COMPSA executive debate recap

Candidates discuss accessibility, equity and awareness in CompSci

VP (Operations) candidate Jessica Dassanayake
Credit: 
By Nicole Langfield

The Computing Students’ Association Executive debates on Monday night prompted discussions about the faculty society’s lack of visibility among other faculty societies.

The debates were relatively uneventful with the only contested position being Vice-President (University Affairs).  The event was live-streamed through the Computing Students’ Association (COMPSA) Facebook Page, with viewers given the opportunity to ask questions. Members from the COMPSA General Assembly and Executive asked questions regarding how candidates planned to manage their workload and the direction they hope to take the society next year.

Presidential candidate Max Keleher, CompSci ’20, who currently serves as the public relations director for COMPSA is running uncontested. At the assembly, he presented a platform focused on increasing the student fee for COMPSA students and improving awareness of the society across faculties.

Currently, COMPSA has the lowest student fee at the undergraduate level at $15. Keleher plans to increase this by $10 so he can provide COMPSA students with better services and opportunities.

“Going into the executive position, I want to make decisions and changes that will allow future executive members to do more change than I would be able to, one of the things would be increasing the student fee for COMPSA,” Keleher said.

In addition to this potential increase, Keleher told Assembly he wants to maintain a focus on accessibility and equitable hiring practices.

Vice-President (Operations) candidate Jessica Dassanayake, CompSci ’20, currently serves as the marketing director for COMPSA and is running unopposed as well. She shared several concerns with Keleher, namely the poor name-recognition for COMPSA on Queen’s campus.

In outlining her own platform, Dassanayake emphasized her commitment to bringing back valuable COMPSA programs like the society’s internship program. She also wants to help students become more aware of the extracurricular opportunities that are available to them through the AMS and ASUS.

Running for Vice President (University Affairs) are Roberto Ruiz and Niyousha Saeidi, both CompSci ’20. Both candidates want to prioritize increasing COMPSA’s recognition outside of their faculty and recognized the challenges such a small, tight-knit community poses to that task.

Both candidates have previous experience in student government. Ruiz currently serves as the second-year rep for COMPSA. Saeidi is a COMPSA social coordinator, Editor-in-Chief of the ASUS Data Journal and a member of the CompSci Orientation Committee.

While a diversity of ideas was evident among the candidates, one thing rang loud and clear. Despite CompSci being a very close faculty, more student engagement is needed, as well as engagement with other faculties. 

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