Hamza Muhammad elected ASFA general coordinator

Muhammad beat Meghan Grigg of the About Time slate by 96 votes.

Navleen Kaur was running unopposed and was elected as an independent councillor, with 617 votes.

The rest of the About Time Slate were successfully elected as follows:

Academic coordinator: Phoebe Lamb (won by 46 votes against Bryan Lee)

Finance coordinator: Ashley Torres (649 votes, unopposed)

Internal coordinator: Emma Mason (682 votes, unopposed)

Mobilization coordinator: Payton Mitchell (664 votes, unopposed)

Communications coordinator: Carmen Milne (679 votes, unopposed)

The About Time slate ran on a platform of fostering community, accountability and climate justice.

The newly elected team did not comment in time for publication.


Graphic by @sundaeghost


ASFA responds to election scandal

Student association will increase budget to ensure poll security

The Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA) has increased funding for election security in the wake of last year’s invalidated elections.

At a regular council meeting on Sept. 22, the council moved to increase the elections operations budget by $7,000 to hire more security. The new elections operations budget of $16,000 will be divided evenly between the election and by-election held during the 2017-18 academic year. The motion passed 24-1 with three abstentions.

Interim ASFA President Julia Sutera Sardo endorsed the motion. “Having been VP Internal in the past, I know how contentious elections can be, especially with ASFA,” she said. “If we want to move forward, I think this is a great direction.”

“Our goal this year is to stick to procedure to guarantee ASFA elections run properly,” Interim VP of finance Francesco Valente told the The Concordian.

A lack of security at polling stations contributed to ASFA’s general elections in March being invalidated. Starting in the 2015-16 academic year, ASFA chose to increase the number of polling stations around campus, but did not increase the security budget. According to Valente, the original 2016-2017 election operations budget of $4,500 per election was no longer adequate.

According to ASFA’s website, this lack of security led to “several security breaches.” These included several ballot boxes being left unsealed with only one person to supervise them, The Link reported in March. Section 232-F of ASFA’s standing regulations states that, “Ballot boxes must never be left with one person unless sealed.”

Furthermore, according to section 232-B of ASFA’s standing regulations, “Every ballot box must be accompanied by a campus security guard from the moment they leave the strong room in the morning of voting to the time that they are returned each evening.” According to The Link, this regulation was violated as well.

Valente said he doesn’t know why security was not increased to match the new demand.

Since the elections were invalidated, each council member is officially only serving in an interim capacity. In order to keep their positions, they will have to be re-elected during the fall by-elections, which are scheduled for Nov. 20 to 23.

Valente said $3,360 is the “absolute minimum” additional funding required for each election to ensure proper security. This funding will be used to hire security guards for the polling stations.

The money needed to increase the budget will come from the Member Association Special Projects Fund (SPF), which currently stands at about $32,300. Valente said any money that is left over after each election will be returned to the SPF.

According to Valente, this budget is only for ASFA elections. Member Association (MA) elections, during which executives for each MA are elected, are not mandated to implement the same security measures.

Photo by Kirubel Mehari


ASFA announces first winter frosh

“Snowyola” will take place on Jan. 19 at the Loyola Quad

The Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA) welcomes Concordia students to “Snowyola,” a winter orientation inviting new and returning students to enjoy music, raffle prizes, food and music at the Loyola Quad on Jan. 19 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“It is a reality that the majority of new students miss the chance to attend orientation events organized by the university or their faculty association,” said ASFA vice-president of academic and Loyola affairs Rachel Rammal, because these events are usually held during the summer months. She said this can leave students with a small window of opportunity to become accustomed to university life, by meeting new people and making new friends.

Rammal said this event was initially inspired to bring more life to the Loyola campus during the winter and to raise money and knowledge about the issue of homelessness during the winter. “Our aim is to donate at least 25 per cent of the ticket sales revenue to the Dans la rue foundation,” said Rammal. She added that 100 per cent of the proceeds from their pom-pom hats sales will go to the Dans la rue organization, which provides aid to homeless at-risk youth.

“We hope that with Snowyola we can help reduce some of the anxiety that comes with starting university for the first time,” said Rammal, describing Snowyola as a carnival-type of event. By showing up to the event, participants can expect to be accompanied by music, food, beverages, and raffle prizes, said Rammal.

She said the event will give students the chance to make new connections and learn more about the different faculty associations, as all faculty associations have been invited. Students will also be able to enjoy Loyola’s transformed, snow-filled campus during the winter.

“With this activity, Snowyola, ASFA wanted to ensure that incoming students are also made to feel comfortable,” said ASFA VP of internal affairs and administration Julia Sutera Sardo. “Loyola campus covered in fairy lights with a ton of hot chocolate is definitely a great way for this to be done.”

“For returning students, the situation is a bit different in the sense that, often, many need an energy boost come the winter semester or feel demoralized after not getting the fall GPA they wanted,” said Rammal. For others, the event can be a boost “get back to the grind” for the second semester, said Rammal.

“With an event that celebrates the new semester like Snowyola, we hope to give students an opportunity to enjoy themselves with their friends before they are submerged with assignments and midterms,” said Rammal.

According to Rammal, the event fully came together halfway through the fall semester. “The Loyola and social committees decided to join their forces and host the event together to maximize the success of Snowyola,” said Rammal.

Sutera Sardo said Snowyola is a precursor to more social events and workshops that will be held in the winter semester. ASFA has been criticized for not being as active as usual on campus during the fall semester, however, Sutera Sardo said ASFA is open to all feedback and critique from students.

“Our goals for the semester are centered around engaging our peers and providing them with various tools and opportunities,” said Sutera Sardo.

Snowyola takes place on Jan. 19 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Quad on the Loyola campus.

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