With Matty Harris gone, can the CSU even survive another year?

It is a new year and change is in the air. Unless you have been MIA these past few weeks, you probably have already seen the Capilano Students' Union (CSU) posters on the walls of the halls about the coming elections.
Each Fall semester, the CSU holds an of new leaders and liaisons for its committees, such as the Environmental Committee, which recently implemented a campus recycling program, the Social Justice Committee, which held the "5 Days for the Homeless" Campaign, and the Educational Issues Committee, which helped implement the U-Pass.
Because it is that time of year again, it is time for the campaign posters to flood the school's halls. Students who were nominated during the first three weeks of the school year will be out swinging for votes during the campaigning period from September 28 to October 5. From October 5 to October 7, the polls will then be open for voting in the Birch cafeteria.
The position for Committee Liaison is a paid position, which starts at $400 a month. The new leaders that emerge will be responsible for coordinating events and initiatives for their respective committees. The general student body is responsible for voting for who they believe fits best into the positions being run for.
Trevor Page, a Board of Governors Representative, Senate Member and the liaison for University Relations, advises that the traits to look for in a candidate are obvious. "The ability to work with and engage a diverse group of people, willingness to learn, open to feedback and the ability to communicate ideas."
The school's elections are not only important to minority groups that fill the committees but also for the general student body and the community of North Vancouver.
Page mentioned that "a Coordinator or Liaison's two major responsibilities are coordinating events, initiatives, and educational opportunities from their committee and representing those and all students in the Executive Committee."
In other words, the new leaders not only join their committee but become part of the Executive Committee. In that position, they meet every Friday for about two hours to discuss issues affecting each student of Capilano University. They vote on new clubs and councils, and they are the people whose voices are heard in the important meetings around the community.
Gurpreet Kambo, last years Students of Colour Liaison, advises, "Members who wish to be elected should be prepared to speak their mind and not be afraid of conflict should it come up. Also, students who are interested should make sure that they actually can make the time commitment for it, otherwise it ends up making a headache for everyone as well."
The issues that the liaisons and committees are responsible to fight for are real and present on both our campus and in our society. The Students with Disabilities Committee helps improve accessibility and they help give a voice to students with disabilities. The Queer Students Collective gathers homosexual students in a safe environment where they can interact and speak about the issues that concern them. The Women's Collective is a club for women who focus on the status and equality of women in the school and in society. Both committees run their own respective lounges in the Library building.
The First Nations Issues Committee gathers students who self-identify as Native, and organize events that build awareness about the issues they face on and off campus. The International Students Committee gathers the international students and assists them with things like work permits, all while still fighting for lower international student fees.
During the campaigning period, students have the ability to talk to the candidates about their questions, issues and their concerns. The opportunity for students to vote will come on October 5, when the polling stations open.

by Ali Abassi

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com