All About Your ASFA Candidates

Council Hopefuls Outline Campaign Promises

After a rough start, the Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ by-elections are wrapping up as polling begins tomorrow and ends on Oct. 13.

The election had originally been scheduled to take place last week, but was moved back due to a lack of a Chief Electoral Officer.

A total of six candidates are running for the open spots, which include an independent councilor seat, VP of Communications, and VP External & Sustainability. Here’s a bit about your candidates.

VP External & Sustainability

Boris Degasand and Paul Jerajian are competing to be VP External & Sustainability. Both said that the External part of the mandate is the easy part, but the Sustainability mandate requires more attention.

Degas’ proposed projects include founding a bike co-op, organizing a flea market and a “Green Week” for public awareness.

“I’m passionate about this position,” said Degas. “That’s why I consider myself to be the better candidate.”

Jerajian plans to organize a “Vegan Ventures” night to learn how to cook vegan food and to address the issue of students who can’t find gluten-free goods on campus.

“I care a lot about the students,” he said. “I would enjoy helping them out through ASFA.”

Degas plans to get parents involved in the fight against tuition fee increases, since they are affected, as well. He would also like to reach out to universities outside of Quebec that have higher tuition fees. Jerajian said the tuition issue is why he decided to run, as he feels that students are paying for the government’s mismanagement of funds.

VP Communications

Katie Brioux and Alexis Suzuki are the candidates for VP Communications. Both candidates want to improve the look of the ASFA website and want to start a video newsletter or blog to reach out to students about ASFA and student activities.

Brioux, who has been The Concordian’s graphics editor for two years, feels that the website has been abandoned since the position was vacant over the summer.

“I would inform everyone about parties, meetings, guest speakers,” said Brioux. “Apathy is something I want to tackle and I think something more interactive and visual could help.”

Suzuki has a personal website up for her campaign. She said that mass “postering” is a waste of paper and that the website needs an events calendar.
“We need to inform students on a more personal level,” said Suzuki. “[A video newsletter] would make the executive team more approachable.”

Regarding tuition fee hikes, Brioux was present at the demonstration in Quebec City last December and would like to use her position not only to inform students, but also to persuade them to act against it. Suzuki said she wants to find methods to increase the participation of students who can’t miss work or classes, but want to show support in other ways.

Independent Councilor

The race for the vacant independent councilor seat is between Sian Mill and Yasmeen Zaharare, both of whom are also making tuition a key part of their platforms.

Mill was the VP Internal of the Geography Undergraduate Student Society last year and got to know the ASFA executive.

“Students need to know what events their Member Associations are putting on,” said Mill. “[I also want] to encourage student involvement.”

Zahar seeks to represent her fellow international students on Council, and also aims to sit on the sustainability committee.

“I’m really interested in increasing sustainable practices at ASFA and at Concordia,” she said.

Mill said the tuition fees hikes are unfair for students in a precarious financial situation and that the loans and bursaries program isn’t meeting students’ demand. Zahar said that she would fight the tuition fees increases, especially since international students already have an enormous fee.