Meet the students running for the ASFA executive team
Who’s who in the upcoming ASFA election
With 14 candidates to choose from, this year’s Arts and Science Federation of Associations election is bound to be a contentious one. Here’s everything you need to know about the students vying for your vote.
This video features the entire Hope and Reliability slate.
Head of the Hope and Reliability slate and executive coordinator candidate is Sean Smith, who, with the help of his team, aims to bring hope back to the student body and be a reliable executive team.
Smith and his slate want to rebrand and revitalize ASFA to increase student engagement. They also hope to increase transparency—since ASFA budgets and executive reports are private from students.
“For the last year, students have been losing hope. Losing hope in their education, losing hope with Concordia, and losing hope with all student government across the university,” he said. “They want to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Smith emphasized that if elected, Hope and Reliability will “fight tooth and nail” for ASFA students. “Students can rely on us, and they can start being hopeful again.”
Alexandre Boigontier, an economics student, is independently running for executive coordinator. His main focus is giving students a voice and showing them what ASFA does.
“I liked the responsibilities that were involved with being executive coordinator,” he explained, especially because he would be able to use his vote to represent the student body.
If elected, he wants to give ASFA students a platform to tell the executive team what they need and opportunities to get involved. Anonymous polling and Q&A sessions would be one of those initiatives.
Sadegh Sheikhnezhad, an economics student, is running to keep his position as academic coordinator alongside the Hope and Reliability slate. “I know my time at Concordia and ASFA is not over. I still have a lot of work to do, so that’s why I’m running for the same position,” he said. If elected, he plans to expand the GradProSkills program offered by the university to graduate students to undergraduates as well, to prepare them for the workforce.
Jasmine Ramcharitar Brown, a history student, is running for academic coordinator as an independent candidate.
“It was kind of spur of the moment, I actually wasn’t sure if I’d get in,” she explained. “I wanted to advocate for students in the school. I felt that I could probably benefit the position.” In her work as a community organizer, she’s spent a lot of time assessing needs and wants to transfer those skills to ASFA.
While she’s uncertain about what the position would give her the jurisdiction to do, she hopes to learn more about what she can do and use those opportunities to serve students.
“I’m one of the underdogs,” she said. “I can only offer you what I can offer you. I don’t want to make false promises. I want to be real about it.”
Student Interested, Not Self Interested’s Alexandre Wolski is an honours philosophy student, and ASFA's current co-finance coordinator. He plans to improve access to funds for students starting new projects and prevent the misappropriation of funds by making the application process easier. He also wants to restructure the way students obtain reimbursement cheques and make it a more efficient system.
Amine Ben Arous, running for finance coordinator with Hope and Reliability, is a student in actuarial mathematics. He’s the current president of the Mathematics, Actuarial, and Statistics Student Association and hopes to create a workshop series to improve students’ financial literacy. He also wants to expand ASFA’s budget by getting sponsorships and creating partnerships outside of the association.
Andrew McLeod is running for finance coordinator independently, but did not respond to requests for comment.
Philosophy major Sarah Bubenheimer’s main priority as Student Interested, Not Self Interested’s internal coordinator candidate would be to create greater unity between the Member Association arts programs and the rest of ASFA by creating both social and academic events. With the threat of an online fall semester still looming pending the university’s decision, Bubenheimer hopes to transfer most of the planned events online all while keeping in mind Zoom fatigue and spending too much time in front of a computer screen.
Noor Coll, an economics student, is running for internal coordinator alongside Hope and Reliability. If elected, she hopes to increase student involvement and awareness of ASFA. “I feel like students are not aware of what their own [member associations] can do for them,” she said. She also wants to make students feel like they’re being heard and their concerns are being taken into account.
Following two compaints sent to the Human Rights Comission on the basis of racial and sexual violence against ASFA in the last five years, political science major Payton Mitchell of Student Interested, Not Self Interested has been on a task force to address the issue. With the increased fee levy, the incumbent wants to continue building on the work already done and address the recommendations given by the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations.
The first project based on the recommendations is holding training sessions run by ASFA and other students who have been victims of oppression. A third party will also be brought in as a resource that students can go to to speak on issues of harassment or discrimination that they’ve encountered without the worry of judgement or conflicts of interest.
Saruul Bazarsuren, running for mobilization coordinator with the Hope and Reliability slate, wants to put students’ mental health first. She also wants to create better mental health resources and a safe space for ASFA students to say what’s on their mind.
Student Life Coordinator
Nigel Jonathan Ochieng, a political science student running for student life coordinator with Hope and Reliability, wants to create space for students to bond and get to know the ASFA executive team better. “Being a first-year, I would have loved to have platforms and opportunities to meet students who are going through the same thing as me,” he said.
Chelsea Fares is also running for student life coordinator as an independent candidate, but did not respond to requests for comment.
Sabrina Morena, communications coordinator candidate for the Hope and Reliability team, gained experience working in student groups as a part of the Applied Human Sciences Student Association. There, she worked to increase the association’s engagement on social media. “I want students to take advantage of their undergraduate degree,” she said, whether that be by engaging in student life or applying for bursaries offered by ASFA.
Polls for ASFA students to cast their vote online will be open from March 23 to 26.