Andrew Crawford and Erin Murphy are hoping to have a chance to oversee six services, three director positions and the budget and strategic planning process of Orientation Week and Sci Formal, as the Engineering Society’s (EngSoc) Vice-President of Operations.
Crawford, Sci ’15, who served as Grease Pole Coordinator in 2013 and Orientation Roundtable Concert Director in 2014, said he’s the best candidate for the role because he takes a critical and broad approach to addressing problems.
“My focus on long-term planning starts with coming in knowledgeable,” he said, adding that “if I’m not very knowledgeable already, I make sure I am.”
Crawford hopes to expand the role of the Director of Human Resources beyond EngSoc services — garnering feedback from the FREC and Sci Formal committees, for instance. Changing the role to an officer — rather than director — would allow the individual to oversee directors and the executive, in addition to managers and staff.
His priorities include supporting long-term planning of the services and ensuring that the “proper aspects” of this — financials, for instance — are considered.
Crawford said he wants to extend financial considerations beyond the services — where he says financials are already well handled — including making “public and easy-to-follow financial long-term resources” that are accessible to anyone.
He added that he wants to ensure students are protected — in legal and financial terms — and have proper preparation in place, including contingency plans, for insurance purposes.
“If … there is severe consequences for a student as a result of the traditions you practice, it becomes very quickly apparent that that tradition should not exist anymore, as it’s no longer contributing to students,” he said.
The biggest weakness — and strength — of student societies, he said, is the yearly turnover they experience.
“So finding ways and strategies that can ease that transition — whether it is through increasing the amount of hands-on training people have as managers and staff, making sure you have structured meeting times and more than just one transition meeting.”
While Crawford aims to introduce documentation, such as manuals, to aid in this transition process, he cited the Tea Room’s “Teas for Trees” initiative as another type of resource.
“I’d like to make things like that happen for everyone — for all the services,” he said.
“It’s not strictly knowledge, but it’s an idea and ideas are also resources themselves.”
Murphy, who served as treasurer for EngWeek in 2012-13 and Sci ’16 treasurer last year, and is currently Director of Finance for EngSoc, said her experience makes her the best candidate for the role.
The main pillars of her platform include accessibility, communication and accountability.
Murphy said her proposed online system for cheque requisitions — to replace the current system of paper copies with attached receipts — would mitigate the effects of losing or misplacing physical documents.
“Turning that into an online system would, first of all, take off a lot of work from the Director Finance and the VP Operations because you could do it for the services as well,” she said.
“That would make everything more accountable, because you would have not only the paper copy that could be printed and stored — you’d also have it on the cloud.”
While she said that services tend to operate “on their own”, Murphy hopes to foster a broader team environment amongst service managers, including more frequent meetings or communication between them.
“Very applicable to a degree in engineering is you work as a team, and although each one has their own mini-team, it’s, I think, a better environment to work as a large team,” she said.
“I really want to focus on trying to improve the dialogue between the services and having each of the services rely on each other to a certain extent.”
In terms of accessibility, she said she’d like to increase student opportunities and awareness of these opportunities within EngSoc.
To improve existing services, Murphy discussed marketing efforts and finding products that are more economically sustainable. She said the services have “ecologically sustainable products”, but lower-cost “comparable substitutes” to the foodstuffs currently sold can be implemented to achieve this.
“Clark [Hall Pub] does a good job of marketing primarily to engineers, but I really want the services to branch out to even outside Engineering and the Kingston community,” she said.
“Showing that we have these services that are incredible and all have these unique aspects and are going to benefit not only us at Queen’s, but also the greater community.”
— With files from Sebastian Leck and Anisa Rawhani
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