Three EngSoc hopefuls take their marks

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Platforms focus on faculty’s image, student engagement

EngSoc presidential candidates (from left to right) Bob Cockburn, Devon Stopps and Charlie Scott want to engage engineering students.
EngSoc presidential candidates (from left to right) Bob Cockburn, Devon Stopps and Charlie Scott want to engage engineering students.

Three candidates are vying to be president of the Engineering Society next year.

The presidential nominees are Bob Cockburn, Charlie Scott and Devon Stopps.

Cockburn, Sci ’08, said a relationship with the new Dean of Applied Science is a priority for him, adding that it’ll be important for the new dean to be visible at events and to be approachable like Tom Harris, who leaves his post in June. Cockburn said he also wants an improved image for engineering students.

“I think that [Engineers are] more the face for what the community sees because we are most noticeable, so a lot of the time we get blamed for things that we may not be the cause of,” he said.

One of his main concerns is resolving student apathy.

“One of the keys is getting first-years involved. We have to advertise the different positions and how you can apply. There just isn’t enough publicity about things,” he said.

A new position of vice-president (Operations) is being created within EngSoc, and Cockburn said he wants to see the hiring happen sooner and to improve the transition because the position will be the amalgamation of two portfolios.

The new vice-president will be in charge of finances and services like the Clark Hall Pub.

Cockburn has been involved in initiatives to raise the profile of Queen’s students in the engineering industry and was also co-chair of the Conference on Industry and Resources, Queen’s University Engineering. Scott, Sci ’07, said he hopes to improve town-gown relations within EngSoc.

“I have always focused my work on municipal relations and it’s a strong belief I have,” he said, adding that he wants to improve accessibility to EngSoc spaces.

Scott said he also wants to change the public perception of engineering students.

“Engineers tend to have a stigma of being loud and rowdy, but they don’t see all the things that we do,” he said. “I want engineers to be seen for the good that they all do.”

Another issue on Scott’s platform is accountability of EngSoc, which he hopes to improve with mid-year reviews of the society. He also wants teaching assistants to be evaluated in the course evaluation process.

To get EngSoc more involved with other faculties and the AMS, Scott said he wants to hold events with other faculty societies such as fundraisers.

Scott said he hopes the new dean will be open-minded.

“There’ll be learning on both ends … as long as they’re willing to be upfront. We can work quite easily with the dean.”

With the hiring of a new dean, Scott said a new perspective is always important and fresh ideas can be brought in.

Scott has had previous experience with EngSoc on the executive director team, where he acts as a liason between professional organizations and students.

“I am the voice of EngSoc at external conferences if the president isn’t there,” he said.

Stopps, Sci ’07, said he’s focusing on a more inclusive environment within the society.

“I think that’s the big thing that I want to bring to EngSoc: to try to include the whole engineering student body,” he said, adding that his experience running his own computing consulting business will help him in this regard.

“I’m a fairly approachable person, and I’m quite good, too, at approaching other people and communicating well with them.”

Stopps said he wants to involve more people in EngSoc, in the decision making process and in activities.

“The best way to deal with that is to advertise and be approachable,” he said, adding that he also wants to create a better online system to get suggestions from students.

Stopps also wants to improve the transition process by expanding on transition reports.

“It’s very hard for [incoming exec] to pick up where someone left off. We need to expand on transition reports … maybe even improve the organization of the material that people work on,” he said.

Stopps added that he hopes to have EngSoc run course evaluations mid semester so faculty can receive feedback earlier to make improvements.

Stopps has had previous experience with working for EngSoc when managing the shortlived EngNet service, which tried to build a student network for Internet sharing for students living in the Ghetto.

Stopps ran for EngSoc president last year but lost to Conner Langford. EngSoc President Langford, Sci ’07, said he’s glad people from outside EngSoc are running for executive positions.

“It’s great to see people from outside running,” he said.

The EngSoc campaign period takes place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5. The president and senator debate will be held at 5:30 in Clark Hall on Jan. 30 and the vice-president debate will be at 5:30 in Clark Hall on Jan. 31.

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