Kevin Zhang (kevin.zhang@sfu.ca)

My name is Kevin Zhang and I am currently the External Relations Officer. For this year, I will be running for the SFSS treasurer position. The following are my top three priorities if I am elected:

Effective management

Effective management not only allows the society to run at the maximum efficiency, but also alleviates many of the stress that the staff faces. Hence, I would make it mandatory for management to have financial background for both FBS and society development side.

Structural Reform

The SFSS suffers from the yearly turnover of the board of directors. This creates problems because the board simply doesn’t have enough time to carry out the strategic plans outlined in the beginning of their term. If I were elected, I will immediately introduce strategic advisers to support the board with their strategic visioning. This is a proven and effective solution in other societies.

Balanced Budget

Having a balanced budget is of critical essence to the society. However, we failed to do so for the past several years. If I am elected, I would make sure the society development fund is allocated properly so SFSS can save for future projects such as the Student Union Building.

Michael McDonell

I am currently finishing my fourth-year in Sociology and a certificate in SFU’s renewed Labour Studies Program. As a social justice minded person, and active member of student groups on campus, I believe that participatory democratic processes and meaningful dialogue are crucial to student engagement, in any executive role. I am ready to be part of a team that puts student needs and interests first, and believe that as a hub for different communities, we can transform problems like the deficit at the Highland Pub through Arts students’ backgrounds in critical analysis. Business mindsets have so far not helped SFU avoid such problems, and we should avoid blaming workers when things go wrong. SFU’s history and public mandate suggests that we will need to move beyond the narrow, profit-driven thinking that has prevailed if we want to deal with the substantive issues facing us as a non-profit student organization.

It is no secret that funding for department student unions, clubs, and student associations has gone down over the years at SFU. From this year onwards, we have an amazing opportunity to revitalize student life, after the closing of the CFS court case has left us with nearly $600,000 of extra money to allocate. As with SASU, I will give students and members of FASC/ASAC many opportunities to discuss where this money should be directed toward. As Treasurer for the SFSS, I will put funding for student unions, clubs, and associations first on my list of priorities.

As an active volunteer on campus,I am excited about the opportunity to apply some of my experience as Chair of SASU and Internal Communications Rep in LSSU to the Treasurer role. Sitting on multiple committees requires an ability to see the larger financial picture, which an Arts background provides. I have, furthermore, done this in an “ex officio” capacity as Chair. I have also worked as a student caller in SFU’s Alumni Annual Appeal program and bring the perspective of a lower-middle income student to financial pressures. I know that with the vast tuition increases over the past decade, and declining numbers of scholarships and bursaries, no one wants our money to be used ineffectively. As Treasurer, I will be accountable, transparent, jargon-free, and student-centered. Vote for someone who will be there for you as a leader among equals. Renew SFU!