SLUGS Exec Election 2021 Candidates

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We will be updating this page as we continue to receive nominations and the candidates’ campaign materials. For other election information visit . Candidates are ordered by their times of initial nomination submission. If you have any questions email

Click here for the nomination form.

For candidates who are running for more than two positions, we will send them request for additional personal statement(s) for the position(s) that are not provided in their nomination form. For candidates who are running for design & marketing coordinator, we will request them to submit a portfolio. Therefore some individuals listed have declared their intention to run for certain positions but yet to be confirmed.

External President

  • Mechelle Wu, 1st year (nomination received on April 10th)
    • Hello everyone! As the external president, I will advocate for linguistics students to the best of my abilities. Having worked with several non-governmental organizations (NGOs), I have experience with negotiating for more funding, budgeting, and ensuring that branches meet the responsibilities laid out by headquarters. I can transfer the organizational, problem-solving, and communication skills I have developed to make sure SLUGS’ external operations run smoothly. Some personal goals of mine include trying to organize a computational linguistics LIN course and forensic linguistics course at St. George. I also want to increase the accessibility and range of language courses at U of T. I hope you’ll consider voting for Mechelle!
  • Valerie Pang, 3rd year (nomination received on April 10th)
    • Hey everyone! I’m Valerie and I’m running to be your External President this year. I have been in SLUGS for a long time now, as your secretary and your academics events coordinator, I have been involved in the process of facilitating and expanding the undergraduate linguistics community. As your External President, I will do a few things in addition to my existing responsibilities:
      • 1. Transparency: Currently the events decided are rather internal with minimal feedback except for post-event chats. I would like to first create a “suggestion box” which would be accessible through discord and our website to have a clear place for feedback, and also work with the secretary to upload minutes so you know our schedule for upcoming events.
      • 2. With ASSU: I believe a lot of linguistic students wish to see a larger variety of linguistic courses in the coming years and I hear you! So do I. We have successfully passed an ASL course for Winter 2022 and we’re not stopping there. By listening to your suggestions and discussing it with the Linguistics faculty, I will work to expand on the variety of courses that have warranted sufficient interest.
    • There are many other things I would like to do in the coming year, and it will not be possible without a passionate team committed to create change for you:) I hope you will vote for me and other talented individuals with hopes of having a great academic year!

Internal President

  • Maya Shankar, 2nd year (nomination received on April 1st)
    • I am running for Internal President because I can act in the best interest of SLUGS members and help continue the amazing work that the current exec team is doing. I am currently an executive for two student-run clubs, as well as an ambassador for the Department of Computer Science, so I am comfortable communicating with the department and efficiently relaying information between groups. Thanks to those positions, I’m also familiar with handling a club budget. I have significant experience leading large groups of people and being an approachable leader who takes different opinions and viewpoints into account. I love SLUGS and all of the people I’ve met here, and I would love nothing more than to serve as your Internal President next year.
  • Haili Su, 3rd year (nomination received on April 9th)
    • As a SLUGS exec member for the last one and a half academic year, I have participated in the organization of most of the SLUGS activities, in person or online. This experience gives me the opportunity to learn from other execs and gain insights in SLUGS operations. By building connections with the department, I am confident in being a liaison between you and the department. If I am to be elected as the internal president, I will ensure the continuity of SLUGS operation, as well as bringing changes, including:
      • Open-door policy: I will open the SLUGS exec meetings, in person or online, for general membership to attend. This will streamline the process for you to provide feedback to us or the department.
      • Class representatives: I will start a pilot program to recruit class representatives from LIN101 & 102 next year. This expands the opportunity of involving in SLUGS to first year students and help us better communicate with those in the largest LIN courses.
      • Access to financial assistance: Do you know there is (or was) an undergraduate scholarship in the department? I didn’t know that until last month either. My first priority as the student liaison will be continuing the communication with the department on this issue and advocate for more financial opportunities for linguistics students.
    • I love the supporting and friendly environment that SLUGS provides, and I hope to continue working for the undergrad linguist community as the new internal president.

Academic Events Coordinator

  • Runze Qian, 2nd year (nomination received on March 30th)
    • For those of you who have ever participated in a Facilitated Study Group (FSG) during an exam season, does my name look familiar to you? I was your volunteer tutor for LIN101, 102, 228, and 229 review sessions! Even though I was not in the SLUGS executive team, I was involved in all sorts of events arranged by SLUGS, not only the previously mentioned FSGs, but also events such as Communitea, TULCON13 & 14, Movie Nights, and many more. I always loved this community and now wish to be part of it. As a linguistics specialist student who loves the atmosphere of academia, it is my passion to work with languages and linguistics so naturally I am running for the position of Academic Event Coordinator. Being involved in so many SLUGS activities, I am familiar with how SLUGS runs, especially for this academic event coordinator position because one of my main responsibilities will be to arrange FSGs, which I already have experience with. Should I become the academic event coordinator, I will keep connecting with our linguistic community- both students and professors- to create more helpful academic resources, so we can achieve academic success together! Vote Runze!
  • Anastasia Koutlemanis, 2nd year (nomination received on April 1st)
    • I have many ideas for future event including:
      • Mentorship nights: where students can connect with professionals who have done their undergrad in linguistics (both in and out of UofT)
      • Graduate school events: students can meet with current graduate students in linguistics related fields to learn more about the programs
      • Increases facilitated study groups throughout the year
      • Unfacilitated study groups: students from all course can meet together to study/work alongside each other
    • This year I was the secretary-general for the Greek Students’ Association here at UofT and my main responsibilities were coordinating and organizing the council and communicating between the council and the general members. I was heavily involved in planning all our events, both academic and social. I know how to organize both online and in-person events and I am familiar with the funding / financial processes that go along with hosting events. Overall, I have many event ideas and the prior experience needed to organize them. SLUGS is an amazing community that I would love to be a larger part of!
  • Amy Zhang, 2nd year (nomination received on April 11th)
    • Hi everyone, my name is Amy, and I am running for Academic Events Coordinator! Over this past summer, I made the decision to switch from a linguistics minor to the specialist program and, though this transition was made doubly difficult as a result of the uncertainty of online learning, the resources that SLUGS provided both academically and socially, from FSGs to meet the profs, has made me feel integrated and informed. I hope that as Academic Events Coordinator, I can do the same for others. I want to expand the extent of the academic advice and resources provided to members of SLUGS, from creating a syllabus bank to holding Communitea or other advising sessions focusing on specific topics. For example, what language classes should someone pick for their language-learning requirement? What other degrees or elective courses would complement a linguistics major? What options are there after undergrad? These are all questions that I hope anyone who is curious can explore together with SLUGS, through programming like informal chats and advisory presentations! As somebody who has been involved at multiple levels with Linguistics at UofT, I know that, together, we can identify areas of interest for our members and create new programming to bring even more fun, interesting, and exciting opportunities to SLUGS! I’m so excited to see what this next year has in store, and I hope you’ll allow me to be a part of it!! Thank you!!

Social Events Coordinator

  • Anastasia Koutlemanis, 2nd year (3rd choice position: nomination received on April 1st, awaiting SLUGS’ request for personal statement)
  • Maya Shankar, 2nd year (nomination received on April 1st)
    • I am running for Social Events Coordinator because I love SLUGS events! I want to be more involved in running the events that have brought me so much joy. I am comfortable posting on several forms of social media, and I have a lot of ideas about how to spread the word about our workshops and games nights. I love organizing events and managing the people, supplies, and time commitments required to make any event go smoothly. On top of that, I’m familiar with organizing both online and in-person events and seeing them through. I can think on my feet and I can always turn an unexpected situation into a new opportunity. I love the community that SLUGS creates, and I would love to be your Social Events Coordinator next year!
  • Mechelle Wu, 1st year (nomination received on April 10th)

Hello everyone! SLUGS fosters such a wonderful sense of community through all its events, something I have greatly appreciated as a first-year. I would love to continue providing a safe and welcoming space (both online and offline) for linguistics students to meet new people, destress, and discuss interesting linguistics-related topics. I have experience organizing and advertising social events like short-story slams, panels, and races, which will ensure a smooth transition into the role if elected.

These are some social events I intend to organize (in addition to game and movie nights):

  *   Open mic nights where linguistics students (and possibly faculty members) can share their musical talents with the rest of the student body and department
  *   CS-related workshops (like a LaTeX workshop) to better equip linguistics students with the computer skills needed for conducting research and for a competitive edge when applying to research positions
  *   A fun first-year student social for first-year students interested in linguistics to get to know the community and get some advice on course selection and conducting research

I hope you’ll consider voting for Mechelle!

  • Liah Yared, 3rd year (nomination received on April 11th)
    • Hey Friends ! I’m running (not just speed walking) to be your next Social Events Coordinator! School can be tiring and I hope to help build a strong community within the Linguistics Department! I have experience planning the Mostest Funnest Fantastical events, both in person and online! I’ve had the privilege of being on the University College student government for the past 3 years, where I planned events for a constituency of over 1500 students, and worked with a collective budget of over $150,000. I love the work SLUGS has done these past few years, and hope to meet that standard. If elected, I plan on keeping an open dialogue with all students, and post polls on the instagram story to hear what types of events you would want to see! A few ideas that I’ve been thinking about are:
      • Instagram Takeovers – to get to know the exec team a little bit better!
      • Speed-Friending – so you can kick-start your year with a whole bunch of study buddies!
      • Spelling Bees – so you can show-off all of the cool words you know ;D
    • To contribute to all that procrastinating you’ve been doing this exam season, I’ll leave you with an anagram! aihl ofr iosacl tvsnee irorcnoatod!
  • Hyunju Oh, 3rd year (nomination received on April 11th)
    • My name is Hyunju Oh and I am currently in my third year majoring in linguistics. I am running to be the next social events coordinator at SLUGS! I am a person that finds joy in organizing events in which people can attend and simply have fun in the moment. I have previously worked as an events intern and an executive at the University of Toronto’s Korean Students’ Association in the academic sessions 2018-2020. Through these positions, I had the opportunity to bring event ideas to real life. I had not only planned events, but also was involved in managing and organizing the events. Few of the events that I was involved in are: K-pop night and Speaker’s series organized in collaboration with Consulate General of Korea Republic. Moreover, I am currently working as an ambassador at Cam’s kids foundation, actively advocating for youth mental health. Working in various clubs at U of T has truly improved communicative and collaborative skills that can ensure a smooth work flow in large groups. I am certain that with the help of my skillsets, experiences, and abilities I can organize social events that is approachable and enjoyable for all the members of SLUGS. I aspire to come up with event ideas that remain memorable as well as that give people a break from stressful workload.

Design and Marketing Coordinator

  • Haili Su, 3rd year (nomination received on April 9th)
    • Being in this position for the last three semesters, I have been dedicating to create an identifiable visual image for SLUGS, as well as communicating with our members & friends on social media. I have also brought changes to the SLUGS website that helps you to find useful information easier—as well as putting the information on it. If I am elected to be the design & marketing coordinator again, I will continue my current work of creating aesthetic design to our promotional materials, updating our social media and building a better SLUGS website. I will also expand the SLUGS merch available in our RedBubble store. As it’s likely my last year in SLUGS, I will also develop a design guideline for the future coordinators to conduct their job easier and ensure SLUGS has a consistent visual presentation.
    • Portfolio of this candidate

Secretary of SLUGS

  • Runze Qian, 2nd year (nomination received on March 30th)
    • Dear fellow linguists-in-training: Have you ever been frustrated because you are still waiting for the response of an e-mail you sent out three days ago? Have you ever feel like you need to talk but don’t know who to talk to? Have you been thinking that your voice is not heard and you are left out? Now your friendly neighbourhood SLUGS’ secretary is here! During the past year in which everything was done online, our current SLUGS secretary did a great job and now, as a new round of election coming, I wish to carry this on. Vote for Runze, make your voices heard and get your problems solved!
  • Anastasia Koutlemanis, 2nd year (nomination received on April 1st)
    • This year I was the Secretary-General of the Greek Students’ Association here at UofT. As I have experience in this role, I would be a strong fit for this position. I have the skills needed to keep tight communication between the council and the general members. I enjoy being the link between the council and other groups (e.g. members, external organizations). Personal organization and group organization are very different as you have to make sure everyone is given the correct information and affairs are being handled in the correct way by the correct people. It is important to keep councils members up to date to ensure deadlines are all made and to keep operations running smoothly. A good Secretary needs to be both transparent and trustworthy. I know that boundaries in which information needs to be handled within and I know that there cannot be any missed information between the council, general members and superordinate organizations. As I worked closely with the Treasurer of the GSA, I am familiar with the financial side and the ethical ways of managing payments /funding. I believe that my previous experiences will help benefit SLUGS as a whole.
  • Sophia Alcasabas, 3rd year (nomination received on April 8th)
    • Hey there 🙂 I’m Sophia Alcasabas, but call me Soph. I’m going into my fourth (and final) year studying Linguistics and Cognitive Science and I’m running to be YOUR SLUGS 2021-2022 Secretary. A little about me: I’m bilingual (Tagalog & English) but hopefully not for long (I’ve studied French & Spanish). I’ve been to a few SLUGS events during my undergrad, mostly pre-pandemic (because who doesn’t love the Linguistics lounge?). But enough of that. You want to know why I’d be a great addition to SLUGS and an even better secretary, right? The SLUGS secretary is responsible for administrative things, including checking and responding to emails, typing meeting minutes, and keeping inventory when required. These duties require organization, excellent communication, and a sharp eye for details. I believe I have all those qualities. I love keeping things neat and organized (and I’m very good at it, too!), plus I enjoy creating things that are “artsy,” so you already know meeting minutes, emails, inventory lists, and similar documents will look super neat and aesthetically-pleasing. In addition, I want to be part of the SLUGS executive team because I want to take advantage of the wonderful community of Linguistics students that we have here at UofT. I want to help plan and deliver the SLUGS events that everyone loves so much. With that being said, please elect me, a sentimental, hyper-organized, almost-graduated Linguistics student as YOUR SLUGS SECRETARY. Thank you!
  • Valerie Pang, 3rd year (nomination received on April 10th)
    • Hello fellow sluggos! I’m a future 4th year student studying Cognitive Science, Linguistics and Philosophy and I’m running to be your secretary this year. As your SLUGS secretary 2 years ago, I have been committed to taking minutes effectively in each meeting we have as well as creating informative newsletters updating all the events we have in that month. If I’m elected secretary, here’s what I would do:
      • Upload concise minutes to our website for more transparency during meetings
      • In addition to regular newsletters, create a spotlight section for linguistic research from graduate/undergraduate students
    • I have witnessed SLUGS grow into a place where students know and love, and I would want nothing more than to be a part of this growth and to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. Vote me and thank you for this amazing year!
  • Naim Lim, 2nd year (nomination received on April 11th)
    • Hi! I’m Naim, currently a second-year student studying Linguistics and Cognitive Science with a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. I am running for the secretary position in the SLUGS executive team this year not only because I believe I am well suited for the role, but because ever since I made my decision of being a Linguistics major, I have been searching for an opportunity to put my personal skills to use in the linguistics community here at UofT. I believe this opportunity is the perfect next step in achieving my goal of being more involved with others who are pursuing linguistics or are even just wanting to explore the world of linguistics as I did in my first year. I’ve developed and cultivated strong administrative skills as the regional secretary for the non-profit organization Kindler’s Society for two years, and as the executive assistant to the President for the Canadian charity Social Diversity for Children Foundation for one year. In these roles, I’ve had a variety of responsibilities including taking and maintaining effective meeting minutes, managing and organizing records, communicating through email with principals of participating schools and taking part in event and fundraiser planning. I’m committed to making involvement with SLUGS accessible for all linguistics students, passionate about linguistics and the linguistics community and I would be so excited to dedicate myself to the SLUGS team and community as the SLUGS secretary!