Life balance key plank for team TPC

Team TPC is out to make sure students play as hard as they work. The team is comprised of presidential candidate Alvin Tedjo, vice-president (operations) candidate John Paterson and vice-president (university affairs) candidate Liz Craig.

Craig said TPC’s campaign—whose slogan is, “Work hard, play hard,” will focus on balance in student’s lives, between studying, extra-curricular activities and community involvement.

“It’s not just schoolwork; it’s not just the grades,” she said.

Each member of the team has a different reason for wanting to run for AMS executive.

Tedjo said he was welcomed back when he came to campus in second year after spending a year at Herstmonceux Castle.

“I felt the AMS reached out to me when I got back to Queens,” he said. “It’s really important that the AMS continue to do so.” Craig said she’s running because she has a lot to offer.

“I wanted to bring some leadership and vision,” she said. “I feel I have some really tangible ideas that would be cost effective, so they wouldn’t really cost much at all but really significantly improve student life.”

Paterson’s own reasons are simple, he said.

“I’m just here because I love this place, I love the AMS,” hen said. “Helping your fellow students is possibly the best thing you can be doing.” TPC’s platform has five major sections: health, As part of their health strategy, Craig said TPC will lobby for a change from three exams during a 24-hour period to two.

“Queen’s is one of the only universities that allows three exams for students in 24 hours,” she said.

Craig said TPC would also lobby the University for shorter wait times at Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS).

“The Lasalle building [HCDS] actually has a three-week wait time,” she said. “The commerce society actually hired their own psychologist.”

TPC also wants to find temporary places for intramural sports while the Queen’s Center is under construction, Craig said.

“They [intramural coordinators] have been trying but there is currently no solution being provided for students,” she said. “You can’t leave students without the outlet for physical activity.”

As part of the team’s strategy, Tedjo said TPC wants to launch an AMS program called Qlife, which would offer students MCAT and LSAT preparation courses as well as the more popular courses formerly offered by QCollege, such as American sign language and bartending.

The environment is another of the group’s priorities, Tedjo said. TPC wants to make all AMS services as green as possible, and challenge the University to do the same with its own services.

“If they can lower the energy costs, they won’t be able to raise tuition by much,” Tedjo said, adding that one reason tuition rose was because of rising energy costs.

TPC also wants to enact the SWIPE program, a loyalty card system that was originally meant to be enacted this year but fell through.

Paterson, who has been working with the information technology office at the AMS, said the program is actually feasible.

CMM

Kingsley Chak, John Manning and Julia Mitchell, all ArtSci ’08, say they want to keep Queen’s looking forward with their motto, “A step ahead.”

Presidential candidate Chak said team CMM wants to take an innovative approach towards a variety of issues.

“We wanted to do something that is a step ahead, that is taking the AMS a step forward,” he said, listing health and wellness, community and sustainability as the main tenets of their platform.

Mitchell, the team’s vice-president (university affairs) candidate, said the slogan represents the progressive nature of their platform.

“We want to view the AMS as a resource rather than just this governing body that’s just stagnant to students,” she said, adding that one of the highlights of the wellness area of their platform is peer counselling that they would put in place along with Health, Counselling and Disability Services.

Chak said the AMS is limited in what it has the power to do within the University, but plays a large role in supporting and advocating for issues.

“There’s a difference between what the AMS can do as an organization and what the AMS can advocate for, for students,” he said.

Manning said CMM is also looking at sustainability on campus.

“Over the past two years there’s been a great push among students to see Queen’s create a unified sustainability office that will bring together students, faculty, administration and physical plant workers,” he said. “That is very close to happening right now and we are going to ensure that the administration understands that this is still a priority for students and we are very committed to seeing that happen.” Chak said the team is focusing on ways to communicate with students.

“Our main goal for the year is if students have any problem … we want them to say, “Let’s go to the AMS front desk and figure out how we can get help.’ If students will do that, I think the AMS has done its job,” he said. “Right now, not really.”

In order to encourage more involvement within the community, the team wants to establish an extensive calendar of events on the AMS website so that students have an easy resource to see what’s going on both on campus.

“It will allow any student to log in and see exactly what’s going on on campus, all over campus—sports events, events at Alfie’s, events at the Common Ground, events put on by clubs—all in one place, one easy format,” Manning said.

“The other thing that we’ll do is allow students to see a listing of current opportunities available to them, both employment opportunities, volunteer opportunities and interest-based opportunities,” he said. “So it’s going to be one centralized place where students can go and see all the chances they have to get engaged in the community at Queen’s.” All three candidates said they were drawn to Queen’s by the campus’ sense of community.

Chak said attending the March break open house in Grade 12 finalized his decision.

“There were people talking to us and then suddenly people march on two sides and clapping and singing the Oil Thigh, and I saw that there’s so much school spirit in the school and I love that stuff,” he said. “I’ve been involved with the AMS since first year. ... Those couple years gave me a lot of experience,” he said.

Chak added that student leaders such as former rector Grant Bishop helped him learn more student government.

“[Bishop] actually taught me what student government is. It’s not for sake of having an office, it’s not for sake of, “Oh you have a position, wow” it’s, ‘What do you want to do for the student body?’ ” he said. “I’ve saw a lot in the past two years. I’ve learned a lot about the Queen’s administration, learned a lot about students and I think I see a vision for the AMS.

“I know what AMS is and I know what it was and I want to steer it in a direction that’s going to be beneficial to all students.” Manning said he wanted to experience a small, tight-knit community.

“I think I’ve found that here,” he said. “I’ve been involved with the AMS for a couple years in a diverse array of positions and I think I’ve seen it from very different perspectives.” Manning has been a volunteer with environmental groups, worked as a StuCon and is a member of AMS Council in his current role as AMS Food and Safety Director.

“It’s one of the most incredible organizations I have seen in terms of what it’s able to do both in providing services of incredible value to students and providing incredible opportunity,” he said. “I think it would be a great honour to be able to help to do that.”

Mitchell she ended up at the University almost by fluke.

“In Grade 12 I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do and I thought, for some reason, I don’t know why, that I wanted to be an architect,” she said. “I applied at … a bunch of universities all for architecture and then Queen’s just randomly for art history.” A couple months after sending in the applications, Mitchell said she realized architecture wasn’t the right choice for her.

“Queen’s was the only one that wasn’t for architecture so that’s why I went here, but I don’t regret it at all. I’ve had such a great experience so far,” she said, even though she has since switched her major to psychology.

Mitchell’s passion for various campus issues is the driving force behind her decision to run for AMS executive, she said.

“I really want to make a difference, and this is one way I can do so.”

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