Campaigning for ComSoc

Sean Roberts
Sean Roberts
David Waugh
David Waugh

Five candidates are vying to be part of the Commerce Society next year with elections taking place next week on Feb. 13 and 14.

Sean Roberts’ decision to run for ComSoc president wasn’t a hasty one.

“The idea sort of came to me over the course of the last year,” he said.

Roberts, Comm ’08, has had experience chairing ComSoc’s Board of Directors in 2006.

He said his past experiences within the society have prompted him to want to lead it.

“The Commerce Society needs committed and passionate leadership,” he said. “My experience in many different parts of ComSoc, from volunteering to running entire committees from the top strategic planning position, made me want to be the ComSoc president.” Roberts said a lack of continuity in long-term goals from year to year has been a problem for ComSoc in the past, and he aims to address this.

“The Commerce Society needs to be in a position where it can have long-term goals for each year’s executive to focus on,” he said.

Improving relations and communications with the AMS and other faculties are also on Roberts’ agenda.

“Current policies are hard to understand, and it’s important to outline things clearly so that it’s more relevant to constituents,” he said. “It’s also important to create closer ties to the administration within the Commerce program.”

David Waugh, Comm’08, is currently on exchange in Paris but said in an e-mail to the Journal that he began to think of running for president this summer.

Waugh said his experience as Comm ’08 president this past fall and as a past editor of COMMotion, the commerce newspaper, have been important learning experiences for him.

Waugh said he hopes to encourage COMMotion to take a harder line on its journalism to create greater accountability.

“[I want to] really use it as a tool to hold elected officials of ComSoc, as well as those in the commerce Office, to account,” he said. If elected, Waugh said he wants to find more ways for students to get involved.

“I’ve found that Commerce students find it overly difficult to get involved due to an abundance of bureaucracy,” he said.

“Given that ‘enabling student involvement’ is at the core of ComSoc’s own mission statement, I propose an increase in the number of ‘open membership’ committees--that is, those with no application required.”

Although Andrew Dubowec, Comm ’08, didn’t know right off the bat that he wanted to run for ComSoc’s vice-president (external) position but through his involvement with ComSoc—chairing the Queen’s Advancing Canadian Enterpreneurship conference (QACE), being a part of the Comm ’08 executive and a member of the BEWIC Committee—he became intrigued with the opportunity.

“I decided to run for VP (external) as a result of the encouragement from a number of my peers and the relevant experience I gained from being the chair of QACE,” he said.

“I definitely attribute my run to the many people I’ve worked with who continue to push me.”

Dubowec’s platform, titled, focuses on informing students about conferences and competition opportunities, policy issues and co-operation within ComSoc. Key ideas for implementing the pillars include an “Experience Queen’s” handbook that would outline the details of conferences, competitions and upcoming events for the upcoming year as well as an “external discussion board” where chairs and executive members can easily post their ideas and concerns in an online setting, often easier to co-ordinate then meetings in person, Dubowec said.

Meanwhile, Eddie Ho, Comm ’08 and vice-president (external) candidate, has had his sights set on ComSoc executive since last year’s elections.

Ho said his involvement in ComSoc, Queen’s Conference on the Business Environment Today and the Goodes Hall Building Committee gives him the insights needed to do the job of vice-president (external).

“I feel I’m ready to take on a leadership role for this coming year,” he said.

One of the biggest initiatives Ho wishes to undertake as ComSoc’s vice-president (external) is creating a division of “external services” that would focus on improving commerce student services as well as enhancing the relationships with the AMS and other faculties.

“I plan to introduce student services such as a dry-cleaning pickup service in Goodes Hall, a discount Blackberry cell phone plan for all commerce students, improved gym services and restaurant discounts,” Ho said. Another function of the proposed services would include forming partnerships between ComSoc and other Canadian and American undergraduate student governments. “There are plenty of outstanding conferences that our students can go to, and that we can offer to other students. Going to conferences and events is what commerce is all about, and if we can partner with a couple of strong schools we can all mutually benefit,” he said.

Amy Bergenwall, Comm ’08 is up for acclamation for the position of vice-president (internal).

She said acting as chair of ComSoc’s Board of Directors this past year sparked her interest in being a part of the ComSoc executive.

“I got to see a lot of the internal workings of ComSoc with a behind-the-scenes view through my work with the board, and it made me want to be on the executive,” she said.

Bergenwall said she’s committed to making sure that newly implemented policies that have recently been passed go well.

“Over the past couple of weeks we’ve put in a lot of new policies and I plan to make sure that they are tweaked and refined smoothly,” she said.

Being acclaimed isn’t the ideal position for a democratic election of the COMSOC society, Bergenwall said, but added that she wouldn’t have been afraid of competition.

“It’s nice [to be acclaimed] because I don’t have to be as nervous for getting the position as I would if someone was running against me, but it would have been interesting to have someone to run against.”Claire Marchant, Comm ’07 and ComSoc vice-president (internal), said she’d like to see next year’s executive continue some of the initiatives worked on by this year’s executive, including broadening the use of ComSoc’s core fund.

“We’d like to see … lots more safe, fun events, lots of tangible benefits for students at large and broader student involvement in the society,” she said.

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