February is a busy month for the Kwantlen Student Association who have their annual general election just around the corner, with voting taking place this Wednesday and Thursday.
The last few weeks have been extra busy on Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s campuses with candidates walking around telling students about their campaigns, promises, or changes they will make if elected, and election posters filling up the bulletin boards. Outside campus, students have probably seen candidate posters or statements on Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms.
The KSA is the government body for KPU students, and their purpose is to advocate for students and create change for a better life during post-secondary. Like every other election, it is vital to vote for candidates who align with your beliefs, goals, and will make students’ lives better at KPU.
I know you have heard this again and again, but your vote really does matter. Not just for current KPU students, but also for future ones.
Over 70 candidates are running in the election this year, which is higher than seen in previous elections. With this many people running, it is the perfect opportunity to cast your vote to which candidates fit best with what changes you want to see on campus. There are 26 positions on the KSA council, which include five campus representative positions, seven constituency, and 14 faculty representative positions.
In the last few years, KSA elections saw low voting turnout. In the 2023 general election, 3,090 out of 19,670 students voted. Elections in 2019 and 2020 saw a total of 1,443 and 1,469 votes respectively, and 2022 saw low votes as well with the only voting option being “yes/no” due to less candidates running.
The more students vote in the election, the higher the chances are that students will see their preferred candidates on council representing not only their voice, but making life better for KPU students.
The KSA is the extended voice for KPU students on a local, provincial, and federal level, whether it be connecting with the university about scholarships or discussing issues that matter most to students across B.C. and Canada. It’s important to pay attention to what the KSA is up to, to make sure they are acting and spending fees in the best interest of students, which makes your vote so much more important.
Over the last few years, a lot has gone on with the KSA, including implementing a tuition reimbursement benefit, the Freshers Party allegations, the high turnover of Executive Directors, staff trying to come to an agreement with their employer, and ending their membership with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). This is not to say the KSA hasn’t made good changes like offering gender affirming care for students starting this fall, hosting events, and helping make life better for KPU students, but it’s important to pay attention to what happens in the student association and to elect the right people who have students’ best interest at heart.
Voting this year will take place in-person on each KPU campus from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, which is the first time it is being done in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic. While voting is important, it’s crucial to point out that not every KPU student can commute to campus due to other circumstances in life, whether it be working long hours to stay afloat, physical limitations, or other factors. Students who are unable to vote in-person can make accommodations with KPU by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We all pay tuition and fees to go to KPU, so it is your right to not only vote for student association representatives and a council that reflects what you want, but also what you need during your time at post-secondary.