CESA Executive debate recap

Teams present platforms on professional development and community outreach

Image by: Tessa Warburton
Team RAY (left) and Illuminate (right) gathered on Jan. 25 for the CESA debate. 

On Friday night, CESA candidate teams RAY and Illuminate pitched similar platform points at the Association’s executive debate.

The teams both suggested supporting students by creating more professional development workshops, listening to the concerns of ConEd council members, and opening dialogue between students and CESA execs.  

For team RAY—made up of Ruth Bryce, Alexandra Lauzon, and Yael Gazit, all ConEd ’20—it was reflected in the team’s platform pillars: “you the student, you in the community, and you at Queen’s.”

By revamping procedural measures in CESA meetings, creating a Q&A resource center, and generating more opportunities to build relationships with professors, RAY hopes to create more opportunities for ConEd student involvement.

Team Illuminate members Mackenzi Mellon, Jathorsan Lingarajan, and Carla Namkung, all ConEd ’20, plan on enriching the ConEd student experience through similar pillars.

Illuminate’s platform focuses on student-life, professional development, and community outreach. The team suggests improving the student experience through self-care workshops, professional development opportunities, and an increase in community involvement.

The team’s campaign is focued on “building stronger relationships between the faculty and the community,” said Illuminate’s vice-presidential (internal) candidate Mellon.

After opening statements, the audience posed questions to both teams. When asked how the Province making non-essential fees optional would affect their plans, the teams diverged.

Team RAY’s Presidential candidate, Gazit, said she plans to consult deans, the AMS, and faculty moving forward. Vice-president (external) candidate Bryce said she was willing to sacrifice a portion of her honorarium.

Meanwhile, team Illuminate’s plan rested on lobbying and sponsorship to account for lost funding. Presidential candidate Namkung said she plans on working with other student leaders to lobby the Province for funding and better OSAP regulations.

Through consultations with the current vice-president (external), Illuminate’s vice-president (external) candidate, Lingarajan, said they plan on giving each council member sponsorship training. This would ensure individuals are equipped to raise money for various ConEd events, appealing to local and provincial businesses.  

The audience then asked how the teams would work with ConEd year representatives, improving communication, partnerships, and collaboration within the program.  

Team RAY’s Lauzon said she’d help them to accomplish their goals, not micromanage them. If elected, she’d also utilize monthly check-ins, which Illuminate similarly expressed.  

When asked how each team planned to fulfill their platform promises without compromising their academic or mental well-being, Team RAY’s Lauzon admitted she struggled with organization.

“With me, I really struggle being well-organized, so I will be open and transparent with my team and the rest of the council,” Lauzon said.

Team Illuminate said while they are students first, and CESA execs second, they believe time management and good organization would help them balance their goals, academic standing, and mental well-being.

“We’re all future educators and we can do so much in our community to make changes, so we hope we get the opportunity to do that,” Team Illuminate vice-presidential (internal) candidate, Mellon, said.


This article incorrectly stated Mellon was on team Ray. The candidate is running with team Illuminate.

The Journal regrets the error


CESA, Elections

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