Matthew Hong

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Position you are running for: VP External

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

There are a couple main concerns I have observed within SAF and hope to fix. The tight-knit community that we have established misconstrued SAF as a Clique-Like program that displays values of self-concern and a lack of team work. If elected Vice President, I hope to organize monthly events that support SAF student values (integrity, respect, friendship) and breakdown this stigma.
The next concern that is apparent especially within First Years, is the extremely competitive environment. I have observed students judging one another based on their accomplishments. While competition instills us to challenge ourselves beyond our capabilities, it should never come at the expense of others success. As a collective community, we should strive to leverage the resources such as Upper year mentorship. As VP, my vision for SAF is to create a more inclusive environment with greater opportunities for students to enhance their university experience with the resources that AFSA has to offer.

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

My motivations are grounded in giving back to people and going beyond the status quo. Although my past term as Deputy was successful in engaging students in a variety of charity events and multiple conference initiatives, I noticed that resources could be utilized more effectively. For instance, our AFSA Goes for Gold Program. My weekend in Brock University gave me the opportunity to not only apply myself in an entirely new context, but create new friendships with likeminded individuals from Waterloo and beyond. I would have never expected that over the course of 2 days, many of the people I met that weekend would become my closest friends. Being on AFSA External and a Deputy, I became part of a family – a family that challenged me to bring innovative ideas to traditional events, expand community outreach initiatives beyond Waterloo campus, and inspire student action. I hope to use these skills in the position of VP and become your voice for a better school year.

Place your platform for your position here:

When I first met the members of AFSA External during my interview, I was asked to describe myself in three words.
1) Interpersonal
2) Effective communicator
3) Resilient

With the merging of External and Corporate Relations, I welcome the challenge of exciting students with more Accounting Conferences and Charity events, and reviving Black Card. I also hope to act as the conduit between each student year engaging with faculty staff to bring your ideas to the forefront. In doing so, I will use programs such as Upper Year Mentorship to alleviate year distinctions and bond us closer together. Briefly, I will use my role to effect change – to ensure that each and every person feels comfortable having their concerns voiced.

My platform is three-fold:
1) Conference Initiatives: In the upcoming term, I hope to get students even more involved in some Accounting Conferences that were missed. These include, Queens Finance and Business Competitions (QFAC and QCIB) and Western’s “Dash for Cash” Competition
2) Charity Events: I plan to grow our charity events from this past term by developing our previous relationships with Canada Mental Health, Canadian Cancer Society, and Movember Foundation. The money raised from our Change for Change Event and Bake Sale Bonanza were astounding and I plan to develop these events in the upcoming term.
3) Black Card: In terms of Corporate Relations, I plan on revamping Black Card in a new way. I believe with the proper actions, AFSA can rebuild their relationship with past organizations and bring even more organizations on board.

I believe that my willingness to constantly improve and learn advanced my leadership over the course of my term as deputy of external. I hope to share these skills with you on a much larger scale, while ensuring the success of the recent External and Corporate Relations (CR) merger is my top priority.

My friends can vouch that I’m the friend who is always there for a 3AM talk, cares about their well-being, and genuinely enjoys watching them succeed and grow. I admit I can be goofy at times, but I believe it makes me unique and helps bring energy to every group environment I’m in. With the merging of External and CR, I’m excited for the challenge of bringing students to more Accounting Conferences, organizing Charity events, and reviving Black Card. I believe what makes SAF such a strong community is the fact that students are provided with such a large support system whether it be upper years, resources, or the tight knit community we have created. Moreover, I plan to continue to build this system next year with the arrival of First Years and throughout my time as potential VP.

As VP External, I vow to bridge the gap between the SAF and Waterloo community by acting as your voice. I pride myself in being personable, enthusiastic, and hardworking – all the attributes that you can rely on to bring your ideas, concerns, and queries to the forefront. Above all, I am dependable – whether you need a 3 AM talk or a dependable friend, I will be there for you. Thus, I ask you my fellow students and friends, help me make SAF an even better environment and vote for me.