Written by the MWR Team
On Thursday, August 31st, the Marianopolis World Review held a debate for first-year candidates running for the positions of Coordinator of Charities and Volunteering, Coordinator of External Affairs, and Coordinator of Cultural Affairs. With an overwhelming 18 candidates in the running, it can be hard to keep track of all of their platforms. To help you make your decision, the MWR has written a summary of the content put forward by each candidate at the Coordinator Election Debate.
Coordinator of Cultural Affairs
Maria Jose Garcia: To Maria, culture is not simply an international buzzword; it is not defined by ethnicity or nations, but can encompass an even broader spectrum, be it art, music, or food. To promote this idea, Maria hopes to organize activities that emphasize communication with students, making sure to conduct polls and surveys among the student body before launching her events. She is open to ideas from the public and is happy to receive constructive criticism. At the debate, Maria affirmed that her promises were realistic. She values equality for everyone and wishes to provide everyone at Marianopolis the opportunity to explore different parts of Marianopolis culture.
Roselyn Lu: Roselyn loves culture and firmly believes that she has both the skills and the motivation to carry out her mandate. Roselyn proposed to organize a festival at Marianopolis, consisting of a scavenger hunt with challenging activities that would help students connect and make new friends. Roselyn also hopes to create new T-shirts for for clubs at Marianopolis. She believes in honesty and carrying her tasks to completion, but what is most important to her is the ability to balance excellence and fun, as she considers them both important. As a candidate running for the position of Cultural Affairs, she pointed to her experience in organizing high school pizza parties and ice cream trips.
Yiwen Chen: When asked why she chose the position, Yiwen explained that, having been born and raised in China before moving to Montreal, she understands the need to preserve one’s heritage while celebrating the diversity and mixing that occurs in a multicultural society. Her platform consists mainly of highlighting the individual activities that define culture at Marianopolis. As someone who values responsibility, Yiwen points to being the valedictorian of her graduating year. She prizes personal relationships built on honesty and open communication, going so far as talking to local waiters to taste different foods, and believes she holds global views that will help her in relating with the student body.
Coordinator of External Affairs
Adam Simatos: Adam chose to run because he is experienced in organizing events and has actively participated in school politics. He hopes to install STM machines around campus so students are able to charge their cards without having to run around the city. He also plans on creating a recreational sports league as well as an e-sports league between CEGEPs in Montreal. His qualifications include being the marketing director of Young Entrepreneurs, a position he claims he exercised to its fullest capacity.
Ceylan Borger: With a deep passion for organizing events, Ceylan hopes to establish connections with other schools and institutions that benefit all students. Her platform consists of discounts on food, organizing the most “lit” intercollegiate parties and providing OPUS card charging services. Ceylan portrayed herself as a highly ambitious candidate, expressing her deep connection to the school and her desire to associate with businesses on Sherbrooke and Monkland to provide better service for students.
David Cao: David expressed his love for socializing and cooperating with others. With the ultimate goal of making a positive change in Marianopolis, David seeks to create discounts with nearby restaurants by cooperating with news organizations such as the MWR or the Papercut. He also wishes to incorporate working and volunteering opportunities for students at the College. He plans to organize the CEGEP Games, a grand intercollegiate event designed to not only showcase sports events, but more esoteric categories such as art and computer games. By doing so, he hopes to include everyone in the games.
Dima Romanov: Dima chose to run for this position because he believes that his vision and persuasiveness are just what is need to unite all sides around a common goal. With experience going to many different schools and qualifications ranging from organizing a high school show to learning 5 different languages, he believes that he has the greatest potential to organize the best events. Dima’s platform consists of fair days, events to sell old textbooks while cooperating with the Concordia bookstore, reviving the failed #NotMyCaf movement through petitions to change cafeteria policies, and inviting speakers to the school. He promises to be committed and dedicated as Coordinator of External Affairs.
PJ Pagakis: A liberal arts student, PJ comes from a small English high school. This, he says, has influenced him to value community; at the debate, he advocated for more seating outside the school and more funding from Congress into games and clubs so that they can organize their own intercollegiate events. Having been a member of the Student Council and graduation committee in his high school, he cites having met Trudeau as evidence of leadership qualities. He wishes to create a partnership with the Student Price Card (SPC), as well as to preserve the diversity and community in Marianopolis.
Coordinator of Charities and Volunteering
Anika Della-Cioppa: Anika spoke about her deep compassion and her desire to help those in need, while placing emphasis on the plight of the First Nations, an underserved and oft-ignored group in Canadian society. She laid out her history with charity work, including helping in an animal rehabilitation centre and taking initiative to buy socks, hats and gloves for the homeless every year. She values compassion above all, especially in today’s turbulent climate, and believes that through honesty and togetherness, small differences can blossom into big change. According to her, her friends consider her to be responsible, caring and supportive, while maintaining a positive attitude. As a person of her word, she believes that her honesty will ensure accountability. Alongside her other platform promises, Anika hopes to implement a designated day where every student can volunteer for their choice of a myriad of charity initiatives, as she believes that when students and charities work together, anything is possible.
Bonnie Luk: A Pure and Applied Science student, Bonnie chose the position of Charities and Volunteering to spread love at Marianopolis. She firmly believes that volunteering helps us reconnect with humanity, and has already created her own app called GoVo that helps connect you to volunteering opportunities. In addition to this, Bonnie has organized a Girls For the Cure walk to raise money and combat breast cancer. She also values the work done by Tyndale St. Georges, which aims to provide quality education to the underprivileged youth in Little Burgundy, Montreal. She points to her connections with charity organizations as a way to ensure that she can successfully partner with them.
Chang Heng Mo: Chang points to his volunteer work with hospitals and food banks as evidence of his dedication to helping to those in need. As Coordinator of Charities and Volunteering, he plans to implement a sign-up system for students to work with local charities and participate in activities beyond volunteering that would be be engaging. Chang’s core values are responsibility and friendship, and he expressed his willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He cites his experience at Moisson Montreal as one of the most impactful events in his life; seeing the looks on people’s faces as he gave out food was deeply moving, and the organization has expressed an interest in collaborating on his initiatives.
Chuying Cao: Chuying hopes to work with local organization for food and clothing, as well as hold a winter ball whose profits go to charity. She believes in making a difference in people’s lives and points to her volunteer work, where she helped students with disabilities complete their homework. These days, Chuying is particularly impressed with the Marianopolis Millennium Foundation, which helps fund Marianopolis services. She prides herself on being open-minded and responsible, although she admits that her strong work ethic can lead to perfectionist tendencies. Chuying believes that through teamwork and dedication, she can fulfill her promises.
Elizabeth Hua: Elizabeth explained that she has a significant amount of experience with clubs and acted as the Student Council President of her high school. Her platform is based on a global and local approach, which includes a year-long project to build a school. Elizabeth cites her transformative experience on a humanitarian trip to Costa Rica for reforesting as an example of her altruism. She believes in integrity, effort, perseverance and respect. When asked about the charity she felt most strongly about, Elizabeth replied that WeDay and Free the Children were her top picks. Having already worked with such organizations, she hopes to continue this partnership and engage the student body in her endeavour.
Guillaume Bouchard: Brimming with enthusiasm and confidence, Guillaume explained his high level of involvement in his high school years and his desire to bring that energy to Marianopolis. As evidence of experience, he spoke about going to the CMQ every Sunday during the spring to help refugees. Indeed, he finds the refugee crisis to be one of the biggest problems today. Given the opportunity, he would organize the most popular event to gather the most funds and would propose pranks on teachers in exchange for charity engagement. His goal is to correct the birth lottery (where one’s circumstances determine access to opportunities and future success) through research-based action. If he does not fulfill his mandate, he has stated that he would step down as coordinator.
Jasmine Kotsiopoulos: The Student Council President of her high school, Jasmine loves helping out other people. As a candidate, she hopes to focus on the small things that connect people. To this end, she advocates for food, clothing, and toy drives, which in her view are all small movements that everyone at Marianopolis can participate in. Jasmine has volunteered at her local community in Verdun, organized clothes donations, and even taken a trip to Morocco to meet and help locals. Her core values are community, respect, and determination, and she hopes to impart her passion for charity work to the Marianopolis student body.
Meghan Couture: A Liberal Arts student at Marianopolis, Meghan looks to her mother, a volunteer veterinarian, as inspiration for running for Charities and Volunteering. She hopes to bring charities to Marianopolis and organize fashion shows, concerts, and book sales in order to maximize contributions to local charities and those located abroad. She values responsibility, honesty and a global sense of community. Her qualifications for the position include her experience volunteering in community kitchens and working for organizations such as the SPCA and Maison Grise.
Ysabella Hazan: With her message of “spreading light”, Ysabella presents herself as a candidate who is accustomed to coordinating events and passionate about her mission at Marianopolis. She promotes the idea of charity boxes at Wayne’s and charity parties to show that doing good feels good. On a more personal level, Ysabella has spent every Sunday with her grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s, a transformative experience for her. Her favorite charity is the CYCI (the Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq), which has saved over 140 victims of ISIS. As a candidate, Ysabella favors small acts of kindness such as writing letters to cancer patients.
And there you have it. The MWR encourages you to take the time to look more closely at each candidate’s platform, and to VOTE to ensure that your voice is heard!