RWS suited for success

Team Radcliffe-Wang-St. Clair’s commendable priorities, demonstrable leadership skills and engaging platform make them the team best suited to take charge of the AMS next year.

Team RWS—comprised of presidential candidate Talia Radcliffe, vice-president (operations) candidate Ken Wang and vice-president (university affairs) candidate Stephanie St. Clair—is the one group that held a consistent and palatable platform throughout the 10-day campaign.

RWS’s proposals to improve campus-wide recycling and establish an organic waste composting program are commendable, as is a much-needed internal audit of AMS committees to eliminate bodies that aren’t tangibly contributing to the Queen’s community.

Their commitment to diversity is important to pursue, especially in light of the criticism Queen’s has faced in recent years. But the team admitted it doesn’t have a definition for “anti-oppression,” which could pose an obstacle to achieving their goals.

RWS’s “media expansion project” is less than inspiring: it proposes providing Queen’s TV with more funding and plasma screen TVs, and would push for expansion within CFRC and small media around campus.

There’s no doubt expanding campus media is a worthy project. But QTV suffers from a lack of direction, skill and substance—not just funding. A set of plasma screens in the JDUC won’t make QTV relevant to students.

Wang is an AMS newcomer, and his lack of experience will probably do the team good. Radcliffe’s experience as Campus Affairs Commissioner balances out Wang’s lack thereof and she appears a charismatic and prepared presidential candidate.

St. Clair is equally strong. Her dedication to OUSA and non-academic discipline is commendable, but she needs to better educate herself on provincial and national politics if she wants to represent students.

RWS’s promise to close Tricolour Outfitters and replace it with sustainability-oriented clubs and services is a laudable one and comes long overdue.

One request we have of RWS if they emerge victorious is that they consult calendars regularly. Getting the election dates wrong on your campaign posters is ridiculous.

Team WCW—consisting of presidential candidate Allison Williams, vice-president (operations) candidate Andrew Cameron and vice-president (university affairs) candidate Yanique Williams—presented a platform boasting such long-term initiatives as a diversity certificate, a better location and funding for the Human Rights Office and training for TAs.

It’s vital for platforms to look beyond the next 12 months. But WCW doesn’t seem to have considered how to ensure these long-term projects continue after their term’s up.

A late decision to join the race meant Team WCW was ironing out their platform mid-campaign. There was little coherence between the three members—not nearly enough to inspire confidence in voters—and any innovative or useful ideas they have get lost when they lack the strong leadership to present them.

Team ACH—presidential candidate Holly Archer, vice-president (operations) candidate Jay Collins and vice-president (university affairs) candidate Jeff Howard—got students’ attention with their proposal to keep the PEC and Stauffer Library open 24 hours a day. When some charged the proposal encourages an unhealthy lifestyle, ACH refined it to suggest only “extended hours” at certain times of year. The idea itself seems unwarranted—the demand to lift weights at 4 a.m. isn’t substantial enough to make this initiative worthwhile.

ACH also promised to withhold the AMS’s annual contribution to Queen’s Centre costs if they feel student needs aren’t being met. It’s questionable whether this stance would be beneficial or if it would create unnecessary hostility.

Archer, Collins and Howard have an advantage over the other two teams in terms of AMS experience but it seems their heavy involvement with the AMS has disconnected them from what students actually want.

As a potential vice-president (operations), Jay Collins impressed us with his good grasp on the AMS’s inner workings and he commands attention. Unfortunately, an individual’s strength does not an AMS executive make.

All three groups should be commended on running a campaign with few political gimmicks. Each team brought worthwhile ideas to the campaign, and we sincerely hope whoever wins will appropriate the best parts of the other team’s platforms.

Lack of research and inattention to feasibility have also been issues: the teams presented excellent ideas with no follow-through plans, or even a conception of how such projects could be put into effect.

Regardless of their preferred team, all students should exercise their right to choose their student government by voting today and tomorrow.

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