Shanti Cosentino, 22, is the interim president of the Algonquin College Students' Association which is currently undergoing an election. Photo credit: Meara Belanger

Shanti Cosentino has taken up the Students’ Association’s presidential seat for the remaining three months of this term, ending in May.

Cosentino, 22, who has studied public relations at Algonquin for the past two years assumed the SA presidency in early February when her predecessor, Deijanelle Simon, left to pursue a field placement in Toronto.

“I had a really good understanding of the role, and I felt like I’d be able to fill the position naturally,” said Cosentino.

Although Cosentino believes she is well-suited for the position, she will only be filling it in the interim. The SA is currently undergoing the process to select their board of recommended candidates for the next 12-month term starting in May 2020.

“It’s only three months of my last term,” explained Cosentino. “Because I’m graduating, I actually can’t run for next year.”

In addition to her duties as president, Cosentino has taken-on multiple responsibilities as a member of the SA. She also wears the titles of elections officer and class representative coordinator.

“All three roles involve a lot interacting with students,” Cosentino said. “So it’s kind of handy that I can answer questions students have about any of those areas.”

Cosentino divides her time between her work for the SA and a demanding internship at a public relations agency. She notes that the support of her team at the SA helps her manage the stress.

Cosentino has garnered support from some of her professors as well. Lara Mills, professor and coordinator for the public relations program, says she’s thrilled for Cosentino.

“She’s a fantastic leader, she’s a team-builder, she always goes above and beyond,” said Mills. “When she sets her mind to something, she delivers.”

Having been on the board of directors for eight months, Cosentino feels comfortable in her role as a representative for the SA — especially in the midst of a board of directors election. One initiative she wants to make a priority during her tenure is raising awareness about SA elections.

“One of the biggest things is having directors walk around and talk to students, and the current board is going to be supporting them by doing the same thing,” Cosentino shared. “We’re really trying to break it down for students because we really want them to feel like they have a voice and understand what they’re voting for.”

The election process requires candidates to undergo a nomination stage, followed by round of interviews, then comes a step called “proxy voting.” The SA picks eight nominees for the students of Algonquin to choose from, but they can vote for any student.

“We’ve got some great candidates. The board that we put forward, I will fully endorse,” said Cosentino. “At the end of the day that’s the student’s decision, but I’m excited to see how it comes together.”

For more information on SA elections, visit this article.