Monday, December 11, 2017

New student representatives elected to Camosun College boards

November 30, 2016 by Aaron Stefik, contributing writer

On October 25 and 26, the Camosun College board of governors and education council held their fall by-elections for Lansdowne representatives. Camosun second-year University Transfer student Mitchel Auger-Langejan was elected to the education council as Lansdowne student representative, and Camosun second-year University Transfer student Anthony Pica was elected as Lansdowne student representative to the college’s board of governors.

Pica, who is also the Camosun College Student Society pride director, says he wants to learn all he can in order to effectively represent the student body before the college brass on the board of governors. Pica’s position on the board of governors includes having voting power.

Camosun College board of governors Lansdowne student rep Anthony Pica (photo by Jill Westby/Nexus).

Camosun College board of governors Lansdowne student rep Anthony Pica (photo by Jill Westby/Nexus).

“My position is to hold a seat for the students, to represent them and advocate for them,” he says. “It’s more about learning and networking and seeing how a board of governors works and to have a voice and an opinion on what’s going on at the college.”

Auger-Langejan is preparing a plan for his time on the education council. He holds to the importance of basing his decisions and proposals upon an objective measure of students’ wants and needs.

“I plan to gather data, a questionnaire on students which I’m developing,” he says. “I want to figure out questions that they think are important. I want to record their feelings about it, that kind of thing, over the course of several months, and basically create data from that and submit that as empirical evidence to meetings. So it’s no longer left up to the opinions of the people who work within politics in the school. It’s, in fact, left up to the students who feel this way as well, because they’re being represented by data, rather than my opinion.”

Pica says that it would be a good initiative for the college to promote the student positions on the board of governors and education council.

“I think that it would be very beneficial to have more folks competing for the position,” he says, “so more students know about it, and, therefore, [there would be] more campaigning happening.”

Auger-Langejan remains hopeful that a new crop of Camosun students will bring fresh interest to the voting process next time around.

“There seems to be a bit of a change in the energy of the school,” he says. “It seems that there are a lot of younger students that came into college for their first year this semester. They spend more time in the library, later nights, meeting groups to study, that kind of thing. They seem like passionate people, and people who lack apathy tend to participate. If people feel like it would actually do something for the school, I feel like they’re more inclined to take time out of their day and go vote.”

Camosun College board of governors chair Russ Lazaruk points out that the Lansdowne student position on the board remained vacant for a time prior to the election due to lack of interest. He believes that candidate motivation of the electorate is key, and he urges any and all students interested in becoming a part of the college to step forth.

“Get involved,” says Lazaruk. “If you’re interested in the governance of college, don’t be afraid to put your name forward. Every student that we’ve had on the board has added quite a bit to the board, and it’s a fantastic learning experience.”

Auger-Langejan believes that power resides, ultimately, within the student body itself.

“When you look at the statistics regarding voter turnout,” he says, “it’s usually lower than people would like to hear. But I think that will change, and I think it’ll change when people believe in it.”

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