For student trustee candidate Gary Yeung, communicating between different groups comes naturally.
Yeung, Comm ’11 and ArtSci ’12, is the AMS deputy communications officer, a position he says will help him liaise between students and the 43 other members of the Board of Trustees.
“I would go out and actively engage them and let them know the student side of the issue,” he said. “I think that’s really important. When they know the students’ side, they would understand where we’re coming from and make decisions that are in our interest.”
Yeung said his three-point platform is well-researched and based on gathering information from both the administration and average students.
“I looked on the Board website, read all the minutes, looked over the annual report, talked to Michael Ceci—the current student trustee—talked to the rector, a few people in the AMS academic affairs [commission] to really understand what the Board does and what the students want right now,” he said. “I also talked to just plain students, my friends, other people, to gather their opinions and see what they want in the future.”
Yeung said his first point recognizes the 15 per cent school-wide budget cuts affecting the University, and its potentially detrimental effect on the quality of education at Queen’s.
“We’re known for our educational quality, and that’s something I believe firmly in and I’ll fight for,” he said. “What I would do is try to get students around the table, talk to the faculty, talk to the administration and get them to know our viewpoint and why this is so important to us.”
Yeung said his second platform point focuses on investing in student talents outside the classroom.
“It’s about letting the Board know how important student life is to the University and making sure the Queen’s Centre and the $25 million students gave to it is properly used to build a centre that represents student life,” he said. “It’s going to last for 50 or 100 years, and really building a quality facility that really supports student life and our University needs to invest more in that I think.”
Yeung said his third platform point focuses on financially sustaining the University during a time of recession. He said one way the University is already cutting costs is by looking at consolidating their travel expenses with a travel office.
“I think that’s a good way on not effecting our educational quality and yet cutting costs,” he said. “I think the University and student should look at more ways we can do that and really bring students inside the decision-making process. Getting students involved because we have bright minds we should use them to our advantage.”
Yeung said facilitating thoughtful communication between the student body and the Board of Trustees is something he firmly believes in.
“I’m not here for my own ideology or my own interests. I’m here to work for me, my friends and everyone at Queen’s and to make sure their voices are heard,” he said. “I would go out and use surveys, go out to different students, student leaders and focus groups. Any way I can get student opinion and listen to them, bring a diverse set of ideas and try to find common solutions around all of them.”
To read Gary Yeung’s platform, go to votegary.ca
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