CSU Election: Meet Your Executive Candidates
Out of 16 Candidates, 8 Will Be Elected To Fill Next Year’s Executive
Concordia Student Union general elections begin today, and aside from the Loyola Coordinator spot, all executive positions are contested.
Polling lasts from March 29 to 31.
Two slates are running—Empower Concordia and Act Together. There is one candidate running independently. Despite slates, students vote for candidates by position.
Additionally, five referendum questions will appear on students’ ballots. Quorum for the election is 450 members.
Student Life Coordinator
Gauthier served as a CSU councillor this past year, so she is familiar with how student politics work.
If elected, she plans to take advantage of the green spaces Concordia has to offer on its two campuses. She also wants to help give exposure to student groups, and to student events as well.
“Students should vote for me because I have gained the knowledge necessary during my time on council to know exactly what my mandate entails,” Gauthier said. “I believe I have the skills and the drive to become the next student life coordinator.”
External Affair Coordinator
Muller has been an executive at the Liberal Arts Society for two years. He served as its president this year. He also has experience in dealing with administration through his work as a senator.
“I have been outspoken about what I stand for, and I think folks can judge me on my past actions rather than on my promises,” Muller said.
If Muller is elected, he wants to work with the provincial representation Association for the Voice of Education in Quebec, and other student associations to prevent the rumoured deregulation of programs for international students. He also sees the CSU as a resource for student run initiatives.
“This means working to augment the visibility of these groups, more poster space, better online promotion, and offer logistical support, but also respecting their complete independence,” he said.
Internal Affairs Coordinator
Yahia has been an executive of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, where he learned the many issues clubs experience in accessing space and acquiring funding. He also has experience in distributing funds to clubs and student groups.
If elected, he wants to focus on helping groups within the school and make them aware of the avenues of funding that they can reach out to. He wants to work with the student life coordinator to have a second clubs fair in the winter semester. Yahia would also like to develop a report on unused spaces on campus as well, so that they can be properly used for student initiatives.
Marshall-Kiparissis has been a councillor on the CSU for two years, and a member of its policy and loyola committees. She’s also the engagement coordinator with Sustainable Concordia, the campus outreach coordinator for CJLO 1690AM and on the board of directors for Frigo Vert. She has served on the university senate as well.
“We all understand how important grassroots student activity is at Concordia,” she explained. “In our roles as representatives on a central body, we’d do our best to respect, promote and facilitate the spaces for things that happen outside the CSU offices.”
If elected, she wants to advocate for student interests through administration. She also seeks to assure the school respects the anti-austerity and environmental mandates set by undergraduate referendums, as well as continue current CSU projects such as daycare, affordable housing and assisting student run businesses.
Longinotti volunteers as a councillor and member of the finance committee on the CSU council.
“Being able to manifest my knowledge and experience from working in the financial sector into on-campus initiatives allows me to maximize my experience as a student,” Longinotti said.
If elected, he wants to have constant communication with the student body, which includes transparency with the distribution of finances between student groups and clubs.
Academic and Advocacy Coordinator
Sahrane has experience working at the CSU Advocacy Centre. While there, she learned how the university functioned in regards to their policy structure, and represented students in university disputes.
“I am qualified and dedicated to making Concordia more accessible, both physically and academically, a safer space,” she said.
If elected, Sahrane wants to facilitate the process for students to get internships and work experience in the field that they study in. She also wants to support student-parents by aiding in their recognition by the university.
“I also want to promote dialogue on issues of mental health, self-care, sexual assault, sexual assault bystanding, gender issues, racism, and anti-oppression dialogues in general, to try to get rid of the stigma that surround many if not all of these issues,” she said.
Galbraith is currently an executive for the Arts and Science Federation of Associations, where she drafted a new ethical purchasing and sustainability policy. She’s also a member of senate, a workshop consent facilitator at the Centre for Gender Advocacy, and was last year’s president of the Liberal Arts Society.
Galbraith plans on lobbying the school to divest in fossil fuels, support Concordia groups that are socially and environmentally sustainable, and encourage curriculum on sustainability in all faculties.
She also wants to increase the amount of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus and make sure all CSU events are safe.
Peters has been elected to the CSU council twice and has worked with a variety of fund committees. He was also elected as the finance coordinator for the Sociology and Anthropology Student Union, where he has been working on the fossil fuel divestment campaign.
If elected, Peters wants to build off of currently successful projects, and increase funding for the Free Lunch Program hosted at The Hive on the Loyola campus.
“I believe the best way to promote Loyola campus life is to build off of these successful initiatives, as well as fashion the spaces that currently exist towards the promotion of student life,” he said. Like his Act Together teammates, he wants to promote sustainability within the university and in the projects he will oversee as Loyola Coordinator.
Bryan Sa Pimentel
Sa Pimentel has experience working with a few community organizations, such as the Terry Fox Run and the Salvation Army. In CEGEP, he participated in National Model United Nations.
He would like to increase funding for The Hive, People’s Potato, and the Greenhouse on Hall Building’s twelfth floor. This wouldn’t necessarily mean a fee-levy increase, according to Sa Pimentel, but he couldn’t elaborate on where the extra cash would come from.
He would like Concordia to host a “Green Campus Week,” which would involve having various green initiatives come to the school and show student how to be sustainable in their everyday lives.
Other initiatives he would like to pursue would be to replace some of the old water fountains around school—possibly with the help of engineering students—and use non-toxic washing products.
External Affairs Coordinator
Joy-Bautista has served as a regular member and as Treasurer of the Zeta Tau Omega sorority, and sat on the board of directors of the International and Ethnic Associations Council.
She would like to increase transparency at the CSU by making information more accessible to the public.
“There’s a lot of issues with regards of having our public image more exposed,” she said.
Increasing recognition and compensation for Concordia’s sports teams is also important for Joy-Bautista. She doesn’t yet know how much more compensation they should receive.
Paulrajah is a student of the John Molson School of Business. She has served as vice-president communications of the International and Ethnic Associations Council, and is a part-time financial advisor at TD Bank.
If elected, she would attempt to negate the effects of austerity, particularly with regards to tutorials.
“[Students] actually stand outside the classrooms waiting like two or three hours beforehand, and there’s still not enough places,” she remarked.
Paulrajah would also like to speed up the check requisition process, which is how people are paid back by the CSU for events they hold.
Her biggest goal would be to implement the “Smart Spending Doctrine,” which is meant to increase collaboration between associations and increase prudence when it comes to spending.
Kara-Sarkissian has served as president of the Armenian Students’ Association, was on the board of directors of the International Ethnic Associations Council twice, and was clubs coordinator during his time at Vanier College.
Empowering students means, “hearing them out,” he said.
He would like to implement what Empower Concordia calls the “Smart Spending Doctrine.” The plan has two points: collaborate with associations across campus, and make sure that every council decision adds value and benefits students.
Kara-Sarkissian believes it would be healthy for the union, and a lot could get done if students had the “opportunity to show up and debate their views about things that would be voted on.”
If elected, his goal would be to have a student body that is more informed about what is going on at the university. Addressing concerns with understanding the CSU’s jurisdiction, Kara-Sarkissian said the policies Empower Concordia pursues wouldn’t be “completely done and implemented by the CSU.” They would rather gauge public interest with regards to the policies and work with departments that have the power to address student concerns.
Student Life Coordinator
Moustakis has served as a VP for the Hellenic Student Association of Concordia, as well as vice-president events for the International and Ethnic Association Council.
If elected, he would continue to hold events like Orientation. He would also like to create events like “CSU Idol,” “Amazing Race,” and “recreational and competitive” sports games in collaboration with other universities.
Moustakis would like to host guest speakers to address topics like sexual harassment, stress, bullying, staying motivated at school, and small business growth. In addition, he will be looking to create workshops dealing with healthy lifestyle, the job market, life improvement and motivation, and skills growth.
Academic and Advocacy
Macris has worked on numerous organizations across campus, such as the Hellenic Student Association, the Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ External Committee, the Coms Guild, the Geographic Undergrad Student Society of Concordia, and the Zeta Tau Omega Sorority.
She would like to increase student awareness to some of the services across campus, like the Housing and Job Bank, Advocacy Centre and Legal Information Clinic.
Macris would also like to see the implementation of a student complaint office for those services, which she called an “informational HUB,” to point students in the right direction.
Under her mandate, a “professor office hour oversight program” might be created in order to address complaints that professors don’t provide proper feedback to their students. This could possibly be addressed through “interactive” online office hours.
Other initiatives include fixing the MyConcordia portal by working with the IT department, and creating policies with regards to final grade submissions.
Jing Ruby Zhao
Internal Affairs Coordinator
Ruby Zhao has worked as the Events Coordinator for the Concordia Chinese Student Association. She is also on the executive team of the International and Ethnic Associations Council.
She would like to implement a “mentoring system” for clubs’ executives to receive “training and proper guidance.”
Increasing clubs’ funding by “looking at where to cut within the administrative body of the CSU,” and allocating funds to improve student spaces are other initiatives he would like to pursue.
Additionally, she would like to improve the CSU’s communication with the Concordia student body.
Zhao could not be reached for comment on her platform by press time, as her info derives from a blurb she wrote on the CSU elections website.
External Affairs Coordinator
Riaz has experience working as both the treasurer and the president of the Vanier Student Association. He has also sat on the Vanier College Board of Directors, and was involved in the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program.
He would like to work with organizations that “tackle specific causes that Concordia students are passionate about,” such as mental health, consent, and career building.
Opening up internship networks for students and lowering the eligibility criteria for internships would be something he’d like to implement.
Continuing to work on anti-austerity initiatives that are already in place is also important for Riaz. Other initiatives include bringing more speakers to Concordia, and increasing transparency by making yearly budgets and council meeting minutes easily available to students.
Most importantly, he would like to educate students on what the CSU has to offer.