Team Support Change wins big in general election
The Support Change team was elected for every position where one of their candidates was running in the Arts and Science Federation of Associations general election last week. All open positions in both the ASFA executive team and independent councillor positions were filled with around 600 votes cast.
Jenna Cocullo (president), Marc Da Silva (vice-president of social affairs), Lana Galbraith (vice-president of external an sustainable affairs), Ian Campbell (vice-president of academic and Loyola affairs), Mariah Gillis (vice-president of internal affairs), Zachary Garoufalis (vice-president of financial affairs) and Cleo Fonseca (vice-president communications and promotional affairs) begin their roles as part of ASFA’s executive immediately. All five independent councillor candidates—Angelica Sood, Christina Massaro, Etienne de Blois, Frankie Sunnyshine and Oliver Marshall—were voted in to the five open positions and will be joining ASFA’s council for the November regular council meeting.
ASFA’s referendum question also passed. The approved change to ASFA’s bylaws lowered the necessary number for quorum—the number of people needed to pass or approve any official business—from 2.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent of all of ASFA.
Getting the ball rolling
New ASFA president Jenna Cocullo said she expects to have to clear a few hurdles at the beginning of her new mandate. The first hurdle for the executive team is to get less experienced executive members familiar with the procedures and day-to-day operation of ASFA. The second is the lack of time which comes with starting halfway through a normal executive mandate.
“We’re taking on a huge task, and we’re already halfway through our mandate which starts annually in May,” she said. “It’ll be one of our biggest challenges—trying to revamp ASFA in such a short amount of time and doing it well.”
During her shortened time in office, Cocullo said she wants to prioritize the restructuring of the organization starting with with the relationship between ASFA and its member associations.
“We want to give a lot of autonomy to our member associations,” said Cocullo. “We want to remove a lot of the larger ASFA projects that happen and instead put a lot of our resources towards helping out MAs.”
However, Cocullo added, this doesn’t mean cutting all of ASFA’s events. Instead, she is working on bringing ASFA down to only one big event per semester rather than several events.
Cocullo also said she wants to overhaul ASFA’s current executive structure. “We want to change the executive positions to coordinators because it’s more accurate of what we’re aiming to do—which is coordinate between MAs and use our resources and time to help them with their projects,” she said.
One suggestion she has for the new executive structure is ensuring the coordinator positions are paid.
Now that all of the executive positions are filled, Cocullo said ASFA council committees—which have been mostly inactive because of the missing executives—will begin to meet regularly. Some key committees, including the Financial Committee and Policy Committee, had been meeting since the beginning of the academic year.
ASFA has five position for independent councillors, which are councillors who sit on ASFA’s council independently from a member association and focus on contributing through various committees, and they were all filled during the election.
Frankie Sunnyshine is one of the new independent councillors. He hopes to help bridge the gap between ASFA and Arts and Science students who either know nothing of ASFA or have a negative opinion of the organization.
“The students have to know that there are people who actually stand for the students and want to engage socially with them and ask questions rather than just having a title and doing little to nothing,” he said. “We have the largest student body in this academic institution and I feel that once we have more and more students aware of ASFA, our well-being as a whole will be in a very positive state.”