Finally, an Indigenous voice on the LSU

46 per cent more spoiled ballots for the Aboriginal rep than other positions

Danni Beardy stands with faculty members in front of the “Welcome Figure” house post at Langara. Photo by Nick Laba.
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Reported by Nick Laba

Langara’s Indigenous students have reason to celebrate – they’ll now have a much desired voice on the students’ union council.

By a vote of 204-139, Danni Beardy beat out fellow campaigner Daniel Kennedy to gain her seat, the first time in four years there’s been an Aboriginal rep.

Beardy stressed that getting an Indigenous voice in the student government was the main goal.

No communication between LSU and Indigenous students at Langara has been an ongoing problem

“It’s a big issue for us; we have no communication. We want to build a relationship between the LSU and the Aboriginal department,” she said.

Kennedy said he was surprised by the number of invalid votes – 101 spoiled ballots for the Aboriginal rep was 46 per cent higher than any other category.

Last year’s vote was marred by suspicion because of a rule that says when only one student runs, the vote becomes a yes or no ballot. Supporters of Angeline Day, who ran for Aboriginal representative, were shocked when she received four times as many no votes than yes votes and failed to win a seat.

Newly elected Aboriginal representative Danni Beardy sits outside at Langara College on Oct. 23, 2018. Photo by Nick Laba.

With this year’s move without consultation of the Dave Pearson Native Student Centre, located in the LSU, department assistant Rita Merrick said the decision to ensure Indigenous representation happened organically.

“We saw decisions happening without them, without their consultation, so [filling the position] became an obvious way to make a shift,” said Merrick.

“It’s a great success that she’s in there now,” said Kennedy, who gave Beardy his full support.

Kennedy said having Beardy on the LSU would give Indigenous students information from the private, closed off council meetings.

As for the general election results, Sukhroop Kaur took the presidential seat with a comfortable vote of 296-91.

Newly elected vice presidents include: Brian Qin, student life; Keshav Rai, internal affairs; Gurleen Sidhu, external affairs; Harmandeep Toor, student life and Navjot Warring, finance and administration.

Ishan Malhotra was elected international students’ representative and Harsimrat Singh the diversity and inclusion representative.

Deepak Baanga, Eknoor Singh Sekhon, Manpreet Singh and Shubham Taneja will all serve as general representatives.

 

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