CSU Candidate Forums: COVID-19 Community, Representation and Student Supports

Voting for the 2021 CSU elections runs from Oct. 5-7 through my.capilanou emails

Bridget Stringer-Holden // News Editor
Alisha Samnani // Editor-in-Chief
Valeriya Kim // Design Director

The Capilano Students’ Union (CSU)’s 2021 Candidate Forums, moderated by the Capilano Courier, were held on Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 via Zoom. Students running discussed the importance of increased campus community during COVID-19, increasing representation of marginalized communities, and creating stronger student support systems ahead of next week’s election.

According to the CSU website, there are 12 candidates participating in the elections, including eight students running for positions on the CSU Board of Directors (BoD) and four students running for executive Capilano Business and Professional Society (CBPS) positions. 

The event provides an opportunity for candidates to speak to students about their goals and visions for their work at the CSU, and for students to ask questions and raise concerns about issues that are important to them. Each candidate present at the forums were given the opportunity to speak about why they should be elected in their respective roles, and answered a series of questions posed by the moderators.

Voting for the CSU 2021-22 elections will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 5 and run until Thursday, Oct. 7. Ballots will be cast online, and will become available via students’ my.capilanou emails at 9 am on Tuesday.

Here’s what you missed at the 2021 CSU Candidate Forums:

At the first of the two forums, candidate for Students of Colour Liaison Shawn Caldera shared the difficulty students of colour can have finding support, underlining the importance of increasing diversity and representation at Capilano University (CapU). He feels that he could bring a new perspective and also help build community at CapU by connecting students of all ethnicities and backgrounds and collaborating with communities and businesses run by people of colour. Caldera believes his experience as a working professional and in student governance at UNBC would be a valuable asset to the CSU BoD.

Two of this year’s candidates for Vice-President Equity & Sustainability, Jade Chandra and Mackenzie Gibson, placed emphasis on their previous lobbying experience and seconded Caldera’s desire to amplify marginalized voices and increase campus culture. Both candidates also expressed a desire to lend a supportive ear to students on a range of issues, from climate change to accessibility needs and racism. Bobby Pourseyf, who is running for the same position, was absent from the forum.

At Wednesday’s forum, CSU Women Students Liaison candidate Negar Leil spoke about her experience as a business student in the male-dominated industry, and how that’s fueled her desire to help women get the recognition they deserve. Leil also hopes to create more accessible learning opportunities for students located outside of the province, such as webinars and other online resources.

David Xiong, acting President of the Capilano Finance Association President, mentioned that he’s been a part of the CFA ever since his first year of university and therefore understands who it all works — although he acknowledges that there’s always a lot more to learn. He wants to focus on getting events back to campus and in-person and noted that he wants to hold events that include an “outside perspective.”

Candidates that were unable to make the forums include candidate Mike Greyell, who is running uncontested for CSU Accessibility Justice Coordinator, and candidates Lalita Sasya and Itsuki Yokoyama, both of whom are running for CSU At-Large Representative positions.

CBPS presidential candidate Ishita Sharda, Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) presidential candidate Dahlia Vu, and Capilano University Marketing Association (CapUMA) presidential candidate Linh Ha were also absent from the forums.

Although many candidates are running uncontested, they are still subject to a yes/no vote — needing to receive more votes in their favour than against in order to take the seat.

Candidate statements, as well as recordings of the Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 forums are available online. For more information, please see https://csu.bc.ca/elections/ or contact elections@csu.bc.ca.

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