Rector candidate Marcus Threndyle, ArtSci ’15, said his campaign is built around issues of student autonomy.
“Students can no longer afford to be complacent,” he said. “Changes are happening and there are going to be cuts that need to be made and if we don’t do anything we’re going to get hurt.”
Threndyle said he’s concerned about comparing Queen’s to other schools in making it seem superior, citing the recent don debate as an example.
“The only time I think we should be looking at other schools is when they’re doing things better than us,” he said.
Threndyle said he decided to run because he wants every student to have the opportunity to feel connected to Queen’s.
“I’m looking forward to bringing people together,” he said.
Health and wellness, Homecoming, Orientation Week and non-academic discipline are important student-run initiatives that need to be preserved, he said.
“Student health and wellness is … something we should be in control of, but I also can’t sit here and blame the administration if we’re sitting idly by,” he said.
Threndyle said he believes that there’s a way to make a better system for student health and wellness by making it student-driven and comprehensive across campus.
The plan would give students leverage to show the University that students are capable of taking care of student health and wellness, he added.
“We need to be leaders and we need to step up to the plate and be proactive on these issues,” he said.
Threndyle said he also hopes to focus on student groups that need additional support, citing the current situation with dons and their plans to potentially unionize.
“I see [the Office of the Rector] as a place to start from and kind of be a builder and to bring people together … and just start talking, just get the conversation going,” he said.
Threndyle said he sees a chance for students to work together in the Kingston mayoral race, which will be taking place next year.
“It’s time for us to stand up and have the influence … [it’s important that] next year we as students and student leadership on campus make that election a big thing,” he said.
He said he also intends to bring the AMS and SGPS together to combine resources, so that SGPS members can access resources like the Housing Grievance Centre.
“The SGPS doesn’t necessarily,” he said. “Just because of their size, they can’t have these same kind of projects.”
Threndyle said he wants to have a graduate student liaison in his office to advise him on graduate issues.
He said he expects that the position of Rector will involve a lot of meetings because it’s important to him to bring people together to work on issues.
Going forward, Threndyle said that the Rector has an important mandate over the next two years to protect students.
“The biggest thing is going to be making sure student interests are protected over that time period … at the end of the day we need to not lose ground,” he said.
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