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Meet the 2018 ASA election candidates

Meet the 2018 ASA election candidates

Vote Feb. 28 and March. 1

VP Communications

Francesca Middleton is a second-year kinesiology major from Bashaw, Alberta.

Why are you running for this position?

I’m running for VP Communications because I think that despite the ASA’s best efforts there are still a lot of events that are underattended. As both an off-campus and an art student, I find that I often miss out on events because they aren’t advertised in a way that I am exposed to regularly.

What are the key elements of your platform?

My platform is based on increasing advertisement for all events. Specializing advertisements for off-campus students, as well as advertising regularly scheduled events like rec sports and arts events.

If you should be elected, what are some of your primary goals?

I’d like to send out a weekly ASA email about different events (one that is more eye-catching and organized than the one that’s currently being sent out). I’d like to use ASA media to help promote regular non-ASA events, as well as working with clubs to help advertise their events to a broader audience. I’d like to put up posters outside the gym with rec night, and sports schedules. I’d also like to add more events and support to Wellness Week geared towards dealing with exam anxiety and eating disorders.

 

Reana Szabo-Mansfield is a third-year student with a double major in history and global and development studies.

Why are you running for this position?

I am running for this position because I love Augustana and I love working with all the people here. I want to do anything I can to help the students here in any way I can. One of the things that motivated me to run was when I started looking at some of the opportunities that are available to Augustana students that many people are not aware of. I really want to change that and help students make the most out of their time here.

What are the key elements of your platform?

Key aspects of my platform include advocating for more opportunities for students both at Augustana and in the community, raising awareness around the resources and opportunities available for students, and promoting more cooperation and better communication between different departments and all the clubs around campus.

If you should be elected, what are some of your primary goals?

If elected, I will make myself available to help clubs advertise their events and to help connect students to what is available to them. My goal is to help students to reach their full potential here and have them feel like they never missed out on an opportunity.

VP Student Life 

Jennae Matzner is a second-year psychology student from Valleyview, Alberta.

Why are you running for this position?

I wanted to join the ASA when I first got to Augustana because I have always been interested in Student governance. It looked like a lot of fun, but I wanted more experience with the ASA before I became an executive, so I became a second-year representative. My year on the ASA helped strengthen my leadership skills, and I worked closely alongside the current VP Student Life. After seeing all that he does, and how rewarding it was, I decided to run. I wanted to continue strengthening the community here at Augustana, and what better way to do so by providing fun and services for the student body.

What are the key elements of your platform?

Some of the key features of my platform are to continue the support of events on campus, create stronger ties and relationships between my position and clubs, create stronger awareness for things like Sexual Assault, Mental Health, safe drinking and alcohol use on campus, and the LGBTQ+ community through and at events. Lastly, I want to help engage the new and old students of Augustana to help create a fun social atmosphere and a strong sense of community here on campus.

If you should be elected, what are some of your primary goals?

Some primary goals I have if elected would be having more student engagement with events on campus. I would do so by having a suggestion box in the ASA office for students to leave their ideas and suggestions for events, decorations, activities, and services. I would release polls to vote for themes and other various things regarding the activities and events. I also want to host an event that is like Coffee House, but I want it to be off campus. This event would be used to showcase the talents of students here at Augustana, as well as raise awareness and money for things like mental health and sexual abuse. I also want to work more closely with Clubs, so I can help make their events and activities smooth sailing and engaging for their members and others on campus. I also plan to be apart of the many committees here at Augustana, so I am always on track with what is happening (Pride week, Wellness week, Sexual Assault Awareness week, etc.). This way I can help with the events and keep the student body updated.

 

VP Finance

Nnenna Achebe is a third-year chemistry student from Calgary.

Why are you running for this position?

I decided to run for this position because of my experience as a club executive for the past two years, and I’d like the opportunity make a difference for all clubs and to reach as many students as possible.

What are the key elements of your platform?

The three main elements of my platform are to promote diversity on this campus, increase the general involvement of students in club activities around campus, and lastly, to improve transparency between the ASA council and students.

If you should be elected, what are some of your primary goals?

Should I be elected, my primary goal will be to work on ways for the ASA to sponsor an promote diversity and inclusion on this campus.

International Students’ Representative

Areesh Ahmed is a first-year computer science student.

Why are you running for this position?

I am running for this position because I am able to do so as an international student. I felt as if many people might not be interested in this position because they wanted someone else to do it so might as well be me, and there is also the fact that the current rep did a great job of convincing me. However, on a more serious note the reason was my personal interest in the idea of diversity and the opportunity to learn so much more due to its presence. I was always a big fan of trying out new things and learning about different cultures, as someone who has had exposure to more than one I know how enriching the experience was and I want to share that experience with the students here at Augustana. Furthermore, it is within our culture that we feel at home and at ease, I want to create a similar environment for students who come from such different places and might feel alienated.

What are the key elements of your platform?

The key elements of my platform include expressing to people my genuine interest in getting to know them and allowing them to learn about other groups too, creating a culture of learning for all and building a better understanding about each other. Showing my intention to make Augustana their home not because they live here but because they do not feel as if they ever left home as home is a feeling and not a place. Creating a platform for sharing and expressing who they are so that international students do not feel as if they cannot be themselves.

If you should be elected, what are some of your primary goals?

My platform is the foundation on which I will continue to build. I want to show people it is the little things that matter like a simple greeting in a specific language. I want to bring out the fun aspect of their culture and their childhood by perhaps playing the games that they played as children. It’s little things like these that make us who we are, and I want to recognize them – recognize what makes them and allow other people to acknowledge that too. Even now there are a lot of cultures that are just here, walking around us and we have not explored them. It may be because these students might have been busy or did not have any interest in participating, but there are probably also some students who just have to be asked or given an environment which brings out who they truly are.

Aboriginal Students’ Representative

Abigail Lee is a first-year chemistry student from Coaldale, Alberta.

Why are you running for this position?

I am running for the Aboriginal Students’ Representative so that I can have an important role in the decision making in what events are held on campus for Indigenous students. Also, I want to create connections through the diversity on campus.

What are the key elements of your platform?

I want to increase the amount of people involved in Indigenous events on campus.

If you should be elected, what are some of your primary goals?

If I were to be elected, my goals would be to increase social media use for advertising of events and to increase the knowledge that people know that everybody is welcome.

Second Year Representatives

Devon Baranowski is a first-year psychology student from Fox Creek, Alberta, about 3 and a half hours from Camrose.

Why are you running for this position?

I wanted to run for Second Year Representative because all throughout my junior/senior high school education I was enrolled in my school’s Student Council. The experiences I gained from that small council can never be replaced. Not only did I assist in voicing the student body of my high school, but I also gained lots of self-insight, and the leadership I took from those adventures helped me in my everyday life from then until now. Having strong connections with a few of the current ASA members, it made me realize that I still want to be apart of organizations much like my high school’s student council where I get the opportunity to network, assist in creating better environments and relationships for students, and grow as a better person.

What are the key elements of your platform and what are some of your primary goals?

The key elements my platform is based around are stress management, mental health, and student activities. I feel all three of these elements overlap, but also have importance independently. For stress management, I’d like to gain a better understanding as to why students at Augustana are feeling stressed, especially in my academic year. I’d like to see if there any trends in the stress that students are feeling, regarding the cause of stress itself and the time of year. I think if we have a better understanding of the stress, we can assist in easing it more effectively. Mental health is always a concept that’s important to me. I feel Augustana does a great job dealing with the complications of mental health and making resources readily available to anyone who needs them. I would like to assist in continuing events that are similar to wellness week, just more broken up throughout the year. I feel many students need a brief reminder throughout the year that their mental health here is one of the most important aspects of their life to take care of. As for student activities, I would just really like to help participate in organizing and assembling events like Party on the Pad, Casino Night, and the class bashes. They allow us to escape from being students just enough to remind us that we still have duties here, but also need to make the most of it while it lasts.

 

Evelyn Mertins is a first-year biology student from Ferintosh, Alberta.

Why are you running for this position?

I am running for Second Year Rep because I love student government and being involved with the student body. I like being in a position where I can make a difference and help others. I also had a really great time on the council as a First Year Rep, and I’d like to continue being a part of the ASA.

What are the key elements of your platform?

The key element of my platform is that I’m the “mom friend.” I’m here to help the student body, be an advocate and a voice for those who aren’t being heard.

If you should be elected, what are some of your primary goals?

My primary goals this year, if elected, are sexual assault awareness and prevention, mental health advocacy, and creating a permanent space on campus for LGBTQ+ and allies so the community can meet and stay together regardless of AQUA.

Third Year Representative

Alexandra Brigley is a second-year vocal performance student from Coronation, Alberta.

Why are you running for this position?

I’m running because I thought it would be a new fun experience and opportunity to be a voice for students in my year and the other music majors.

What are the key elements of your platform?

My key elements are to listen to my peers in my year and find out what gets their attention to make them more aware of ASA events and try to advocate for other music majors so that we can be recognized as much as the athletic programs.

If you should be elected, what are some of your primary goals?

If I’m elected, I would be a very hands-off candidate, letting people speak about what they want and do my part to get that information to the right people and mainly just provide a voice for those less heard.

Several candidates were unavailable for comment. The Medium has edited some responses for space and clarity. 

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