New KSA Student Representative facing criminal charges

The KSA says they are looking into the situation after an arrest warrant was issued on Jan. 20

The KSA office located in the Cedar Building of KPU’s Surrey Campus. (File photo)

An arrest warrant was issued for recently elected Kwantlen Student Association Arts Representative Alvin Chand after he failed to appear in Surrey Provincial Court on Jan. 20.

Chand was scheduled to appear for the hearing in connection to a charge he faces for allegedly driving with a suspended or prohibited license in early October. The charge has yet to be proven in court.

On Jan. 22, Chand said that he was unaware of the details related to the charge, or that the warrant had been issued after he missed the hearing. He denied that his license was suspended and said that, to his knowledge, he had not been prohibited from driving for any reason.

Chand is also facing criminal charges of mischief, dangerous operation of a conveyance, and failure to stop after an accident in Pitt Meadows. The charges were brought against him in connection to an incident that court documents say occurred on or around Dec. 13. These charges have also yet to be proven in court.

Chand was taken into police custody following the incident, and he was later released on Dec. 14, saying that he believes the charges against him will be dismissed.

“It’s going to get dismissed, I know that much. It has to be. It makes no sense whatsoever for me to be in jail because I’m a good person. I literally go to school, and I have political ambition,” he told The Runner as he was being released from police custody.

Chand alleges he was assaulted in a racially-motivated attack while he was trying to visit his ex-partner to discuss an upcoming family court hearing. He said that he did not know the individual who allegedly assaulted him before the incident took place.

Court documents obtained by The Runner show that the conditions of his release prohibit Chand from possessing any weapons as defined by the Criminal Code, and he is barred from travelling within three city blocks of an address in Pitt Meadows.

The conditions also name four individuals that Chand is prohibited from contacting directly or indirectly and prohibit him from going to any place of residence, place of employment, or place of education of the individual Chand alleges attacked him in December.

Port Coquitlam Court registry confirmed that Chand did not appear at the first scheduled court hearing on Dec. 29 to face the charges, but did appear at the rescheduled hearing on Jan. 12. The hearing was adjourned, with the next date for his appearance scheduled for next month.

Following his election in December, Chand told The Runner that one of the reasons he decided to run for the position was to bring attention to an incident that took place in March 2020, where he believes he was discriminated against while grocery shopping in Cloverdale.

According to online records, Chand has appeared in court a number of times in connection to a separate charge of mischief in relation to property for $5,000 or under that was brought against him in May 2020. His final appearance was on Oct. 21, 2021, when the matter was concluded with a stay of proceedings directed by the Crown.

The Kwantlen Student Association has said they are aware of Chand’s charges and are looking into the situation in advance of the general council meeting scheduled for Jan. 28, which is the association’s first official general meeting of the year. It will also be the first meeting that Chand is expected to attend as an elected representative, when council members traditionally take an oath of office and are introduced to other members they have not met.

Chand, who was the only candidate who ran in the KSA by-election in November, was elected after receiving 31 “yes” votes and 26 “no” votes.

The duties of KSA student representatives include attending meetings and public appearances, consulting with members of their constituency, submitting monthly reports to council, chairing and sitting on student committees, organizing workshops and events for students, voting on motions presented to council, and submitting budget proposals to council executives.

Chand, who said he is studying criminology at KPU, has the responsibility as an elected student council member and faculty representative to speak on behalf of Kwantlen Polytechnic University arts students at KSA council and committee meetings and advocate and lobby for the interests of those students.

After being released from police custody in December, he said he would discuss the situation with the KSA. 

“I just got elected, so I need to actually talk to the KSA about all of this,” he said. 

However, he confirmed that as of Jan. 22, he has not had any communication with the KSA aside from an email about scheduling an orientation session to prepare him for serving in the role, and a short in-person discussion with KSA executive director Ben Newsom that took place in December following the by-election.

Newsom confirmed that they spoke to Chand after the by-election, and emailed Chand in order to schedule an orientation session, but said that the training session has not yet taken place. 

Both Newsom and members of the KSA student council declined to comment any further.

Chand’s next scheduled appearance in relation to the charges he faces connected to the incident in Pitt Meadows is Feb. 2. As of Jan. 22, his court hearing to face the charge of driving with a suspended or prohibited license in Surrey had not been rescheduled since the warrant for his arrest was issued.