Matthew Cheung


Position you are running for: VP Admin

What do you believe are the main concerns for students in SAF right now? How would you like to approach fixing them?

Involvement. The main concern I see in SAF is that upper-year students are feeling less and less motivated in attending AFSA events and participating in AFSA initiatives, such as the SAF surveys. This problem persists because of the importance AFSA has historically placed on first-years and helping them transition into university. Although I do believe AFSA has helped many first-years, including and especially me, transition into SAF, I have a vision for AFSA that includes the increased involvement of SAF as a whole. My approach to fixing this problem is to tailor the SAF surveys sent out by Admin to better fit the needs and wants of upper-year students. SAF students are asked the same questions term after term, year after year. I plan on modifying the surveys to attack the very experiences of upper-year SAF students, with specific questions related to upper-year AFM courses, co-op experience, and the ways in which AFSA can help them succeed in and out of the classroom.

Why are you running for this position? (experience, background & motivation)

Good enough is simply not enough, and that is the mentality I carry with me in anything I do. I am running for VP of Administration and Knowledge Management because I want to tackle the very issues that hold SAF students back from doing their best. Throughout my time as a general committee member and Deputy VP, I have had the opportunity to analyze and understand the severity of such issues. Our team installed new study tables for the SAF Lounge as a result of the high demand for a more efficient workspace – high tables appropriately fitted to seat 14 students. The mindset and opinions of SAF students changes year after year, and I want to take the measures needed to keep up with such changes. This includes making advancements towards improving our survey/feedback procedures on top of changes towards the SAF Lounge. I have a vision for the future of AFSA and SAF, and this change starts with the mindset that each and every single one of us possess.

Place your platform for your position here:

I’m excited for this opportunity to show SAF what I have to offer, and my platform is composed of what I believe are the 3 most important pillars; improvements of the SAF Lounge, innovative feedback procedures, and inclusivity. During my time as Deputy VP, our team carried on projects necessary to tackle the concern of the lack of working space in the SAF Lounge. As VP of Admin & KM, I hope to expand on these projects by making the implementations more user-friendly and compatible while carrying out projects for new assets; these issues will be addressed through the following implementations:

o Power cords for the new study tables. The study tables are a recent addition to the SAF Lounge, and their functionality can be enhanced through the implementation of power cords. Students will be able to charge any devices they want at their personal studying area and will benefit student experience overall.
o Paper towel dispenser. Students often utilize the sink in the SAF Lounge but are unable to dry their hands afterwards. Implementing a paper towel dispenser will help benefit user experience and maintain cleanliness of the student lounge.
o Installing more efficient charging cords for the charging station. There is a current demand for more USB-C cords, and I hope to address this during my time as VP.
Accurate and timely feedback is especially important in ensuring sustainability and quality of any organization. AFSA is no different, and throughout my time as Deputy VP I had the opportunity to gain an insight on our feedback procedures. An issue I’ve realized within AFSA is that the feedback from students on room bookings, AFSA events and initiatives, and improvements towards the SAF Lounge get lost in transition as the executive team changes on a regular basis. To address this issue, I hope to not only report on events that have happened throughout the term but to set out clear goals for following terms/years. This will help the organization set a clear path on the goals and objectives they want to achieve and constantly keep the executive team in check. AFSA can adapt and improve on past experiences while ensuring that the lessons learned from previous years are not forgotten.

Inclusivity. AFSA is an organization that services all SAF students, but it is often seen that the same group of students come out to every event. The underlying concern is outreach, and I hope to work closely with the other committees next year to ensure that all students know of AFSA events and what we have to offer; not only students who go on social media or visit the SAF Lounge regularly. I have already taken the first step in outreach by utilizing the TV in the student lounge to display upcoming event posters. Although this has helped increase involvement with AFSA’s events, this initiative doesn’t benefit the entire SAF population. My approach is to use the university emails of SAF students as a medium of communication between students and AFSA. This will help ensure that all students will have an equal opportunity to know of and attend such events and services within the SAF community.