Momentum the Only Full Slate Running in ASFA Elections

Meet the One Team Going to the Polls

  • Top from left, Tori Smith-Ayotte, Evan Lee, and Michelle Lam. Bottom from left, Janet Yang, Richard Mayer, and Ryan Simonyi. Courtesy Momentum Facebook Page

Polling for the Arts and Science Association of Federations’ general elections are running from now until tomorrow, and you can vote online through your My.Concordia site.

This year, only one slate is running, with no oppositions between candidates.

Evan Lee for General Coordinator

Lee is hoping to be ASFA’s next general coordinator under Momentum, and highlighted his past experience as an independent councillor and his work in ASFA’s committees–notably the committee that wrote their new sexual violence policy.

With the association being unable to increase their fee-levy since 2009, they began running a series of open conversations under the banner “ASFA is Broken” to hear students concerns about how the association is mismanaged.

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“I genuinely think that there’s still a lot of work to be done, that’s why I’m running,” said Lee, a political science student.

“I know years past, and even now, students genuinely don’t know what faculty their in, let alone even what ASFA is,” he continued. “That needs to change, otherwise you won’t know where to go for different help, opportunities, resources and your experience becomes diminished because of that.”

Tori Smith-Ayotte for Student Life

Smith-Ayotte also spent the year working as an independent councillor, and said she first got involved after helping to organize their frosh two years ago.

“This year as an independent, I became part of social committee, which plans all the events at Concordia and I played a large part in planning a lot of them,” said Smith-Ayotte, a sociology student.

But it’s not all about parties, she said she also wants increase student engagement.

“We saw, especially this year, a lack of spirit,” she said. “If you look at other universities like Bishops or even the John Molson School of Business, the way that they kind of round together is really special, and we haven’t had that with ASFA and I think there are reasons for it.”

Richard Mayer for Internal Coordinator

Mayer sat on ASFA council and was once the director of communications for the Students in Philosophy Association.

“I was sort of the transparency, accountability guy for the executive to council,” he told The Link.

Mayer said he hopes to brings his past experience with ASFA into the internal coordinator position and hopes to see real changes made in the association.

“I sort of have an outline of a plan to get rid of the cooperativism and the bureaucracy, that’s really on present within ASFA,” Mayer said. “I believe in [making ASFA] more accessible on the inside to the people that are representing the student body.”

Michelle Lam for Communications Coordinator

Lam wants to be ASFA’s next communications coordinator. She said she decided to run because she found there was a gap between ASFA and the student body.

“We’re essentially here for the students and if they’re not aware of the resources that are available to them then there’s obviously something that we’re doing wrong,” she said.“My goal is to fix that.”

Lam is currently an independent councillor on ASFA, and on their communication committee.

Lam worked as the communications coordinator for their high school’s Toronto District School Board’s student senate. “I have experience in this exact role before,” she said.

Ryan Simonyik for Mobilization Coordinator

Simonyik is running for the new position of mobilization coordinator at ASFA. He described the position as being part anti-harassment, while the rest of the time will be spent overseeing the funding provided for their advocacy campaigns on campus.

He said that as it’s a new position, if he wins he feels he can build a solid foundation for those who will fill the role in the following years.

Simonyik said he has previous experience within clubs on campus which involves advocacy work, as he previously sat on ASFA’s policy committee.

He said he hopes to make ASFA more accessible. “ASFA is kind of like this faceless organization, so one of the main priorities of our entire slate is to get our faces out there and make it known that we’re accessible to students.”

Janet Yang for Finance Coordinator

Yang said she’s running for finance coordinator, as she’s been involved with ASFA for the past year and would like to stay involved. Her former role in ASFA was as the president of the Mathematics, Actuarial and Statistics Student Association.

“I’ve worked in accounting and finance as part of my internships,” Yang said. “My organization will hold me to apply high standards and I hold myself to high standards.”

Yang said her former involvement in student politics includes being VP internal of MASA for the first semester of last year before being voted in as president.

Yang said, in terms of finance, she wants more transparency and accountability. She also showed an interest in continuing to pursue a fee-levy increase. She said she feels there has been little interest due to lack of awareness about what ASFA does.

“More money from fee-levy’s equals more money for [faculty] member association’s, more events and better offices. We just have to spread the awareness of that,” said Yang.

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