SLIDESHOW: LSU by-election candidates highlight platforms in forum

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(Left to right) Amritpal Kaler, Stuart Neatby, Harsimran Sandhu, Meharban Singh, Diksha Arora and Harjot Grewal during the LSU All Candidates’ Forum. Photo: Chahira Merarsi

Reported by Brian Kurokawa and Chahira Merarsi

Last Thursday, the Langara Students’ Union held an all-candidates forum for their upcoming by-election. Of the 18 election candidates, only 12 attended the forum.

Desmond Rodenbour, the new general manager of the LSU, started the forum off and emphasized the importance of participating in student government.

“Democracy is only as strong as we can make it,” Rodenbour said.

A clear concern for many of the candidates, many of which are international students, was the need to provide support for Langara’s international community.

“It is kind of difficult to come from a different country and kind of adjust in the surroundings, academically and socially,” said Diksha Arora, a candidate for the position of councillor. “So I want them to know that what social options or academic options are available to them. I have faced some hardships so I don’t want them to be alone.”

The candidates hope to help international students by making more scholarships accessible to them and organizing events on campus that celebrate cultural diversity.

Rodenbour also took a moment to acknowledge the courage that it takes to run for student office.

“Many of them, this is perhaps one of their first time doing any public speaking, putting themselves out for questions,” Rodenbour said. “I just urge you to show a lot of respect to them. Honour the effort and their desire to want to serve you.”

Common themes among the candidates’ platforms were the need for transparency in the LSU, community engagement and improving options for financial assistance.

Some candidates had different ideas that they would like to implement.

“There’s so much garbage,” said Harsimran Sandhu, a second-year Kinesiology student.”…I want to have bi-weekly or weekly clean-ups here.”

Parmeshar Toor, a second-year student, wants to use his position to raise awareness on various issues.

“I will aim to help organize very nice events, anti-bullying, mental health education week,” said Toor.

Students are able to vote in the LSU until 4 p.m. on Nov. 3.

The slideshow below profiles each candidate, summarizing their platforms.

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