MAP running inside out

Campaign to gather ‘grassroots’ support

Vice-president (university affairs) candidate Suhail Panjwani
Vice-president (university affairs) candidate Suhail Panjwani

For Team MAP—presidential candidate Colin McLeod, vice-president (operations) candidate Ellen Allwright and vice-president (university affairs) candidate Suhail Panjwani—their greatest strength in running for AMS executive lies in their self-proclaimed outsider status.

“The tie that binds us all is that we have AMS experience, but also have experience outside of the AMS. We’re looking from the outside in, not just the inside out,” McLeod said. “It’s something that differentiates us and makes us feel like we’re coming from the student level.”

McLeod, ArtSci ’09, is Walkhome Head Manager. He said he got his first taste of the AMS in his second year at Queen’s.

“My first involvement was with the Journal doing election coverage, where I started off covering MCRC elections. I joined Walkhome as a service staff and applied for Head Manager for this year, which has given me a greater knowledge of campus safety,” he said. “I’ve also worked with SOARB, which is summer orientation for first-year students. I started off as a peer advisor and became the senior peer advisor, which has helped me relate to the average first year student.”

Allwright, ArtSci ’09, is Common Ground Head Manager. Allwright said she didn’t have any AMS experience during her first year at Queen’s, opting for 5 a.m. wake-up calls instead. “I tried out for the rowing team and ended up making a novice boat. In second year I auditioned for the Queen’s Caledonias and I didn’t even know they were an AMS-affiliated club. In third year I dived into the AMS scene as a service staff at Common Ground and this year I’m the Head Manager of Common Ground.”

Panjwani, ConEd ’09, is AMS Food Centre Manager. He said his wide range of extracurricular activities makes him an excellent candidate for the vice-president (university affairs) position because he feels he represents the average student.

“I didn’t have any AMS experience whatsoever until this year where I dabbled with the [Social Issues Commission] being the Food Centre manager,” he said. “Before that, I’ve been involved with residence as a don for two years, Vogue fashion show for three years as a dancer, QDC, the Residence Energy Challenge, I was a CESA athletic rep and am active with the basketball community, playing intramurals.”

To prepare for their campaign, McLeod said Team MAP met with a number of students and administrators, paying special attention to members of the AMS’s faculty societies.

“We needed to touch base with them to see what their individual needs were. The needs are very different and wanted to make sure we could address all of them and not seem ArtSci-centric,” he said. “Once we started developing ideas, we targeted people to meet with so we could not just brainstorm ideas but back them up.” McLeod said Team MAP wants to get grassroots support from students who might not know about the AMS and how it works.

“It’s coincidental that our acronym is MAP, because we want to make sure students can ‘map’ out their voice, which means we want to hear as many opinions as possible,” he said. “We come from a student background and I think that will work to our advantage. We haven’t been caught up in the AMS, so we can look from the outside in. The system isn’t perfect and there’s lots that needs to be changed, and we’re the best people to do that.”

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