Ousted KSA directors vow to take fight to court

Student councillors barred from campus after last week’s impeachment.

Ousted KSA directors vow to take fight to court

Members of the Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) board who were impeached at a meeting on the Surrey Kwantlen Polytechnic University campus last week say they plan to take their fight to the Supreme Court of Canada if the “botched” and “unfair” situation is not resolved.

Last Wednesday afternoon, at a special meeting that was delayed by fire alarms and pepper spray, more than 350 students voted for the removal of a dozen of 16 KSA directors. The Special General Meeting (SGM) was called after a 277-name petition was presented earlier in November, demanding the members of KSA be removed, placed in bad standing so they may never run for the KSA again, and a new set of bylaws installed. The vote passed unanimously. Interim directors were also appointed and a new election called for early in the new year.

However, the ousted group called the meeting “botched” and said due process was not followed. They say the general meeting was actually called for Monday, Dec. 5 and that they had rallied their supporters to show up on that day, not Nov. 30.

KSA president Sean Birdman said his group sent a complaint to the university noting the rising tensions and a perceived racism as all 26 of the targeted students are south Asian.

“The University did nothing to protect us,” Birdman said. “Shockingly, they responded by banning our councillors from campus altogether, changing the locks on our office doors, and handing the keys to the opposition group purportedly appointed on November 30.”

Birdman and his colleagues want last week’s meeting declared null and void. If not, the fight will proceed to B.C. Supreme Court, the group vowed this week.

Much of the initial opposition to the executive elected early this year began after it was discovered the association had put a lawsuit involving former director Aaron Takhar and others on hold. At the time, it was revealed at least two of the newly elected directors are related to Takhar – his sister Justine Franson and cousin Nina Kaur. Franson has since resigned. The longstanding lawsuit, which involved the alleged mismanagement of more than $1 million in students fees, was subsequently dismissed without costs. There are also allegations the current executives raised their pay by 40 per cent, spent $100,000 on a concert and spent thousands of dollars on legal fees.

Jennifer Campbell, Langley Campus Director for the KSA, said students are finally having their voices heard.

“Over the past months students have attempted to attend council meetings to have their concerns heard only to be met with intimidation through private security at council meetings and public reports that vilify them,” Campbell said.

“Students took the first steps to building stronger student governance at Kwantlen,” said Ehssan Ghahremani, one of five Interim Directors of the Society, appointed last week.

The ousted group of students planned to rally Monday afternoon to demand the university “recognize and resolve what are blatantly unfair practices” by some students and university officials and grant the “rightful” board of KSA directors access to their offices.

 

Just Posted

Semiahmoo First Nation archeology manager Don Welsh (left) sifts through shell midden at a Crescent Beach site in August 2019. (File photo)
Semiahmoo First Nation to repatriate 200 ancestors

B.C. grant funding return of remains from Simon Fraser University

The City of Surrey partnered with the Work Zone Safety Alliance last year to remind drivers to slow down in construction zones. (File photo)
White Rock, Surrey motorists asked to slow down in ‘cone zones’

Provincewide campaign encouraging residents to be mindful of construction workers

White Rock RCMP received more than 80 calls for service between Friday and Sunday night (May 14-16, 2021). (Aaron Hinks file photo)
White Rock beachgoers fined for fires, public intoxication

Majority of weekend visitors were well-behaved, police say

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale in 2020. A new exhibit about FVHRS and Surrey’s train history opens at the Museum of Surrey June 2. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
New exhibition on Surrey’s train history to open at Museum of Surrey

Separate two-day event welcomes kids June 25-26

A new DPD team began targeting gang-related activity on May 15, including checking on individuals who must abide by curfews and conditions. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police taking action to address gang conflict

Three-pronged strategy focused on interdiction, investigation and prevention

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read