Team FLAMES wants to make all Concurrent Education (ConEd) students feel welcome at the Concurrent Education Students’ Association (CESA).
Composed of presidential candidate Megan McDowell, ConEd ’24, vice-presidential (internal) candidate Maeve Stemp, ConEd ’24, and vice-presidential (external) candidate Kayla Emmerton, ConEd ’24, the team is running uncontested for CESA executive.
The team highlighted values of transparency, engagement, and accountability in their campaign platform. By expanding volunteer opportunities, introducing skill-building workshops, and increasing accessibility of CESA events, Team FLAMES hopes to boost engagement.
“To get involved [at Queen’s], you have to fill out massive application forms and you have a position that you hold by yourself, which can be really intimidating for first and second years,” Emmerton said in an interview with The Journal.
By creating more low-commitment volunteer positions within CESA, Team FLAMES hopes to reach a greater number of ConEd students.
“We can have more general committees. For example, an athletic council or events committee, and that would increase some of the engagement that we’re getting within CESA,” Emmerton said.
Similarly, by hosting events that require a lower degree of participant engagement than typical ConEd events, the team hopes to appeal to ConEd students who do not identify with the upbeat, energetic culture of their faculty.
“We have events like ConEd formal, where you have to buy tickets, you have to buy a dress—it’s an entire night. As opposed to having events like trivia or a movie night, where you can show up for an hour, it’s on campus, it’s easy, you’re not expected to do the year dance, or do cheers,” Stemp said.
To Team FLAMES, accountability means upholding professional, equitable, and accessible standards for all members of CESA.
By mandating equitable training, executing their responsibilities in a timely and reliable manner, and advocating for the future of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, McDowell believes they will achieve this goal.
“Having equitable practices, training, and hiring is essential for everyone that sits on council. So, anyone who is involved in a hiring panel must go through this training to be able to properly follow a standardized rubric,” McDowell said.
Stemp feels standardizing the bursary process across all CESA-related events is vital to ensure ConEd students have access to equitable opportunities. This idea was inspired by Stemp’s experience working on bursaries for various ConEd events.
“I was involved in the bursary process for [ConEd] Orientation, as well as Queen’s Conference on Education, and I realized that I had been doing them two completely different ways. Because of that, it was not equitable at all.”
Part of Team FLAMES’ commitment to equity is recognizing their privileged backgrounds and using their power to amplify the voice of equity-deserving students.
“While we have had training and experiences within equity [it’s important to] recognize those are not our own genuine experiences,” Stemp said.
“If we want to be able to represent those experiences and provide access and support for students who have had those experiences, that doesn’t necessarily always need to come from us, but we do have the power to enable that.”
The team intends to create a culture of transparency between CESA, faculty, and students, and hopes to do so through an easily accessible Google Calendar, productive email blasts to all ConEd students, and disseminating information about fifth year.
“Sometimes our fifth year feels like a little bit of a mystery and not everyone knows what to expect, so we’re hoping to bring in some more initiatives there,” McDowell said.
“We want to clear that up from first year to fourth year, so everyone is making that transition into fifth year more smoothly.”
Despite running uncontested in this year’s election, Stemp emphasized the importance of voting regardless.
“It’s important to have people voted into positions with intentionality as opposed to by accident, because I think that makes all the difference in terms of how the year goes and how things are run.”
Voting takes place on Feb. 15 and 16.
CESA, ConEd, Elections, Elections2023, Teaching
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