Jerry Haron and Alex Wood are the two candidates running for the position of Vice-President of Student Affairs (VPSA) for the Engineering Society (EngSoc). The position includes oversight of the Director of Communications, Director of Events, Director of Internal Affairs, Director of Design and Director of IT within EngSoc and representation of the Society to other student societies on campus. As per EngSoc’s website, the VPSA offers an “out of the classroom” perspective and may assist in developing new projects. Although Haron, Sci ’17, said he only recently joined EngSoc, he said all of his experience since then has fallen under the portfolio of VPSA. “Maybe not in a high position, as a director … but I’ve been that person on the ground, I know what events should look like, I know what the AMS meetings should look like,” Haron said.
He said the overarching theme of his platform is student development and learning outside the classroom, in an age where many online learning resources are available and “anybody can learn an engineering degree”.
“What’s the point of paying money to come to Queen’s?” he asked, adding that it’s the atmosphere that makes the experience worthwhile.
Design teams, events and conferences are his three main pillars. He said he would like to maintain safety measures put in place by the Director of Design this year — which he said will help ensure that sponsors are willing to provide funding to design teams at Queen’s — as well as bring those clubs that are less visible or known to the society “out of the nooks and crannies”. Haron proposed running workshops for Event Organizers and holding an Events and Services all-ages night at Clark Hall Pub, a greater number of frosh-FREC events and inter-discipline and inter-year tournaments. “If I got a group of my friends from Sci ’17 to face off against a group of, maybe my FREC’s friends in Sci ’16, battling off in a dodgeball tournament, that would be pretty fun,” he said. “Just getting people together, getting them communicating, making the entire Queen’s Engineering program feel a little bit closer.” Haron situated his proposal for an external conference bursary as a follow-up to the termination of the Director of External Communications position within EngSoc, as well as its distancing from the Engineering Student Societies’ Council of Ontario and the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students. “I think it’s a big problem because obviously Queen’s Engineering has a brand and we want as many people to know about this brand as we can,” he said. “It’s very important, especially this year, to get people out to these conferences, to get people talking with other universities, professional societies and industry, to promote the Queen’s brand and get people talking about Queen’s.” *** Wood, who served as year vice-president as a second-year engineer and director of human tesources this year, said his years of experience with EngSoc makes him the best candidate for the position. “I’ve got to know a lot of the facets of the society throughout all the stuff I’ve done,” said Wood, Sci ’16. Protecting spaces is one of Wood’s main priorities. “A lot of our clubs and design teams are having trouble finding space and as class sizes increase, we have more great ideas and so more clubs and teams want to join,” he said. Wood said he’d like to combine the community outreach program — currently tasked with the Fix N’ Clean event — and the external relations committee, which helps with the Kingston snow fort building contest and the City’s Santa Claus parade. Wood’s proposal to combine groups — such as Fungineering and the Buddy program — results from what he said is the idea that “some groups start off with a great purpose and then become somewhat unneeded.” Citing the Buddy program — which pairs upper-year engineers with a first-year engineer — Wood said the involvement of FRECs in the first-year experience “kind of eliminated” the need for upper-year buddies. “That’s why I wanted to combine that one with another committee that plans a lot of interdisclipinary, inter-year events, so that we can kind of centralize our events, for our internal events,” he said. Noting that this will be student-driven, Wood said he’d like to implement outreach events for students who don’t normally attend EngSoc events. “What I would do is basically try to get a public opinion on what — the people who aren’t coming to our engineering society — what are their interests?” he said. “Are they interested more in athletics, are they interested more in the arts?” — With files from Sebastian Leck
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