No one running for COMPSA vice-president

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Two presidential candidates vow to rejuvenate ‘failing’ society

Tim Ginn, left, and Vishaal Patel, both CompSci ’08, are running for COMPSA president.
Tim Ginn, left, and Vishaal Patel, both CompSci ’08, are running for COMPSA president.

Tim Ginn and Vishaal Patel, both CompSci ’08, are the only two candidates running for COMPSA president and, as it stands now, whoever gets elected will be without a vice-president.

The original COMPSA nomination period had to be extended because not enough people ran for executive office. Even now, with the nomination period over, there are no candidates for the vice-president (internal) and vice-president (external) positions because nobody ran for them.

Patel said the lack of interest in running among COMPSA members is a concern.

“COMPSA is failing,” said Patel. “If COMPSA falls, we would collapse back under the Arts and Sciences faculty. We’re a large enough group that we should have our own distinct society.”

This will be the third year Ginn has tried for the presidency.

“I have a lot to offer in terms of experience,” Ginn said. “I’ve been involved in COMPSA since I got here at Queen’s.”

Ginn said he was interested in COMPSA since the first days of frosh week, as chief returning officer, internal affairs commissioner and academic affairs commissioner.

Because of his experience as a COMPSA representative, Ginn said he feels well suited for the presidency.

“I really feel that I have a lot of organizational skills and planning skills, which are very important,” he said.

Ginn said he thinks communication with other members of the COMPSA executive is imperative.

“In the past, we’ve had executives that don’t effectively communicate, and that is something that I definitely think I can change.” Ginn said lower-year COMPSA members need to be more engaged.

“I think it is really important to get the frosh as involved as you can, because they will be the ones to run COMPSA in the future,” he said. “More than any other executive, I’ve been in constant contact with the class of 2011 already, when they are still making their decisions to come here. ... Getting people informed earlier so they are aware of what COMPSA has to offer is important.”

Patel’s executive career started a bit later.

“I became a Gael, or “Tech,” as we call them, in second year, and I think that was the start for me,” Patel said. Last year Patel ran for COMPSA vice-president, and was narrowly defeated by current VP Rose Regan. After the elections he was hired into his current COMPSA position as junior social affairs commissioner.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of COMPSA’s social events,” he said.

Patel has helped organize events such as the annual COMPSA boat cruise and COMPSA’s Coffee with Profs that runs every Thursday.

“Before this year, I’ve never done anything like this, but being able to work with such a diverse group and seeing projects come together as a success has been great.”

Patel said he isn’t yet sure how to combat apathy among COMPSA’s students.

“That’s the part I haven’t sat down and figured out yet,” he said, laughing. “But I can tell you that it would require a person who is a true leader.” During last year’s campaign for vice-president, Patel said he got to see Ginn speak on the same platform.

“I don’t mean to sound negative, but Tim just sounded very dry,” Patel said. “When he spoke, he sounded as if he were reading a resume, you know, he would say, ‘I’ve done this, this, and this,’ and that is not what students want to hear.”

Patel said students want someone with confidence.

“In my case, I don’t have a problem talking to people publicly, and I would let them know that I’m someone they can talk to.”

Patel said he thinks more attention needs to be paid to the younger students, but questions the current process of doing so.

“All the forms and statistics don’t do that much to help,” he said. “Tthe feedback we get is not representative.” Instead, he said, COMPSA needs to devise new ways of presenting itself to computing students. “Students need to know that all this is being done for them so that they get everything out of the four years that they attend Queen’s”

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