COMPSA faces slew of acclamations

Presidential candidate emphasizes accountability, equality within faculty society

Presidential candidate Tamara Redwood.
Presidential candidate Tamara Redwood.
Vice-president (external) candidate Eric Rapos.
Vice-president (external) candidate Eric Rapos.
Vice-president (internal) candidate Andrew Murray.
Vice-president (internal) candidate Andrew Murray.

Computing students face a slate of acclamations in their election, which begins tonight.

Presidential candidate Tamara Redwood, CompSci ’10, said she hopes to increase student involvement in COMPSA. “There aren’t enough new faces being involved in the government every year, and I’d really like to change that,” said Redwood, biomedical computing representative this year. Redwood said she hopes to target first-years and open up new positions such as more first-year interns.

“It’s much more interesting from an insider perspective,” she said. Redwood said accountability is an issue for the faculty society. A few COMPSA members didn’t submit their budgets on time last year and budget projections were based on last year’s numbers. Redwood said it’s important to make sure people know the boundaries of their position.

“We want to ensure there are more budget reviews. We want to ensure that each and every member of COMPSA knows what their tasks and requirements are so everyone is held accountable.”

Redwood wants to create a student-professor evaluation board to give professors and TAs feedback on a regular basis. Rather than filling out a set of questions about their classes, students would submit concerns and comments via e-mail.

“A small committee would pass information along to professors,” she said, adding that the process would be ongoing and anonymous.

She also wants to ensure there’s equality for those applying for positions within COMPSA, regardless of their experience with the organization.

“Nobody should be penalized for not being involved immediately upon entering the COMPSA community.”

COMPSA vice-president (external) candidate Eric Rapos said his extensive training as an air cadet and his experience as a frosh leader has prepared him for a role as a COMPSA executive. He hopes to improve communication between COMPSA and its students.

“Because COMPSA is still a fairly new and small organization, we want people to realize who we are,” he said.

“The more people know about COMPSA, the more support we can generate. If we grow publicly we can have more of a voice throughout campus.” The 245-student faculty had a departmental student council until the 2004 AMS annual general meeting.

Rapos also wants to make computing students aware of the relations between ASUS and COMPSA. Although COMPSA is its own faculty society, computing science students get arts and science degrees.

Rapos said he believes change will help form a more unified faculty society. “We want students to know that change is an option. That means allowing COMPSA to grow and for voices to be heard.”

Vice-president (internal) candidate Andrew Murray said he’s confident his experience as a first-year COMPSA representative will pay off. “Computing students deserve good representation. I want to make sure that COMPSA gets a continued voice in the AMS,” he said.

This year, the University removed the 40-student cap on incoming computing science students. Queen’s hopes to accommodate 80 new students in fall 2008.

Murray said this will be challenging with COMPSA’s already-strained budget. This year the faculty society has a projected total budget of $13,150.70.

“The School of Computing, COMPSA and the AMS are going to have to adjust to providing more computing students with the same high-quality facilities and services with less money at their disposal,” he said.

“If we can maintain these high levels of quality, I think that will be a positive step.” Also running for COMPSA positions are biomedical computing program representative candidate Kendric Wang, ArtSci ’08, and cognitive science program representative candidate Julian Marco Pileggi, ArtSci ’11.

Tim Ginn, this year’s COMPSA president, said he can only speculate about why so few people are running in COMPSA’s elections this year.

“I know several people said they’re more interested in the positions that are selected by interview than running in an election,” he said.

Ginn said positions for elections were advertised this year as much as they had been in the past.

He said first-year students are some of the most involved in COMPSA activities, but may be reluctant to run for office.

Frosh can run for vice-presidential positions, but not for president.

“I think there’s a sense among them that it’s overambitious to run for positions like vice-president without any position experience before,” he said.

Campaigning ended last night at midnight and online voting in COMPSA’s elections begins tonight at midnight. COMPSA executive will e-mail students a link to the voting webpage.

Voting closes Friday at midnight and results will be announced early Saturday morning.

—With files from Kerri MacDonald

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