Talking to the candidates so that you don’t have to
// Samantha Thompson

It’s that time of year again! Your mouth goes dry, your palms get sweaty, and your heart races like an anxious gerbil every time you think about it. That’s right – it’s time for the Capilano Students’ Union executive elections! Your ballots decide who gets to sit in the chairs of authority over the next year, representing your rights as students and campaigning for issues they think you should care about.

In all seriousness though, you need to go vote. Right now. Here, we present to you profiles of all the candidates, so that you can make well-informed decisions when you go to the Birch polling station.

The Courier has also chosen candidates who we think will best serve you over the next year, which you can listen to, or not.Our decisions were based on their responses to our questions, their performance at the all-candidates’ forum, and, for the incumbents, our perceptions of their performances as elected executives over the past year.
Educational Issues Coordinator


Remedios has three main objectives: to lower tuition fees, to improve public transit to Capilano, and to increase clubs funding. He is interested in advocating alongside student groups at SFU, UBC, and UVic for increased government funding for post-secondary; however, he would also like to reassess the CSU’s membership in the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), noting that “last year students collectively paid $85,000 to the CFS, and the benefits students received were minimal.” Although his first priority is to the position of the Educational Issues Coordinator, Remedios is also interested in being involved with the financial affairs and university relations portfolios within the CSU. “The role of the CSU,” he says, “is to represent the best interests of students in all manners affecting the overall quality of their experience at Capilano.”

Environmental Issues Coordinator

Anderson wants to see the sale of bottled water eradicated from campus, replacing the machines with water bottle refill stations instead. In addition, she wants to set up an edible garden. “I would like to help out in as many areas as I can,” she says. “I believe social justice is closely linked with environmental issues, so I am sure we can work together on projects.” She would like to see more cooperation within the CSU executive – with more support for each other’s events, which she believes will result in more success for each event. “My role is to represent the student body and be of service to the students,” says Anderson.


Ferance sees the CSU as a the result of a “group of passionate, like-minded individuals who care about issues that everyone would like to say they care about but do not…enact change upon.” As Environmental Issues Coordinator, he seeks to establish a greenhouse, a community garden, and a bee colony on campus. With the community garden he believes a whole range of possibilities will occur, such as workshops and education opportunities on the “maintenance of gardens in bear country.” He is also interested in getting involved in the Educational Issues committee because he believes that education is important for self-improvement and bettering the world. “People sometimes fail to realize that even the smallest of decisions have the greatest of impacts,” he says.
First Nations Liaison


Ducharme is the incumbent candidate for this position, with his first year in the CSU commencing in Sept. 2010. This year, he would like to see more involvement from First Nations students and would like to host more events. In addition to serving as First Nations Liaison, Ducharme is interested in being involved in the financial affairs committee, as well as assisting in the organization of the annual and semi-annual general meetings. On the executive, he would be “the person who makes people laugh at the appropriate time, holds board members accountable, [and] gets things done on time.” He also aims to encourage the CSU executive to work together as a team, instead of individuals alone or in cliques. “I see the CSU as a student-run organization,” he says. “Its main goal is to advocate for student rights.”


John plans to “shine a new light on our people, students, and culture heritage as First Nations People of Canada.” Her goal is to accomplish effective First Nations student involvement, and believes the CSU has a role on campus to help students to feel accepted and provide “assurance for all parts of the student experience.” She says that it is important to realize that we are all here “accomplishing our…desires for careers and passion-filled fun.” John promises that she do her best to proceed with action and great intentions with whatever task comes her way. “[Students] may appear shy,“ she says, “but the actual reality is that we are just waiting for someone to initiate some type of communication.“

International Students’ Liaison


Choi plans on getting students involved in her committee and in the CSU by using both online and offline tools, including cooperating with the International Student Centre. “The CSU should use more aggressive and integrated strategies to promote their campaigns and events,” she says. Her ultimate goal with the International Students’ committee is to reduce tuition fees, and she is also going to work towards removing the 12 credit enrolment condition on scholarships so that students who have financial need can apply for them. She also plans on working with the Educational Issues and Social Justice coordinators. She say that she “will work closely with those get synergy on our issues, and support other committees’ campaigns on the CSU executive.”

Ozturk has been an international student for five years in Canada, and feels that this experience has well-equipped him with knowledge about what kinds of issues international students have when they first arrive to a new country. He points out that one of the biggest issues is to find jobs. “I believe that students without off-campus work permits still want to work,” he says. “However, there aren’t enough jobs available on-campus for international students, and I want to make this work experience possible.” He would like to get involved with as many different issues as time allows him to, in a variety of areas. He began volunteering for the University this year and plans to continue. “I want to play a very active role as a CSU executive and I am sure I will do so,” he says.


Morales is hoping to get students more in touch with the CSU, and plans to do this with the help of the executive. In order to better understand what students want from the CSU, he is suggesting that a survey be conducted. He believes the survey will help the CSU to recognize its strengths and weaknesses. “Right now I’m studying business,” he says, “so for this reason, I’m really interested to see how things work around here.” He is also planning making “good relations around the university” and he “wish[es] to make good friends, too.”

Social Activities Coordinator


Koebel is the incumbent (and is also running unopposed) for this position. She hopes to continue planning and providing unique events for students that will allow people to enjoy their time at Capilano. Koebel emphasizes the importance of outreach, saying that it is the responsibility of all executive members to advocate for boththeir committee and the rest of the CSU. She also plans to be involved with the CSU’s Services and General Operations committees, as well as collaborating with other committees to put on events that address student issues and concerns. “The role of the CSU on campus is to stand up for students,” she says. “As the executive committee, we help those students and ourselves have a voice. Being a part of the CSU is very important, and I think all students should get their say in what happens.”

Social Justice Coordinator


Grant wants to run campaigns that are going to challenge and excite students on campus. Involvement in the committee in previous years, she says, “has taught me so much about myself because of a few projects that challenged my views, how far I wa
s willing to go for things I am passionate for.” Although previously she has had an interest in global issues, she is aiming to find a balance between local and international causes worth fighting for. She also recognizes that the CSU really tries to engage the student population, but because Capilano is such a large transfer university, with many two-year programs, “students don’t always have the investment to get very involved,” says Grant. “However, I can see this slowly changing and I have hope that these efforts will pay off.”

Students with Disabilities Liaison


Perry acknowledges that not all students with disabilities want to deal with it publicly, saying that “many work to overcome it without letting it define them.” He believes that the Students with Disabilities committee should connect to a broader base of students who may work with their disability in different ways. He also wishes to help students by providing information about things like the health plan and academic assistance. Perry is advocating for events that are directed at the whole student body, having the CSU also represent students in Squamish and on the Sunshine Coast . He also wants to
use a lot more of the CSU’s budget for event advertising and the work the CSU does. “The CSU plays a role of fundamental importance here at Capilano University, [acting] as the students' voice to help shape the school to serve them better,” he says. “Students have great ideas as to how the school could work better and the CSU is there to act on that.”


Stewart is the incumbent for this position, and is planning on holding a successful campaign to raise the amount of money that people with disabilities receive from the government, reduce social stigma, and host events that bring the campus disability community together and include everyone. He is also planning on working with the Canadian Federation of Students to expand the disability petition campaign to raise how much financial assistance disabled persons receive, as well as discussing a National Housing Campaign. Stewart believes that the CSU should “create an inclusive and accessible environment on campus.” In addition to the Students with Disabilities
committee, he is interested in being involved with the CSU’s Canadian Federation of Students portfolio, as well as general operations and services. “I would also like to help other members on the CSU with their events and make sure that they are accessible to all,” he says.

Students of Colour Liaison


Nasirpour wants to contribute towards a better campus life for all students, as well as contributing to the CSU executive in other areas, in addition to his role as Students of Colour liaison. He plans on staying involved with the health and dental working group. He believes the CSU should “act as the voice for all students on campus, including Sechelt and Squamish.” In addition, Nasirpour would like to see fun events take place on campus, such as a beer garden, as well as promoting more food options in the cafeteria with lower food prices, and increasing the number of classes currently offered. “The CSU is definitely heading in the right direction and the proof is in the pudding – a new health & dental plan was implemented…and a new lounge is being constructed for use by students,” he says. “I think the CSU could work on throwing some fun events on campus that would bring students closer together.”

Women’s Liaison


Livesey wants to work alongside and communicate with students, and continue to work with the collective to make improvements at the Women’s Centre so that there continues to be a safe space for women on campus. She also aims to work closely with other CSU committees and “create awareness of self-identified women’s issues, inequality, and injustice, through campaigns and fundraisers.” She is hoping to continue to invite the men on campus to become involved with the Women’s collective, because “it is important to ensure that the inclusion of women does not mean the exclusion of men.” Beyond the Women’s Collective, Livesey has an interest in being involved with the university relations and services committees, and wants to “communicate with both the student body and the CSU to ensure the students’ voices are being heard.”

* No nominations for candidates in the position of Queer Liaison were received. Kevin Khamseh (Educational Issues Coordinator), Dolly Reno (First Nations Liaison), Jun Whi Park (International Students’ Liaison) and Heather McDonald (Women’s Liaison) did not respond to interview requests as of press time.

// Samantha Thompson

// Photos by Natahsha Prakash

Enjoy it? Share this on Facebook


© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: