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CASA ELECTIONS 2023-2024

Hi everyone!

Voting for CASA Elections 2023-2024 has officially begun. We are accepting votes from now onwards until Friday, April 7th, 11:59pm. Submissions after this time will be disqualified. Voters are expected to note their full name and proof of COG enrollment on Acorn in the form of an image; without this, your vote may be considered void. You may abstain from voting for a specific person for a specific role if you wish. A big thank you to Marian Wang for acting as our Elections Officer!

As always, campaigning is strictly forbidden (“vote for me”, “don’t vote for X”, and so on) and will result in an immediate disqualification should we find you are engaging in this behaviour. Please respect your fellow candidates so we can have a fair election!

Voting will be conducted through Google Forms; the link is here.

Read candidate statements here.

Any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the elections process can be directed to casa.uoft@gmail.com or casa.elections.officer@gmail.com.

That’s all, and good luck to all our amazing candidates! Can’t wait to see you in action next year 🙂

Best,
Alvina, CASA Co-President 2022-2023


PRESIDENT

Sebin Im

Greetings! My name is Sebin, a senior student studying Cognitive Science and Computer Science. I would like to offer my skills and virtues to the community of CASA, by representing you and your aspirations to the best of my abilities as the president for the 2023-2024 academic year. We are undergoing an immense populace interest in AI and its applications; thus, my extensive knowledge in both theoretical and technical aspects could assist in appeasing the intellectual demands and desires of those who wish to study/work in this field.


I believe that my previous experiences of working in and with CASA at both administrative and executive levels are exceptional precedents that one could possess in being an exemplary president. Having experienced organizing both UTism 2022 and Confluence 2023, the two major events in the CASA academic calendar, I can assure you that our anniversary UTism 2024 event will progress as smoothly as possible.


As a fellow student who strives for not only academic excellence but also community camaraderie, I wish to work towards CASA becoming a role academic student union that values cooperative collaboration. Possessing the essential skills of a presidential candidate such as innovation, management, responsibility, and leadership, we can work together in harmony for communal benefit in the upcoming academic session.

 

VICE-PRESIDENT

Zuha Bajwa

Hey everyone! I’m Zuha and I’m running to be your next Vice President. As a third-year in Cogsci, I have been actively involved with CASA for the last two years. You may recognize me as a previous COG250 admin or current Events Coordinator. I have been responsible for organizing numerous events including COG250 workshops and socials, especially our super fun pub nights! Given my accomplishments, I have developed excellent organization, time management and collaboration skills and I strongly believe I have the experience to continue as a part of this amazing team. Outside CASA, I have taken part in various leadership roles. I have participated in student councils, led study groups, and organized blood donation drives through Student Life Line.


With Cogsci being such an intimate program, I intend to encourage communication between students, CASA, and faculty so that students can feel more comfortable and receive adequate support. From previous experience, I’ve found that socials are a great way for students to meet professors and facilitate connections within the Cogsci community. Therefore, I will plan new ways to socialize, such as bake sales and movie nights, to create a relaxed environment for all. I’m especially excited to help organize UTism in person to expose students to contemporary research within this interdisciplinary field.


During my time in CASA, I have witnessed this community flourish, and I am fully committed to enhancing the Cogsci student experience for my final year at UofT. 


I hope you’ll consider voting for me! Thank you!

 

SECRETARY

Xi (Joy) Wang

As an incoming third-year Cognitive Science major + Psychology specialist, I’ve appreciated the helpfulness of CASA since the start of my CogSci journey. As the Secretary, I want to give back by 

  1. making CASA’s office a welcoming, organized, and fully utilized space, and 

  2. facilitating smooth collaboration within the association.


I’ll inventory all resources (books, board games, etc) in the office and be the go-to person that helps CASA members leverage them. Equipped with 2 years of RA experience in ROP and 2 neurology labs and advanced knowledge of “Categorization” in COG250, I’ll make sure all files and physical items in the space are ordered and readily accessible.


I’m seasoned in writing meeting minutes for diverse speakers and disciplines and will leverage this skill during CASA meetings. I can hand-write or type (or both simultaneously, as perfected in Prof. Vervaeke’s lectures), and whether you want the notes colorful, bolded, or 

  • formatted and organized, 

bring it on. 


As an incoming Chair of the Hart House Farm Student Committee, my experience in HR management will inform the recruitment of CASA admins. I’ve led 3 semesters of RSGs and numerous course and extracurricular projects; you can count on both my communication and time management skills. Incorporating technologies such as when2meet.com and disparate calendar apps, I’ll ensure CASA office hours are appropriately scheduled and held. 


With all that, I’m confident I’ll help streamline CASA’s work so that, collectively, we’ll deliver awesome programming and properly serve all our members. Want to see that happen? Vote Joy! ;))

 

TREASURER

Vivian Liang

Hi everyone! My name is Vivian and I am running to be your CASA treasurer. Currently, I am studying cognitive science and molecular genetics. In my experience as a student in the cognitive science program, I have always found CASA to be my number one resource, whether that be for finding study tips, help with networking, or inspiring my career goals. I want to be part of the executive this upcoming year because I want to help CASA reach even more students! 


This year, I have been actively involved in CASA, working as an admin. Moreover, I have plenty of leadership experience being the president of the volunteer society at my college, as well as a representative for UofT’s Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Specific to treasurer, I also have experience working on the secretariat team for the largest Model United Nations conference in North America where I was in charge of the finances for a 2000+ participant event. I am incredibly familiar with managing budgets, from booking hotels and guest speakers to purchasing merchandise and of course, delicious snacks. I trust that these skills make me a strong candidate for treasurer. 


As treasurer, my goal is for CASA’s events to be as comfortable and welcoming as possible. Many of us have been told that cognitive science is an interactive field of study and I want to make sure that our money is spent making our space feel safe for everyone to share their thoughts and questions. Please vote for me 🙂

 

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

Ysha Patricia Santos

Hey everyone, I’m Ysha (Patricia) and I will be running for the Communications Director position for the upcoming year! I’ll be going into my third year as a Cognitive Science major with minors in Linguistics, Psychology and Computer Science. Some of you may already know me as I was this year’s COG250 rep, or we may have met each other during one of our CASA events. With my time as an exec, I did my best to fulfil my role as rep, as well as helping out manage and run as many events that I was available for. This upcoming year, I’d like to continue being involved with CASA by helping promote our events and being able to help the members of CASA through our emails and socials.


With my former position, I am already accustomed to responding to emails and making announcements about future events to my classmates. I make an effort to be approachable and I enjoy helping others with their questions or concerns, which I would often do as a former rep. Furthermore, as art is my hobby, I would love to bring some fun splashes of creativity to our advertising!


A good connection between CASA and its members is essential for keeping up our community. With your vote, I will do my best to keep you all updated and informed about our future events! 🙂

 

CONFERENCE COORDINATOR

Max Lees

I am entering my third year in Cognitive Science and Psychology and I would be excited and honoured to be Conference Coordinator for CASA. Given my experience organising events, my interest in research, and my strong communication skills, I am well-prepared for this role and willing to invest significant time and energy. I appreciate the value of conferences like Confluence and UTism, and I want to foster engaging and insightful experiences for students. 


In high school, I organised a TEDxYouth conference featuring professional guest speakers and student speakers. I coordinated organising committees, logistics, fundraising, promotion, selecting and contacting speakers, and developing student talks, finally hosting an event which received very positive feedback. I also managed communications for Model United Nations and Students Association, planning and promoting student events. 


This year, I was News Editor for The Strand newspaper; I send calls for pitches and work with writers, fact-check and copyedit, hold weekly office hours, collaborate with team members, follow a tight production schedule, write articles, and conduct interviews.  


I am passionate about the interdisciplinary nature of cognitive science and I intend to pursue a career in cognitive psychology. I hope to bring together speakers with diverse backgrounds to foster critical discussion, and to create opportunities for students to engage with both professional and student-led research. I am eager to work with speakers and I am confident in my ability to delegate tasks and coordinate organising committees; if elected, I will strongly prioritise this role.

 

EVENTS COORDINATOR

Ayesha Narang

Hi everyone !! My name is Ayesha and I’m running to be your events coordinator <3  I’m currently the Communications Director, so you might remember me from the CASA emails, in-class announcements, and a friendly face at our CASA events. I would love to continue contributing to the CASA community 😀


Since I am already an exec for CASA, I know how the student union works and have a lot of new ideas for next year. I know (and love!) the CASA community, I know how to balance it well while still being a full-time student, and would be able to help out in other CASA roles too.


As a New College Residence Council exec, and working at the Sidney Smith Commons, I found my passion for event planning. Over the last year, I have developed my skills in event organisation !! leadership !! n being detail oriented !! I’d love to continue this as the Events Coordinator of CASA.


Also, as an Orientation Peer Leader and volunteer for the Psychology Student Association, I love community building and ensuring that students get the most out of their university experience. I would love to continue this, especially for the CASA community which has given me such a sense of belonging. My student positions gave me a lot of experience in teamwork, creatively coming up with new ideas, thinking on my feet and solving last minute problems on the day of an event.


Thank you and love u all !!

 

TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR

Philip-Nicholas Varga

Hi!

I’m the kind of nerd that likes making (and breaking) websites and writing their own image descriptions for my insta posts.

Accessibility, especially online, means a lot to me. As your 2023–24 Technology Director, I will take extra care to make sure our website and socials are easy to navigate for everyone.

Without CASA, it would be a lot harder for students, especially commuters like me, to get involved with the cognitive science community at UofT. I think that effectively using technology is key to fostering a strong sense of community, and I’d be proud to continue the great job CASA’s been doing.

A Technical Director at CASA is responsible for managing, maintaining, and supporting our website, merch, socials, and payment systems (CASA Constitution). Thankfully, I have experience in all those areas. I

  • Led translation & localization at FLATTEN.CA
  • Built & maintained a Discord bot to manage a community of over 10 000 members
  • Helped market UofT’s EngStores Merch Catalogue
  • Currently work providing technical support for clients facing payment and technical issues

Working with personal information — medical and financial in particular — is a responsibility I’ve always taken seriously. As CASA’s Techincal Director, I will be transparent about our security practices while making sure they satisfy relevant regulations and standards to make sure we can be trusted.

To summarize, I am running for the privilege to continue developing CASA’s great online services while being your advocate for accessibility and security with CASA.

Thanks for your support!

<3

 

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If you’ve missed the deadline to apply for these positions, not to worry – you can still get involved with CASA in other ways! Every year, elections for other executive positions (such as COG250 representative or any position left empty from the current ones available) will be held in the middle of the fall semester. Admins will also be hired at the beginning of winter semester. Furthermore, you can get in touch with our team at casa.uoft@gmail.com or message the executive team through the CASA Discord to learn more about how you can contribute to our vibrant Cognitive Science student communit