The theme of the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) byelection might as well be second chances.
With the announcement of the candidates for the positions of president and environment representative today, it seems as though there is lots of potential for second chances in both categories. There are more candidates running for each position than there were in the general election, as president now has three candidates (two in the general election) and environment rep has two (up from zero in the general election).
The biggest one is perhaps Deepak Sharma, who will be asking the SFU student body for a second chance after having already been elected to the position once this year. He stepped down back in June, and raised speculation that he would be running again when he published his side of the events last week, breaking public silence for the first time since his resignation.
He’ll be running again against Darien Lechner, who was his opponent back in the spring general election. Lechner, an avid voice against the Build SFU levy, was hesitant to confirm he was running back when the byelection was announced, but it appears he will be seeking office yet again.
Even Larissa Chen had a chance at being the president before this byelection. Originally, she and Sharma were elected to board together as co-members of the Connected slate. Once Sharma stepped down, she filled in as interim president, as required of her as she was and still is the VP of student services. There was a chance for her to just take the role previously, but instead the decision back in summer was the byelection that we are now having.
It is unclear at this time why Chen passed on taking over the role of president permanently when offered, prompting another presidential election, only to run for the position now.
Furthermore, if she wins, the board does not allow for one person to serve in two positions. The SFSS has not responded to The Peak‘s request for comment at this time for what would happen with the VP student services position should Chen be elected as president.
There are even second chances to be found in the race for the representative for the faculty of environment, although it is the position getting a do-over instead of any particular candidate. No one ran for the spot back in the general election, but now Supreet Malhi and Thadoe Wai will battle it out for the last unfilled spot on board.
Candidate platforms should be posted by tomorrow, meaning students will soon get to understand their motivations and promises very soon. They won’t have long to study it before the first debate, as it takes place at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday down at the Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue.
Disclosure: Thadoe Wai used to be a part of The Peak‘s Board of Directors. He stepped down in July.