ASFA Elections Under Way
Typically-Low Voter Turnout Be Damned
As the Arts and Science Federation of Associations campaigning period for a VP Communications came to a close on Oct. 11, all parties are now hoping that students just show up to vote.
“The most important thing is that people know about the election,” said Golam Kazi, a contender for the executive position. “We want a voter turnout—whether they vote for me or for the other candidate, it’s important they do. If there aren’t enough votes, the actual election process is nullified, which is a big waste of time and student money.”
Voting takes place Oct. 12 and 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at both campuses.
The election will also feature a referendum question looking to add a seat for a member of Sustainable Concordia to ASFA’s sustainable committee.
Typically, the 18,000-member faculty association’s byelection voter turnout “can be problematic,” said Chief Electoral Officer Nick Cuillerier, who explained that ASFA’s general elections only see between 1,000 and 1,250 students vote.
“But we’re hoping to improve on that this year […] trying to reach out and get as many people as possible [to vote] through promotional materials.
“I’m a big proponent of byelections,” he continued. “The students should really decide who gets the position. I mean, these things could be done by appointment, but I really feel that the students should have a choice and participate. It shouldn’t be assumed they’re not interested in being part of the election process.”
Golam Seeks Precious VP Seat
Kazi, a political science major and the resident DJ at ASFA events, agreed that reaching out to students who “don’t know about ASFA or what’s going on” was pivotal to last week’s campaign.
Using Facebook, postering and classroom visits, he said making students “feel like part of a team” and “being available” would give him the edge in the competition.
“Talking to people face to face makes a huge difference,” he said, adding that, if elected, he would be interested to sit down with students in a style similar to the Coffee with Amine campaign undertaken by last year’s Concordia Student Union president.
“I think my experiences [as a DJ] will also really be an asset to ASFA,” he said. “That experience has given me the ability to adapt, to learn to work with crowds and to create what people want.”
Natasha Launi Missing in Action
Natasha Launi, the other candidate for the position, is
a third-year communication studies student, photographer and graphic artist. She was VP Social of the Communications Guild last year.
After repeated attempts by The Link, Launi was unavailable for comment about the campaign, but has mapped-
out her platform on natashalauni.com.
Launi’s campaign focuses on increasing ASFA’s exposure to students by helping the organization use social media to “step up their game in spreading the word about social events, academic opportunities and protests,” updating the ASFA website and creating a newsletter.
Students at the Sir George William’s Campus can vote in the lobby and on the 4th floor of the Hall Building, as well as the lobby of the LB Building. Students at Loyola can find their polling stations in the lobbies of the AD Building and the SP Pavillion.
This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 09, published October 12, 2010.