Voting to take place from Mar. 16 to Mar. 18 through ballots sent to CapU emails
Alisha Samnani // Managing Editor, News Editor
Bridget Stringer-Holden // Associate News Editor
Community engagement, strengthening relations between students and Capilano University (CapU) faculty, and increasing awareness of services offered were amongst the main points of discussion at the recent Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) candidate forums.
The CSU elections will run online from Mar. 16 at 9 am to Mar. 18 at 5 pm, where 22 students are running for various occupancies. Elected students will hold their positions from June 1, 2021 through to May 31, 2022. Two candidate forums were held on Mar. 9 and Mar.11 from 12-1 pm to provide insight into the candidates’ visions for the CSU. Candidate statements—along with recordings for those unable to attend—have been posted on the CSU’s Youtube channel.
The first forum, held on Tuesday, Mar. 9, welcomed candidates running for collective liaisons and coordinators as well as campus, faculty, and at-large representative positions. While all candidates touched on the importance of student-faculty connection, CSU Business & Professional Studies representative candidates Terrance Alanis and Ben Hickman focused specifically on building external community relations to better prepare students for life after university.
Both Queer Students Liaison candidates, Sarah Lynn and Juliette Purkiss, hope to provide more queer resources for students in and out of the classroom in order to create a stronger sense of community within CapU. Arts & Sciences representative candidate, Clara Duwel, would like to increase the connection between the CSU and students—something that’s been lacking due to online learning. Nandini Sharda, who is running for International Students Liaison, wants to better engage international students and focus on student justice overall.
Thursday’s forum included candidates for the CSU president and vice president positions as well as all Capilano Business & Professional Society positions.
All candidates for CSU president—Oscar Blue, Maia Lomelino and June Reisner—spoke about extending and continuing initiatives mentioned in the CSU 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, including a heightened focus on decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion. Additionally, all three spoke about the importance of increasing community relations and fostering strong connections between students, staff and faculty.
VP External candidate Aryanna Chartrand hopes to increase the amount of national advocacy done by the CSU, while VP Finance and Services candidate Akira Yamagishi focused on balancing the budget post-pandemic and making sure that executive goals align with the needs of students. Meshelle Duncan, the candidate for VP Equity and Sustainability, wants to increase accountability for the university as a whole, while VP Student Affairs candidate Zabir hopes to increase student awareness of services offered by the CSU.
Ishita Sharda, one of two candidates running for Capilano Business & Professional Society (CBPS) vice-president, spoke about the need for the CBPS to increase services and provide greater support for first and second-year students.
There are seven associations that make up the CBPS, a student-run organization that enhances the academic, campus and social lives of students in the BPS programs. Amongst them are the Capilano Communication Association and the Capilano Accounting Association, both of which had candidates running uncontested for presidential positions. Sophia Kara, who is running for president of the Capilano Communication Association, mentioned the importance of building strong relations between the association and CapU faculty members.
While most candidates attended the forum, seven were unable to participate in either forum. This includes the two candidates running for the Capilano Legal Studies Association president—Alice Price-Stephens and Tessa Sever—as well as Sanaz Rabieipour, who is running for the position of CBPS vice-president against Ishita Sharda.
The remaining absentee candidates, Enis Besirevic, Brigid Mychael, Joel Gilani and Mayumi Izumi—running for the Capilano Accounting Association president, CSU Sunshine Coast Campus Representative, CSU At-Large Representative, and the CSU Mature & Parent Students Liaison respectively—are all running uncontested.
Twelve positions remain vacant at the moment, including the CSU Indigenous Studies Liaison, the CSU Students of Colour Liaison, and the CSU Accessibility Justice Coordinator.
Ballots will be sent to CapU emails on Mar. 16 at 9 am, and students are encouraged to vote until 5 pm on Mar. 18. For questions, or if you’re interested in running for a vacant position, visit the CSU Elections FAQ, the Candidate Handbook, or email the external CSU Elections Administrator.