CMM ‘lucky to find each other’

Kingsley Chak, John Manning and Julia Mitchell decided to run for AMS executive in December.
Kingsley Chak, John Manning and Julia Mitchell decided to run for AMS executive in December.
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This is the story of how Team CMM—Presidential candidate Kingsley Chak, Vice-President (University affairs) candidate Julia Mitchell and Vice-President (Operations) candidate John Manning—became what Manning calls a natural fit for each other.

“Kingsley has been very focused on … student lobbying and has been working very closely with the administration. Julia has been focused on health and student engagement and I’ve been working with the corporate side of the AMS for the past year,” Manning said.

Chak and Manning first met after Manning was hired as the AMS food and safety director last March.

“At the time, we didn’t know each other that well but we started working on the issue of the Stauffer library café,” Chak said.

As Manning was transitioning into his position as director of food and safety, he worked with Chak to ind a way that students could work with Sodexo to bring the library café to life.

“Around late October, early November, we started thinking maybe [running for AMS exec] is something we can pursue,” Chak said. They began looking for a third person and found Mitchell. Manning and Mitchell met working together as StuCons.

“[For the VP (UA )], you need someone who’s creative, energetic and ood at engaging people,” Chak said. “I think we’re all a good fit for the job.”

Chak said he started thinking about running last summer. “I really got it on my mind that I think this will be something that I will like to pursue,” he said.

“[It was] probably in December when I found John and Julia to run together. It was really difficult to find three people who had the same passion … the same level of commitment.
“We were really lucky to find each other.”

Chak said he, Manning and Mitchell, all ArtSci ’08, have spent several weeks planning their platform and campaign, and found they work well together. “Spending 24/7 with the two of them for at least th ree weeks already, I think we’reworking really well together,” he said.

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Jocelyn Hart, ArtSci ’83, is on the Board of Trustees and has worked with Chak on the Campus planning and Development Committee. Chak has been the board’s undergraduate student representative since 2005.

“Kingsley raises issues that are important to students,” she said. “He’s also proven that he can take ideas and make them happen. He doesn’t let ideas drop.”

Hart said two of Chak’s ideas were particularly effective. “He worked with the secretary of the board, Georgina Moore, to have the students run one of our board theme days,” she said. “The other idea that Kingsley had was to organize lunches with the trustees and other student leaders. … It was executed well and myself and two other trustees participated in the lunches at the last board meetings.”

Joshua Hwang, ArtSci ’08 and Chak’s housemate, said if something needs to be done, Kingsley will find a way. Hwang said Chak is an easy person to live with, a huge Star Trek fan and also enjoys singing Chinese songs in the shower. “He’s a pretty considerate guy,” Hwang said. “If I say shut up, he’ll shut up pretty quickly. He’s, for the most part, really neat, but when he’s busy, it gets messy. He can be a little anal sometimes.”

Hue Nguyen, ArtSci ’07, has gotten to know all three members of CMM as StuCons. Nguyen said Chak doesn’t let the title of student trustee go to his head. “He’d never throw that title in [someone’s] face,” she said. “He’s really fun to be around; he likes to talk a lot.”

She said Chak learned how to be a StuCon quickly. “He’s very professional when he works. He jokes around with his co-workers, but he’s more serious when he deals with patrons,” she said, adding that if there’s a task to be done, Chak will volunteer to do it. “He’s very assertive in that way.”

Nguyen said she knows Manning best of the three: she has known him since second year and plays volleyball with him. Manning is both gentlemanly and reserved, Nguyen said.

“He’s always in the public, but he has a very private self,” she said. “He really likes to cater toeveryone; he just wants to make everyone happy. He’s very likeable, as a person.”

Manning also keeps a lot to himself, Nguyen said. “He knows tons of people and has many friends … [but] there’s a lot about himself that other people don’t know,” she said. Manning didn’t tell Nguyen when he was thinking of running for AMS executive. “He didn’t, someone else did—that’s the private part of him,” she said. “He was going to apply for head manager of StuCons, but he applied for food and safety director, and he got it.

“He doesn’t broadcast these things.” Nguyen said she thinks Manning makes a good leader.

“He never seems stressed,” she said. “I’m pretty sure he gets stressed, but he never lets things get to him. “He’s a good leader but in a very non-aggressive way. So he likes to bond with the co-workers on a personal level so he could gain our respect.
“He doesn’t put himself on a pedestal, so even if he has a higher position than you, he’s still one of you.” Manning has a habit of being late, however.

“He’s always late for everything,” Nguyen said. “I remember him always running from place to place.
Maybe that’s why he likes running so much, because he’s always late.”

Nguyen said Manning is also a talented cook. “He’s a chef extraordinaire, but very messy,” she said, adding that some of Manning’s favourite foods are salmon, yams and Thai food. “He actually won a contest for the Asian cooking club.”

Lindsay Hunter is the human resources manager at the Common Ground and has worked with Manning since he was hired as food and safety director last year. According to Hunter, Manning hecks in at the Common Ground once every one or two weeks to make sure everything is running smoothly, and is also a big fan of the chicken pesto wrap.

Christine Wheatley, TAPS head manager, works under Manning in her current position, but met him when he was a StuCon. “We have meetings, but we also have an informal relationship as well,” she said. “He’s basically our link to the government side of things.”

Manning represents TAPS at assembly and assists the managers with any problems, Wheatley said. “He helps us out with tougher situations … if ever a staff member has a problem with us, they would go to him,” she said.

Wheatley said Manning started off his position without any experience as a manager.

“He’s very interested in learning and bettering himself. He did a very good job in trying to learn as much as he could about the services and I think that will be an asset to him.”

Wheatley added that Manning frequents the QP a lot, where the TAPS staff know his favourite drink: a soda with a dash of lime. As head manager, Wheatley has also worked with Mitchell, who is a hybrid staff—she works both in the kitchen and at the bar at the QP and at Alfie’s.

“It’s a varied job and she’s somebody who’s very upbeat about it. She brought a lot of life to it,” Wheatley said. “She nicknamed it the ‘kitchen of love.’ “We were lucky to get her this year. She’s basically the most positive person I’ve met and she keeps morale high.” Wheatley said Mitchell picks up people’s shifts and always helps people out when they’re in a bind.

She added that Mitchell occasionally sings along to the music playing while she’s working. Kelly McBoyle, PhysEd/ArtSci ’08, has known Mitchell since Grade 5 and they have been housemates since they moved out of residence in second year.

“She hasn’t really changed. … We’re both still really quirky. She’s always a bubbly person, always in a good mood so she hasn’t changed in that sense,” McBoyle said. McBoyle said Mitchell’s very close to her new puppy, Charlie Brown.

“I hear her talking to her dog in her room,” she said. “She’ll have dance parties with her dog.”
Not many people know Mitchell is an artist, McBoyle said. “When she’s in her quiet time, she’s usually sketching or drawing in her room. She draws silhouettes of people.”

McBoyle said Mitchell leans owards the classics when it comes to movies and music. “I know she loves the Beatles. She always has good music playing in her room … not the contemporary stuff,” she said.

“If I’m doing work, she’ll ust poke her head in and say something really random,” McBoyle said. “When we’re home, we just hang out in each other’s rooms. She eats a lot of cereal straight from the box.”

Through the Student Constables and Queen’s First Aid, Nguyen also knows TPC candidates Liz Craig and John Paterson. She said it’s a strange debate because all the candidates know each other well.

“It is weird, because after the AMS assembly debate, they gave each other hugs and they were hanging out at the QP ogether. It’s a weird campaign period because both teams are so similar and they are friendly,” she said.

“It’ll be interesting in the way they conduct their campaigns. It’s really cool to see that, too, that there isn’t any animosity between the teams. “I’m sure even if one team doesn’t win, they’ll be happy for the other.”

Kingsley Chak

1) What is your best personality trait?
Dedicated

2) What is your worst personality trait?
Perfectionist

3) When was the first female AMS president elected?
I’m not sure. I know there was a female president in 2003-04 but I don’t think she is the first one. I will guess that it would be either late ’80s or early ’90s. I’m gonna guess 1990.

4) Who is chair of the Board of Trustees?
Bill Young

5) Who is the dreamiest professor at Queen’s?
Dr. Ken Ko from Biology. I worked for him over the summer, so I’m biased!

6) If you were a professional wrestler, what would your name be?
“THE CHAK ATTACK”

John Manning

1) If you had to cancel an AMS service, which would it be and why?
Tricolour Market. Its product line could be absorbed by the Greenroom if need be.

2) What is the budget of Yearbook and Convocation Services?
$500,000 ?

3) Which services fall under the purview of the Student Services Director?
Tricolour Market, Greenroom, P&CC, Destinations.

4) What is involved in Phase I of Queen’s Centre construction?
Part of the Queen’s Centre will be built, containing a new QP and Common Ground. Some student common space and offices will also be ready. The AMS will rely more on
MacGillivray-Brown Hall during the transition as “swing space.”

5) What is your favourite campus hangout and why?
The Tea Room—it’s the greatest example of student ingenuity and dedication I have seen.

6) If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Buy a house with a big kitchen and a huge spice rack.

7) Who is Andrew Simpson?
Queen’s Vice-Principal (Finance & Operations)

8) Who is Michael Hickey?
AMS lawyer

Julia Mitchell

1) Who is Marija Linjacki?
How do you pronounce that!?

2) Name the city councillors for the following districts: (left blank)
a. Sydenham
b. Porsmouth
c. King’s Town
d. Williamsville

3) Describe yourself using a seven-letter word.
FUN-LOVING! (consider “fun” one letter!)

4) Who is the president of OUSA?
I’m still in the process of understanding OUSA completely!

5) Name the committees under the Academic Affairs Commission. What do they do?
Academic Grievance - self explanatory
Teacher evaluation – USAT evaluations, Peer Tutoring

6) How many students sit on the Board of Trustees, and who are they right now?
1! My great friend (and teammate) Kingsley Chak.

7) What was your favourite book as a child?
Piggy in the Puddle (seriously!!) It’s about a pig and his family who LOVE swimming in a mud puddle. It’s very clever.

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