Engineering a presidential victory

Candidates Rachel Currie and Derrick Dodgson run for Engineering Society (EngSoc) executive

Image by: Justin Tang

Engineering presidential candidates are gearing up for the society’s Feb. 2 elections.

Presidential candidate Rachel Currie, Sci ’12, said the Engineering Society (EngSoc) is internally focused, however if elected she would like to build on services already in place to reach out to students less involved with the society.

“I hope to work on academic and career resources available to the students,” she said.

“My platform is about the students. Currently we take their interests into account but we don’t actually ask them about it. I want to make it easier for students [to tell us] … where they think their money should go,” she said. “People don’t have time. Engineering is a huge time commitment.” As the current director of external communications, Currie said she wants to make the students-to-faculty society experience more personal by polling students or creating online discussion forums.

Currie said although the possibility of creating new programs or initiatives may change as the year progresses, she currently has no concrete plans, as these decisions would depend on approval from her council. “I’m a big fan of team dynamics, and in making these decisions I think it’s important to take different personalities and attributes into account,” she said. “It’s important for engineering societies to be starting new initiatives. But I don’t think this is the year to do so. I think there are lots of programs that are already set in place and I think we need to focus all our resources [and] build towards them before we add any more.” As the current Vice-President (Society Affairs) for EngSoc, presidential candidate Derrick Dodgson, Sci ’12, said his platform focuses on four primary pillars: sustaining tradition, representing engineering students, providing opportunities and creating a strong society.

“I want to take a strong stance in advocating for our traditions and for them to continue in a way that sustains and protects the engineering spirit. That has a lot to do with working with the administration and working to appease their concerns while retaining what is important to us,” he said, adding that an example would be the science formal.

In the past, EngSoc has had difficulty ensuring it takes place in Grant Hall and has had to deal with issues finding warehouse spaces to build design sets for the Sci formal due to the short period of rent time needed.

Dodgson said if elected he would like to bring forth the idea of a co-curriculum transcript to EngSoc and the other faculty societies.

“It would be an official student record that would along with your marks also show leadership initiatives that the student may have been involved in their time at Queen’s,” he said, adding that a number of Ontario universities like the University of Windsor and Carleton University have already started to do this.

Clubs, societies, varsity and recreational sporting teams, as well as other extracurricular activities would all appear on a student’s transcript.

“This would allow [students] to better present those achievements to potential employers.”

To help develop a stronger society, Dodgson said he would like to incorporate the Engineering society and its services.

“This is basically the idea of forming a corporation like the Alma Mater Society has done with their services. We already run the businesses, however the idea of legal ownership is less clear,” he said, adding that this would not be a structural change but rather one that would have the legal ownership for the society more clear.

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