Campaigning across the ocean: AMS hopefuls woo voters at Herstmonceux

A little piece of the University’s Kingston campus was on TV at the International Study Centre (ISC) in Herstmonceux, England, Sunday afternoon during the second annual transatlantic AMS election teleconference.

The conference provided students with an opportunity to learn more about the candidates for whom they will cast absentee ballots in the upcoming election.

Approximately 30 students gathered in the conference room of Herstmonceux castle to witness the debate between rector candidates Johsa Manzanilla, ArtSci ’07, Arun Parkash, ArtSci ’06, Ken Saddington, Sci ’07, and Tom Woodhall, Sci ’05 and ArtSci ’06. The rectors presented their political platforms and answered questions from students on issues of student justice, deregulation and improving accessibility on the Queen’s campus.

Following the rector candidates, the AMS executive teams, HML, HPR, MBT and SHT took to the stage to discuss their political platforms, and answer questions from the ISC students.

“As AMS executive, would you lift the ban on fraternities and sororities?” asked one ISC student.

The four teams approached the question with a similar attitude of disagreement: “We are one Queen’s, we are one community,” said VP (University Affairs) candidate Naomi Lutes, ArtSci ’06, of Team HML.

Like many students at Queen’s, students of the ISC were interested in the candidates’ ideas for Homecoming.

“If elected, how will you handle Homecoming next year?” asked another student.

The teams stressed their concern for the safety of the students and suggested alternative solutions.

“We’re looking into three possibilities,” said VP (University Affairs) candidate Meghan Teuber, Comm ’08, of Team MBT. “These possibilities include a licensed party on campus, a licensed party on Aberdeen, or a street festival on Aberdeen.” The ISC students also brought up their concerns regarding options for education abroad.

One student asked how they would you improve exchanges.

“We need to lower tuition as well as make international events known on campus through a campus events calendar,” said VP (University Affairs) candidate Jennifer Raffoul, ArtSci ’06, for Team HPR.

Lastly, the candidates were asked to elaborate on the personal experiences they could draw from if they were to find themselves managing the $8 million AMS organization come May 2006.

“We have had a great deal of financial experience,” said SHT presidential candidate Jonathan Scarlett, Sci ’06, “and we’d encourage students to give us their suggestions as well.”

ISC students will be voting via absentee ballot on Jan. 31 to ensure their votes arrive by mail in time for the elections on Feb. 7 and 8.

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