Ethan Ma

January 23, 2018

"[SIAT has] been quite different from high school, but in a good way."

Last term, the Interactive Arts and Technology Student Union elected their new IATOne Representative. With a fresh set of eyes, Ethan Ma has stepped up to the plate to put his experience to the test and strive to grow further. Ethan talks about his first term with SIAT and his plans for IATSU. 

Meet the new IATOne Representative!

Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hi, I’m Ethan, the new IATOne Representative for the Interactive Arts and Technology Student Union (IATSU). I enjoy activities such as baking, cooking, singing, and cycling.

I didn’t have experience in coding and graphic design when I first started in SIAT, but being in a driven program where individuals are extraordinarily talented really pushes me to my limits. In short, SIAT is great.

What compelled you to apply to SIAT?

The classes that are offered at SIAT are unlike other university programs. SIAT dabbles in both science and arts, which gives a nice versatility between courses. My parents really wanted me to pursue a Science degree, but I believed I was an Arts person, so SIAT was the perfect balance between the two.

My first impression of SIAT was at the SFU Program Fair, where students put out their work to showcase. The work that they brought to the table was inspiring and creative, and I knew this program was a right fit.

How was your first term at SFU?

It’s quite different from high school, but in a good way. The projects you work on are practical to courses outside of SIAT, making them worthwhile to put effort into. The workload sn’t too terrible if you manage your time. But there is an exception. I’ve learnt you must have a passion for what you create, or the final product will be subpar.

There were courses that I enjoyed more than others, but nothing that I terribly despised. I learned more real-life applications than anything I learned in high school. And for that reason alone, I've been enjoying school more and more.

What inspired you to run and campaign for IATOne Representative?

I’d like to think I’m a social butterfly. I love going around talking to other people about completely irrelevant things. Connecting with others is something I really enjoy.

Campaigning was also a lot of fun. I made an election video, campaign posters, and spread my name all over SIAT.  Making campaign materials (i.e. posters) was something I’ve never done before the election and I never knew creating an aesthetically pleasing poster would be so difficult. But overall, campaigning was certainly a new experience.

What are things that you hope to learn from the IATSU Executive Committee (EC)?

I’d love to connect more with the EC and learn how to cater to such a large amount of people. I will be planning Frosh 2018, and it would be amazing if the EC members mentored me through the organization process. Everyone in IATSU has more experience in terms of seniority which makes it interesting to learn from people with various skillsets. I hope I learn under them, and that I can make them proud!

Do you have any plans in mind for your term in office?

I’d love to do some first-year exclusive events to ease in the transition between high-school and university. Events along the lines of movie nights, ice skating as socials are just a few ideas. But truthfully, majority of my time will be helping the Directors of Events.

What are some things that you wish you had known before you came to SFU that you think that incoming students for next year should know?

  • Don’t be intimidated by the upper-year students. Talking with them can help you plan out a lot of things.
  • Be prepared to do A LOT of self-learning.
  • Work in the on-campus studio spaces if you can’t focus at home
  • All SIAT kids are weird

What’s a fun fact about you that people may not know?

I sometimes sleep in jeans.

IATSU is always open to ideas for events and feedback on anything IATSU-related. Any questions and inquiries can be forwarded to Ioana Sandor at

Make sure to follow IATSU on their social media platforms:

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