The Kwantlen Student Association provides many things for Kwantlen Polytechnic University students, such as programs that work to ensure environmental and social sustainability within KPU, peer resource centres that help foster mental health and well-being in the student community. They also offer free or low-cost ways for students to find interesting clubs, active events, or volunteer experience.
For this year’s student council election, candidates were promoting themselves and making promises to students, and nothing persuades people to vote more than promising them things they love to hear.
Promises advocating for shorter waitlist times and lowering or freezing tuition have been made in previous elections, all of which are very unrealistic promises for councillors to make. Besides the promises to advocate for slowing the increases of tuition fees, students want to see other topics discussed, such as student life and community at KPU.
One of the reasons community-building and student life at KPU sometimes feels absent is because not a lot of people know enough about the many services the KSA offers. Because of this, they should put effort into helping students be aware of the services students are paying for and how they can take part in their school community.
Candidates have promised this over and over throughout the years, but none of them have ever really achieved it on a large enough scale for students to absorb it.
It is one thing to promote events on their website, but more posters and more representatives spending time on campuses speaking with students should also be considered.
Students taking three courses can find themselves paying about $163 towards the association each semester, and the majority of them don’t even know how the KSA benefits them. To many, it may feel like a waste of money.
The KSA can offer more free and low-cost ways, like pop-up ambassador booths sprinkled around campus or weekly online social media workshops to help promote themselves and get more students involved in events and activities to promote student life.
The KSA needs to focus on bringing back more student events, specifically for new students who push the boundaries of the single orientation get-together. With the world slowly coming back to the way it used to be, this year will be the perfect opportunity for all these events and activities.
This is specifically true with the clubs at KPU as well. The clubs seem a bit lackluster, this could be due to the lack of solid gatherings, and community feel within these clubs.
The KSA has a large amount of money set aside for clubs to use for their activities and events, and more effort should be put into making people aware that this is available.
By putting more of the KSA’s attention on these clubs and extracurricular activities, it would help increase club memberships and help with student awareness of how the KSA functions and how it can benefit students beyond offering services.
Student awareness and action is the key problem here, and this can all be fixed with better marketing, transparency, and communication with all students.
Another big issue they could look into is the lack of availability for certain classes within each semester at KPU. While the small class sizes are something that KPU values and prides itself in, this could be a barrier for students since small class sizes also have minimal seat placements.
It would be amazing to see KSA council representatives be a voice for students, perhaps by arranging meetings with faculty members to let them know about students’ concerns with specific in-demand courses. This would be a proactive way to help further address student needs and worries and bring greater attention to those concerns.
The KSA could ask students what other issues they face through polls on social media, their website, or in-person campus events since public consultation via email doesn’t seem to attract many students.
Community is crucial, and students need fewer promises on things that are already being discussed and worked towards, and more action towards promoting and supporting clubs, spreading awareness of what the KSA can do besides providing student services, and hosting fun and accessible events that foster students’ wellbeing.