Reported by Kristyn Anthony
The Langara Students’ Union has finished their by-election and elected a new set of student representatives.
The results of the voter turnout had 303 students that went to the polls for the council’s by-election, with only 19 ballots counted as spoiled.
For the first time, candidates were given the opportunity to campaign online and amendments to electoral dates meant more time for campaigning and voting.
Independent party oversaw the election
Fred Schiffner, president of Schiffner Consultants Inc., conducts elections and referendums as an independent third party. He also served as the LSU’s chief returning officer.
“My prime objective is to make sure the election is conducted in a fair and unbiased fashion,” Schiffner said. “Just like the federal and provincial elections, it’s important.”
Schiffner also said those elected determine what benefits the students receive and voter turn out was disappointing, but not entirely unexpected.
Devinder Singh, a computer science student at Langara had cast his ballot for the second year in a row.
“Voting is a very important job for us because we are electing representatives who will help us,” Singh said. “We’re hoping for [better candidates] to hear us.”
Each candidate was encouraged to provide an approved scrutineer to oversee the count.
Sixteen students ran for seven council positions and two officer roles were filled by acclamation. A lack of interest for the four advisor positions leaves those roles unfilled until the spring election.
International students need help adjusting in Langara
Diksha Arora, a Langara biology student, was excited to be elected in council for her first term.
She said students from outside Canada face a variety of challenges from registering courses to navigating transit and having a go-to person who relates will be helpful.
“The education system in India is very different than here. In India, it’s still books and pencils,” Arora said. “I’m going to focus on helping people cope with [Langara’s] online systems and registering courses.”