’s honour roll, banking perks.”
Sangha says she is lobbying on a province-wide level to change the classification of full-time students so the resources provided can also benefit students with disabilities. Dhillon, and KSA staff John O’Brian, Jeremy Law, and Diamond Obera are advocating with her as well.
Council reported that MLA Stephanie Cadieux has also agreed to take some time to listen to Sangha and Dhillon on their advocacy points for students with disabilities.