Compiled by: Kelly Chia, Features Editor
It’s election season for the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS)! The Peak has reached out to candidates to ask three questions based on their positions and compiled the results to help you navigate this election period. Voting this year will take place March 17–19 through SFU Mail.
The SFSS is SFU’s student-led society, representing the entire undergraduate population of the university. Headed by 16 Board of Directors, SFSS members are elected every spring by the student body to hold a one-year term. During this term they manage day-to-day society work, manage large-scale finances, execute university-wide campaigns and projects, and advocate for student interests regarding issues such as the U-Pass, student-centric spaces, and food and beverage services.
Please note that these answers have not been edited for spelling, grammar, or clarity, nor do they reflect the positions of The Peak Publications Society. Candidates were given a limit of 50 words per answer; responses that went over 50 words have been cut short.
This article has been divided by candidate positions. This is for the VP Finance candidates. Click here to read the questionnaires for the President, VP External Relations, VP Student Life, VP Student Services, VP University Relations, At-Large Representatives, Faculty Representatives.
The vice-president finance is responsible for the budget of the Board of Directors, which includes all money received or disbursed by the Society. Under this role fall the responsibilities of performing day-to-day work such as payroll approval and bi-weekly reports, as well as annual audits, working with the Finance and Audit Committee, and being a signing officer amid other tasks.
1. How are you qualified to handle the SFSS’s finances?
2. What will you do that your predecessor specifically did not do?
3. If you were elected to this position, what would be your top priority and why?
1. Currently, at Simon Fraser University, I am the Vice President of Finance for various clubs and therefore I am aware of how to handle expenses and budget plans. Externally, I have worked as an assistant at an accounting firm which further added to my experiences when dealing with finances.
2. A project I will be working on will be to increase core funding for DSUs and FSUs in all faculties, this will allow for a higher budget when it comes to event planning. Furthermore, I will meet with the DSU presidents to support them in budget planning and marketing.
3. If elected to this position my top priority will be affordability. I will work with the Board of Directors to advocate for tuition freeze and open educational resources. Alongside this, I will push for low-cost events throughout my term to ensure students get the most out of their university experience.
1. I served in 2015 as a board member and know the financial processes of the SFSS quite well, including budgeting, reimbursement, and granting. I have also studied and analyzed over 20 years of SFSS financial audits, know the financial history, and how much money is not being spent.
2. I strongly believe that students should have a say in where their money is being spent. Therefore, I will implement participatory budgeting where students can submit and vote on projects that benefit the student community.
3. My top priority is twofold, shift the SFSS’s priorities through changing where it spends student dollars, and then reviewing and overhauling how we fund things, including student unions and clubs, so that groups can actually access this new funding.
1. I am a 3rd-year Business major concentrating in Accounting and Finance, with a planned minor in Economics. My educational background, combined with my co-op experience in the Finance department of SanMar Canada’s head office, makes me the best candidate to honor all the duties of a VP Finance.
2. I will simply handle the finances better, which includes not to lose $105,995 and to improve the grant system for the clubs and DSUs. I will do what I do best, dealing with numbers.
3. If elected, my top priority will be to dedicate an audit to the 2019 Fall Kickoff deficit of $105,995 to not only hold people accountable but also to plan for bigger yet better 2020 Fall Kickoff. I will redirect finances to the clubs which have been denied in the past.
- As a business student hoping to concentrate in Finance and Marketing, I have taken it upon myself to get hands-on experience in budget planning on my own business, working in a Cost Analysis Team at Ventanas Windows, and financial intern in Dubai on a marketing project.
- I would take it upon myself to be more accessible to students and help them through their financial planning. I want clubs to speak out about the issues that they are facing, I want to project those issues to the board, and help consult them on efficient budgeting strategies.
- I would immediately dig deeper into the financial distribution model as it seems to be there are surpluses and deficits in all the wrong places. I will then use that to allocate the money to help increase SFU Clubs and DSU grants and increase core funding.