News Brief: KSA council accepts resignation of Alvin Chand and discusses KSA services

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

The Kwantlen Student Association council members met on May 13 through a hybrid format. 

Langley Campus Representative Karan Singh, Students with Disabilities Rep Leslie Sangha, International Student Rep and KSA President Armaan Dhillon, and Women’s Rep Manmeet Brar were in attendance. 

The council approved the meeting minutes for March and April before accepting former Arts Rep Alvin Chand’s resignation, which he submitted via email to Executive Director Ben Newsom on May 2. 

“I have decided to resign my position due to unforeseen circumstances and my inability to participate in council duties for the foreseeable future. Good luck with it all moving forward,” reads Chand’s email that was provided to The Runner

Chand was initially elected in the fall by-election and re-elected for arts rep in the online general election. Chand was absent from KSA council meetings since he was elected and is currently facing criminal charges in Surrey, New Westminster, and Port Coquitlam, according to online court records

At the KSA executive meeting on May 20, the Debate Club and the Operations & Supply Chain Management Club (OSCM) applications were approved. 

At the executive meeting on May 27, Newsom said they are looking into KSA photo access cards for students, but details will be reviewed at the next council meeting. 

Dhillon, VP university affairs, is working to improve relations with Kwantlen Polytechnic University and said the KSA needs to improve outreach to students during orientation. He suggested putting posters on campus. 

He said he has heard from students that the KPU libraries don’t have enough laptops and is looking into ways the KSA could help students obtain a laptop for their classes. 

Dhillon wants to run a trial extending the hours of the Grassroots Café after hearing from students that it’s often the only place to eat with the early closing hours of the Tim Hortons and KPU cafeteria on the Surrey campus. 

Dhillon is also working on a partnership with Abbotsford Canucks to organize a game attendance with students. 

Singh, VP external affairs, has been working on a collaboration with RCMP for a liaison program. He will submit a proposal for the next meeting. 

Brar, VP student life, said she’s met with students who would like a pad or tampon machine in the bathrooms. Brar is also working with students to form a women’s club. 

She also wants to improve the label of the existing KSA feedback boxes, which are located outside the offices and one in Grassroots at the Surrey campus. Sangha suggested having a feedback option on their website too. 

Diamond Obera, KSA policy coordinator, will soon present to the standing committee on finance and government services. This year, student organizations, unions, and universities are being asked to have three recommendations to consider in the 2023 budget. 

Sangha said she would like to see the federal grant program that was doubled to continue at the provincial level for students with disabilities because they face additional costs like medication and physiotherapy. 

Law suggested asking for international student tuition increases to have a cap similar to domestic students who are capped at two per cent. He said it’s hard for students to budget for education when they don’t know the amount of tuition will increase. 

The next council meeting is scheduled for June 2 at 10:00 am, and the next executive meeting on June 3 at 10:00 am, both in a hybrid format.