- Shivam Sadana
Deepkiran Chahal Aims to Become New Face of Student Union w/ Presidential Bid
Deepkiran Kaur Chahal, taking her Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Supply Chain Management, is one of three candidates running for President of the Students’ Union. She told us that when she came here in September, she met a lot of students who were facing hard times; for instance, with getting proper accommodation. Chahal says she spoke to a few people, helping them to find proper accommodation and other basic amenities. She thought if she had a position of authority, she’d be able to help out even more. Her keen interest in the welfare of the students and her involvement in the community for the same reason is why she thinks she makes a good candidate for President. She also mentioned that the reason she wants to be President of the Students’ Union and not hold another representative seat because as a President she’d be effective in all the respective areas.
When asked about her campaign strategy, she told us “I would like to convince them to vote for the right person, and most importantly to vote because it’s important to be part of the decision making process. My strategy is just interacting with students to convey to them that I aim to address all student issues and concerns with utmost sincerity.” There are a few changes that she’d like to bring to this community of students. She mentioned a few problems that students face on a daily basis, namely: transit, housing, infrastructure, availability of books, few food options on campus and food quality in Harris Hall. She also mentioned that there is not enough cultural exchange happening in the CBU society, she supported this point by saying “Not many students know about Unama’ki College and the programs they offer but it is necessary for every student to know their contribution to the community. So in order to facilitate more cultural exchange, more events, trips and excursions should be organised. Also, a program that can be worked on is the ‘buddy scheme’, in which a newcomer would be provided a buddy who [has] already been here for a long time, and the buddy can help the newcomer during the orientation. Also, the students should be more aware about the LGBTQ community, relevant mental health issues, bullying and sexual assault. With the increasing number of students, it becomes more important to address these issues and spread awareness about them amongst the students.
Chahal believes the Students’ Union should collect feedback from students in a timely manner. When asked about her opinions on the LGBTQ community as belonging to these demographics was illegal in India before September 6th, 2018, she said, “I am in complete support of the LGBTQ community, also, I have friends from the community but if you talk about changing the mindset of the people, it can only be done by acceptance and learning to understand them. Everyone should live by the simple yet important words “Live, and let live.”” When asked about her opponents, she said, “I know I have competition and I wish everybody well but I feel that if given a chance I will be doing a lot better because there are some issues that have not been addressed the way they should have been.” She added, “Diwali celebration last year was great, but I feel like we should be celebrating a lot of other festivities. So, instead of spending $10,000 on one event, spend $1000 on 10 events”. Some people appreciated her conviction in running for President as she has been very vocal and clear about her ideas, but some criticized her by saying that it might be too soon for her to run. She handled the criticism by saying this is where people learn and experience things, and she has been involved in the University as well as the community from the beginning. Moreover, she believes the passion that she has for helping everybody will prove her to be an asset to the Students’ Union.