Introducing your rector candidates

Seven students vie for three-year position

Rector candidates (clockwise) John Wintermeyer, Eric Dalke, Brooks Barnett, Andrew Yaworski, Quynh Huynh, Leora Jackson and Chi Yan Lam.
Rector candidates (clockwise) John Wintermeyer, Eric Dalke, Brooks Barnett, Andrew Yaworski, Quynh Huynh, Leora Jackson and Chi Yan Lam.

Brooks Barnett

ASUS Student Senator Brooks Barnett’s definition of a successful rector is one who leaves students with a sense of community during their four years on campus.

“Making students feel they belong to a greater community … that’s probably one of the most important qualities of a rector.”

This includes addressing diversity issues so students feel safe on campus, he said.

Barnett, ArtSci ’09, said he would work with different campus groups on issues they find important.

“Whether it’s concerns over the Code of Conduct or the Athletics Review, greater collaboration on projects we all hold in common is the way to go,” he said. “There needs to be more communication.”

He said it’s also important for the three student representatives on the Board of Trustees to have a united front about student issues.

“We would need to accomplish things as a three-person unit,” he said. “There’s strength in numbers.” Eric Dalke, AMS Judicial Committee chair and 2006-07 deputy prosecutor, said his first-hand experience with town-gown relations gives him a unique perspective in dealing with those issues.

He wants to open up a dialogue with city councillors on issues such as student behavior at Homecoming.

“I think the rector can … articulate a strong position that students don’t want to be a detriment to the community.”

Eric Dalke

Dalke, ArtSci ’09, said as rector he would balance enhancing Queen’s reputation outside of the University with being engaged with student issues.

Being a member of the Board of Trustees would give him the chance to hold the University accountable for its spending, he said.

“I would make sure the money is being better spent … and make sure the funding is kept on track,” he said.

He would keep students informed about his actions with regular e-mail updates and allow their input through feedback forms.

“I would take that opinion to those committees I sit on and then come back to students with the results,” he said. “Students need to see how things are going.”

Quynh Huynh

AMS student senator chair Quynh Huynh said she wants to improve co-operation between the AMS and the Society of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS).

“It’s really important that we, as students, have a united front,” she said, adding that University decision makers would be more likely to pay more attention.

She would also work with the SGPS president to create a more closely-knit graduate studies community.

“There’s no central place for grad students to feel that it’s their community,” she said. “They tend to identify themselves on the departmental level.”

Huynh said the rector’s main role is to bring together different groups across campus.

“I think using the rector position with advancement and connecting alumni with current students is good for financial reasons [and] for their education and experience.”

Huynh wants to work with the AMS Municipal Affairs Commissioner to look into landlord licensing and find other initiatives that could improve student housing.

This would create an improved feeling of community in the student Ghetto, she said.

“If we could improve our relationship within the Ghetto, it could improve our relationship with the city.”

Leora Jackson

Leora Jackson, ConEd ’09, said she’s running for rector with the hope of institutionalizing Queen’s grassroots movements.

Jackson, who works for Walkhome and the Tea Room, said she wants to focus on teaching quality and education equity, working with the Centre for Teaching and Learning and different faculties. The University needs to work toward moving those issues out of the “periphery.”

“I think, as an institution, education equity needs to be an underlying goal in everything we do.” She also wants to look at diversity issues.

The second aspect of the job is the effective dissemination of information both to and from the students and the administration.

“I think it’s really important for the rector to be really informed and credible and someone students trust to bring them relevant information.”

She said the key to being a success in the position is to keep student initiatives the top priority.

“I think that if [students] see the rector pursuing his or her goals with students interest in mind, it can’t help but have a positive effect on the school.”

Chi Yan Lam

Chi Yan Lam, BMus ’08, ArtSci ’09 and ConEd ’10 said his commitment to learning is the basis of his platform. Lam, who will finish his music degree this year, is also pursuing degrees in science and concurrent education.

He said he would support the Centre for Teaching and Learning and encourage professors to take optional workshops on how to teach.

“It’s one thing to be the most brilliant researcher, but it’s something else to teach.”

He would establish more teaching awards to recognize effective faculty.

“Let’s renew our focus on teaching again,” he said. “There doesn’t always need to be money attached to [awards].”

Lam would also advocate for more funding for Health, Counselling and Disability Services.

“Physically, how are you taking care of people?” Lam, a don in Waldron Tower and Chief Returning Officer in MCRC, said he would support dons.

“Being in residence is about making communities,” he said. “I would ask, ‘how do we as rectors engage the incoming class?’”

John Wintermeyer

John Wintermeyer, ArtSci ’10, doesn’t want a rector who’s only in it for the prestige.

“It’s not just the next step of being senator, or because you were vice-president (operations),” he said. “When I look at the pool of candidates, some of them weren’t relatable.”

That’s what prompted his decision to run.

Wintermeyer, ASUS year 2010 society president, said he relates well to the average student because he’s involved outside of government positions. He rows on the junior varsity team.

“It’s nice for the rector to … get along with the JDUC clique [but] the rector needs to represent all students.”

He would update the rector’s website regularly and have a feedback form for students to respond with their ideas.

“I think that’s really important—more consistent office hours and to have an open-door policy.”

Wintermeyer would advocate for more campus buildings to be made accessible, something with which he has first-hand experience.

“My grandfather … is in a wheelchair,” he said.

“Accessibility is a very real experience for people.”

Andrew Yaworski

Andrew Yaworski said he thinks his age is his greatest asset. Yaworski, a 27-year-old third-year electrical engineering student, said his time spent working after graduating high school, gave a different outlook on the university experience, including his focus on making Queen’s affordable for everyone. He said meeting Grant Bishop in the Grease Pole pit in his first year influenced his decision to run.

“I could see from the perspective of another rector … the way that you can encourage people to participate and, for lack of a better term, create ownership at Queen’s.” Yaworski said he wants to promote awareness of the rector’s role within the University

“A lot of the issue is that people just don’t know of the rector position, and when you realize how important the position actually is to Queen’s and the rep that we get from having that position at Queen’s it’s just amazing,” he said “You can really do effective and good things for the Queen’s community with it.”

—Gloria Er-Chua and Erin Flegg

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