What is motivating you to run for President or Vice President? What are some major aspirations in your life?
Daniel: The Presidency, to me, is not just title. I am motivated to run for President because it will offer me the opportunity to give back to the community that has taken me in and has made me feel at home. It is an opportunity to implement changes that I feel would benefit the MSU, not only next year but also for the generations to come.
Mau: It’s very hard for women to exceed their limits and fulfill their potential in the workforce. There is an omnipresent lack of opportunity for the second half of the human population. When given the opportunity to engage in a form of leadership that will allow me to exert opportunity, I feel the responsibility to run. Running for President and Vice President means a lot more than the title to us, Daniel and I are using this campaign to make Marianopolis students, us, proud of who we are—it’s an opportunity for us to not only give back to our community but also to give more.
What sets you apart from the other candidates? In which ways are your experience and perspective unique?
D: Mau and I were extremely lucky to be able to implicate ourselves in student life. Without a doubt, the other candidates took part in many clubs as well; however, we believe it is our dedication and hard work in these clubs that set us apart. For instance, our dedication was rewarded by our invitation to a national Model UN competition with MariMUN called NAMUN, where only the most dedicated were given that opportunity. Our hard work and initiative are also seen as we both are founding members and executives of new clubs that we have started this semester.
M: Furthermore, our efficient teamwork and the creation of our platform that will be the stepping stone for progress in the upcoming years sets us apart. Daniel and I are running together, and we exert the meaning of collaboration and togetherness to an extremely important level. We have been working hard for the past months in crafting a platform that serves the entirety of the student body. We believe that what sets us apart is our team dynamic and the elaborate plan for us.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of the position and what will you do to overcome this issue?
D: I believe that the most challenging aspect of presidency is communication with the student body. As seen these last days, communication through the media can sometimes be pretty difficult. One of the solutions we would propose is frequent communication with the students, by making announcements and posts on the Marianopolis pages, which is something that this year’s Congress showed great initiative in doing.
M: The biggest duty and challenge of a Vice President is the well-being of all clubs and to ensure their productivity. In order to accomplish that role to the fullest of my abilities, I will continue Ying’s commitment to communication as well as offer you, the clubs, as much aid as you might need. It’s Time for all club executives and members to feel at ease with Congress and to know that Congress, and especially your Vice President, will be there to advocate for your projects and goals for the club.
An element that would be hard for both the President and the Vice President is communication with the administration. Marianopolis’ administration is known for its tradition of ignoring the student body’s concern. So, one of the biggest challenges from the mandates of the President and Vice President is communication with the administration. Our solution to this is constant reminders of our current student life and advocate for your opinions. We value reliability, and we value you.
By what metric would you measure your success as a President or Vice President?
D & M: The center and purpose of our campaign is the betterment of your experience as a valuable member of the student union. We will deem ourselves successful when each student at Marianopolis will feel represented, included, and involved.
With that being said, we hope that as the year goes on, there is progress that is being made in order for Marianopolis to be as representative, as inclusive, and as engaging as it can be.
Do you have what it takes to stand up for student interests against the administration and ensure our voice is heard?
D: Mau and I are strong advocators and are able to get our ideas through. As Model UNers and Board Members of the Youth Advisory Board of our respective boroughs, we have never shied away from giving our opinion and making ourselves heard. As President and Vice President, it is essential for us to be able to defend every student’s rights and interests, and that is exactly what we intend on doing.
Being President or Vice President of the MSU requires decisiveness. Share some examples of your ability and willingness to be decisive.
D & M: As Youth Advisory Board members, we had to be decisive on several topics. We are often brought many ideas to discuss, and many turn out to be great initiatives for the city. However, given our limited budgets, we have to select a few particular ideas that are more feasible and are the best for the city. We make these decisions upon careful consideration by taking into account all the different consequences they may have. Leadership demands decisiveness, and we have both excelled at that skill based on our past experiences and current occupations.
If a student asked you for advice on how to have a positive impact on the Marianopolis community, what would you tell them?
D & M: Our answer is simple: Feel at home in Marianopolis.
We think that in this time of crisis, it is especially important to help one another. Everybody is living in a different situation. We want to move on and develop as a community and show solidarity. Each and every student in Marianopolis is contributing to making a positive impact on each other and the rest of Montreal by self-isolating themselves while maintaining physical distancing.
In order to ensure a positive impact on the whole of the Marianopolis community, we want all students to feel mentally and physically healthy, to exceed themselves, and be the best versions of themselves by the end of their CEGEP life.
In your opinion, what value should Congress respect the most when it comes to representing its students?
D & M: We think that transparency is one of the most important values that Congress should respect the most as Congress is meant to be the ones supporting the students and making their voices heard. It is always important to keep the student body in the loop with everything that is going on behind the scenes as much as possible.
What is your vision of the perfect Marianopolis community?
D: Our vision of the perfect Marianopolis community is to make it one of inclusivity and solidarity. The last couple of weeks has shown both of us that this is something that is achievable. With the recent developments of the COVID-19, Mau and I both saw that students came together, in unison, to support one another and to make their voices heard. It is increasingly important for a community to do so, especially in these tough times in order to ensure a better tomorrow for all of us.
Mau and I also want to make sure that all students feel included in this school that we have called home. In order to do so, we would like to pursue Congress’ legacy to progressively include pronouns. It is challenging, but we feel it is something that needs to be done.
Simply said, Reliability, Transparency, Creativity, and Resourcefulness. Those are the values we deem to represent Marianopolis to the fullest. And those are the values we have advocated for, are advocating for, and will advocate for.
What was one specific event/incident that shifted your perspective on the world?
D & M: Mid-March. COVID-19. The impact of the Coronavirus on Montreal and our academic institutions truly served as a ground-breaking shift of perspective for us. It showed us the depth of care each student has for the other. It demonstrated how important the community is to Marianopolis. It revealed to us the importance of commitment and organization. In the entirety of our academic lives, we have not come across a moment so impactful and uniting as this one. Following this momentum of collectiveness, we have decided to set this as a precedent for the values of Marianopolis and will ensure it for the rest of our campaign, and hopefully, our presidency and vice presidency.
Some people consider themselves to be “big picture people” and others are detail oriented. Which are you? Given an example that illustrates your preference.
D: We both would like to consider ourselves to be detail-oriented. As hard-working students, we both try to make sure that the little details are accounted for. A specific example that showcases our detail-oriented personality can be seen in our involvement in MariMUN. When Mau and I attend Model UN conferences, we are tasked to write numerous documents such as position papers, working papers and resolution papers. As we compose these texts, we make sure of the careful selection of our words in order to be able to convey a specific idea in an efficient manner. At Model UN conferences, we have the best interest of the country or the character we represent at heart. We tried to incorporate this sense of detail into our platform. In fact, Mau and I have worked tirelessly into creating a platform that can be beneficial for as many students as possible.
We believe that in order to attain the “big picture” goals, we must focus and perfect the details. It is with that philosophy that we intend on creating a congress for next year, and it is under that framework that we are working on.