The 2019 CSSA elections are taking place on March 28th and 29th from 10am - 7pm.

Here are our candidates for our executive positions and their platforms.


Arik Barenboim

Hello! My name is Arik Barenboim, and I am the current VP Academic of the Computer Science Student Association! I am running for the position of President of the CSSA for this coming school year, and I can’t wait to work alongside you all to move the CSSA in a new and exciting direction. As VP Academic this past year I have had some incredible opportunities to conduct multiple engaging Resume Roasts, run a successful career fair, and help facilitate research at EECCS.

As president I am looking forward to improving our current events (such as the ones listed above), in order to provide you with the most insightful and engaging experiences. As well, I am looking to introduce some new events to the mix including some tech-based talks. I will also increase the consistency of social events and lan parties in order to provide you with more opportunities to bond with like-minded individuals, and create meaningful friendships that will last well past university.

As VP Academic this year, I was able to acquire the resources and connections required to provide you with everything you need to be successful with both your schoolwork, and your program as a whole. My goal is to listen to you all in order to shape the CSSA to become something that will truly fit all of your needs. I can’t wait to unlock the potential of the CSSA this upcoming year, and am looking forward to being able to create something that you feel proud of. I would be beyond delighted to represent you as the president of the CSSA for the 2019/2020 school year!

Diego Pontones

Hello everyone! My name is Diego Pontones and I am running for CSSA President for the 2019-2020 school year. I have been involved in the CSSA for two years now, as VP Academic and VP philanthropic, as well as planning 101 week for the CSSA this past summer. With these experiences, I have acquired a good understanding of how to run a successful student body, as well as how to work with other individuals and student bodies to enhance the student experience.

A little bit about myself:

I enjoy working in teams the most, which has brought me success in playing various sports, and working with others. Planning 101 week has connected me to many people throughout campus and being involved in 101 week has been my favourite experiences during my years of undergrad. I believe that my personality and past experiences make me an ideal candidate for this position.

Throughout the years, I’ve met many people from Computer science, as well as other student bodies. One of my primary goals as president would be to connect the CSSA with related clubs and associations, with hopes of giving the students more awareness and opportunities for events. Exposure and communication have been a recurring issue with the CSSA, and it is one that I intend to fix. Similarly, with the people I have met throughout the years as part of a student body, I would like to bridge the relationship between Computer Science and other fed bodies, to provide a more varied mix of events for the students.

As SFUO is being replace by UOSU, I would like to successfully collaborate with this new student body. With UOSU, I intend on working with them to have proper funding for the CSSA, and to have the proper logistics to run 101 week.
My aim this year would be to work alongside the CSSA exec and help them out with their roles to provide a fun and exciting year for the computer science students.


Oliver Benning

English As last year’s VP IT I’m running for another term to continue fulfilling this essential role in the association. Last year a lot happened behind the scenes, from fulfilling a record number of orders for 101 week, to refining and internal projects, and finally helping with the many events we put on for you.

Elected next year I seek to further enhance our web offering using the sponsorship I secured for us through Digital Ocean, such as giving students a secure and confidential way to chat with us and get advice on tech and career subjects from anywhere.

Next I will be sharing more knowledge from myself and my colleagues, including talks about cloud technology and our first cyber-security focused event (I work for a cybersecurity company, so expect some great swag).

Finally I’ll be pushing for inclusiveness, providing inclusive experiences for those of all skill levels and backgrounds.

Please reach out if you have any questions to And most importantly come out and vote on March 28th and 29th.

VP Internal Affairs

Charmaine De Ramos

Hello computer science students! My name is Charmaine De Ramos and I am running for the position of Vice President of Internal Affairs on the Computer Science Student Association (CSSA). I have been in the computer science program for quite a few years and have had the opportunity to meet all the wonderful people in Computer Science through CSSA events, such as 101 week, and being the past VP Equity of CSSA. Being on this student association has been a great time and I enjoy helping with our events and planning what’s best for our students, which is why I’d like to run again. For this round of elections, I have decided to run for VP Internal Affairs, which is the position responsible for the operation of in-office CSSA services, keeping track of CSSA documents, and last but not least, maintaining the CSSA office. I believe my organizational and communicative skills would help me prosper in this role. Over the year, I have noticed that the CSSA office has become an increasingly popular place to be for students. Whether it is to study, work on assignments, take a break from schoolwork, or to simply hang out with some friends, it is a place that I would like students to continue on using as a comfortable and convenient setting. As VP Internal, I would make sure the office is always clean and in an orderly state, make sure that the necessary office supplies and cleaning supplies are always in stock, and I will put in the full effort to make sure the office is a place that students would enjoy being in. I will be open to any student suggestions that will contribute to the betterment of the CSSA office! Additionally, VP Internal Affairs has the task of maintaining and recording documents for the CSSA. I will ensure that all documents pertaining to the CSSA will be filed efficiently and that the records are organized and well detailed. Thank you for taking the time to read my platform and I hope to be kept in your consideration during the elections! Charmaine

VP of Philanthropy

Andrea Herscovich

Hi! I’m Andrea. I’m running for VP Philanthropic and I couldn’t be more excited to share my platform with you. I pride myself on being an active member of the community and have volunteered in various places including CHEO, Children at Risk and Technovation. This has given me the tools needed to act as your voice for philanthropic activities to the SFUO. I’ll make it my promise to have open communication with each and every student who raises an idea or concern. Acting as your voice will allow me to throw fun philanthropic events that incorporate your input and ideas. Giving back to the community is important to me and I will make it my goal to bring you all together at events that are not only fun but provide to great causes like Technovation, a great initiative to bring high school girls to tech and entrepreneurship. I have an extensive tech network that I’ve developed by founding my business SitterNextDoor. I started SitterNextDoor 2 years ago and we are a quickly growing local startup working out of the eHub at the STEM building. I have great relations with several leaders of the Ottawa tech community including Jenna Sudds, the councilor of Kanata North, Jim Watson, the Mayor of Ottawa and more. This network will allow me to bring the tech leaders of Ottawa to support important philanthropic causes that are important to our student community. I’ve worked hard over the past 2 years to develop this extensive network and I want to ensure that all students benefit from the ability to have a voice and speak up to these leaders. Developing my startup 2 years ago has provided me with the essential skills required to succeed as VP Philanthropic. We started with nothing and now have recurring customers all over Ottawa - teaching us a lot of valuable lessons. I want to bring this level of commitment and determination to the role of VP Philanthropic to give you the most enjoyable student experience. I look forward to acting as your voice and your VP Philanthropic.

VP Equity

Madeleine Stanway

Hi there! My name is Madeleine Stanway and I’m a first year student running for the position of VP Equity.

My main goal in this role would be to ensure every student within the CSSA feels they are being treated with the respect they deserve, regardless of how they present and identify themselves. Additional goals I would set out to complete are to educate students, CSSA executives, and professors within the EECS school about equity, to make sure all events hosted by the CSSA are considerate of every student, and to be a trustworthy liaison for students so that they may feel comfortable to speak out about being treated unfairly.

To achieve these goals, I aim to host at least six equity-focused events throughout the year and participate in the planning of each event the CSSA hosts to ensure they are accessible and enjoyable for all. I am a great candidate for the role of VP Equity based on my previous experiences at multiple equity conferences and round table discussions about underrepresented communities in the tech industry, as well as my passion for equitable learning and maintaining an intersectional mindset.

VP Executive Affairs

Anthony Mahanna

Hi! As VP Executive Affairs, my plans are to:

Renovate the Social Hub of our Community → With the cooperation of other executive members of the CSSA, I plan on redesigning the SITE4076 office space into a Social Hub that will streamline student networking and provide CSSA members with an entertainment space for those days where you don’t feel like doing any work.

Ensure that our Events are Rewarding → I plan to engage with new government and private departments to organize events that touch on emerging technologies, such as Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing and Satellite Technologies. Acquiring the support from these departments will allow for more networking events, competitions and workshops.

Use a Newer Social Platform for CS Students to Connect → Lastly, I would love to be able to host an online social platform (i.e. Slack) where new undergraduate students can reach out to the CS community and share their ongoing happenings with others.

I recommend all students to take the time to vote on March 28th/29th at SITE4076 in order for us to obtain an accurate representation of our community’s interests. Cheers!

  • Anthony

VP Academic

Dirieh Mahdi Ali

Hello Computer Science students! My name is Dirieh Mahdi Ali, and I am running to be your Vice-President of Academic Affairs at the Computer Science Student Association for this upcoming year. As your VP of Academic Affairs, I will be acting as a liaison between students and the university for all academic issues and complaints. I am committed to being there for all students and ensuring that all your complaints and heard and dealt with appropriately by the school. I will also be working on organizing and running academic related events for Computer Science students at the University of Ottawa. I will continue to run the traditional events that the Computer Science Student Association regularly holds such as research@EECS, and the annual winter career fair. I am also looking to host new academic related events such as a workshop series, where representatives from companies will come out and showcase their APIs, new tools etc. As a computer science student at uOttawa myself, I know that the curriculum is sometimes lacking industry-relevant topics, so I look forward to working on this issue by organizing workshops with industry professionals in the tech field. Last but not least, I am here to answer all of your questions and listen to all of your concerns, whether it be in person, or through social media. Remember to come out and vote at SITE, in room 4076 on March 28th and 29th!

VP Social

Samuel Saint-Fleur

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Hi, my name is Samuel Saint-Fleur and I am a second year computer scientist at the University of Ottawa. I am running for the position of Vice-President Social, for the election period of 2019-2020 academic year. My goal is to give opportunities for members of the CSSA (Computer Science Student Association) and students to have but the greatest taste in events; Karaoke, Bar Crawls, Club Nights, KBBQ, LAN Parties, Game Nights, Movie Nights, Netflix and Chill, and all the food in this city! I believe it is not only crucial that students and members be able to communicate with the vast field of Computer Science and retain information from such sources, but also that it is in the students/members’ grip to experience a new lifestyle of youthful days that will last an eternity. With a successive election of that position, I will organize many fun and proficient activities for the students to gain knowledge and experience in the field of Computer Science, with a twist of youth activities; I will also collaborate with other faculties to have the biggest ties and newly created bonds between students and teachers!

VP Finance

Omer Abubaker

Hello, My name is Omer Abubaker and I am running to be VP Financial Advisor for the Computer Science Student Association! I believe that I am fit for the position because I have had previous experience managing the finances of various student clubs and associations. I have also had volunteer work experience in an accounting firm preparing financial reports/statements. If I am elected as VP Finance, I will not only focus on the finances of the association but also work with other executive members to create more events and help the CSSA get sponsorships to allow students have more connections with the tech industry and much more. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me on social media or even if you see me around!

Thank you!