Team Sinkinson-Szczepanek aim for representation & anti-discrimination

Team’s two pillars campaign pillars address Homecoming, campus racism

ASUS presidential candidate Dave Sinkinson gained political experience through participating in Queen’s Model Parliament (QMP),Queen’s Univeristy Liberal Association (QULA), and working for the office of MP Peter Miliken.

Sinkinson said he has been proud of Queen’s both as a Kingstonian and a student, so he decided to research positions such as senator in Queen’s student government.

“I’ve been preparing for the last couple of months,” he said. “At first I was wondering more about the Senator positions in ASUS. I wanted to run for a position that I felt could actually have more influence than that so that I could actually do some of the things I want to do.” Vice-presidential candidate Dan Szczepanek said his experience running for political office began earlier this year. Sinkinson and Szczepanek ran for 2011 ASUS year representatives.

“Although we weren’t successful in that campaign, we gained a lot of valuable insight from a lot of different people,” he said. “We started to find out what the students of Queen’s wanted from their society. Like Dave said, we’ve worked together on many initiatives before.”

Szczepanek said his role as leader of the opposition in this year’s QMP and other club activities have prepared him for a position in ASUS. Last year he was sent to New York as part of a Queen’s model UN delegation. He is involved in the charity Right to Play and is the marketing coordinator for Inquire―a new publication tackling social issues.

Sinkinson said the campaign is centred on two concepts.

“The two pillars are representation and respect. The first pillar is addressing Homecoming. It’s specific to how students haven’t been represented” he said. “That was very important to me as a Kingstonian and as a Queen’s student.

“Sixty-five per cent of students during the fall referendum in 2008 voted against Homecoming being moved to May. For one reason or another, it’s been gone ahead with,” he said. “That’s an issue. Students clearly said they didn’t want it to be moved and yet it was.”

Sinkinson said if he and Szczepanek are elected, they will plan for Coming Home over the weekend of Sept. 24 2009.

[People] are confused between Homecoming and Aberdeen. I hate Aberdeen,” he said. “We want to have events over the weekend.”

Sinkinson said events over the weekend of Coming Home would include a welcoming ceremony in Grant Hall, a pancake wine and cheese, a parade at the football game and would be planned in cooperation with other faculty societies.

“With respect to Aberdeen, we recognize that it’s probably going to happen,” he said. “Without any kind of control over it I fear that it’s actually going to get pretty violent. It’ll create a very negative image nationally. We propose creating some kind of event on the street.”

One possibility would be to plan a rock concert, said Sinkinson said.

“We change the nature of the beast,” he said. “We would make it Queen’s exclusive. Alumni would get a special wrist band or something along those lines. As soon as we make it like that, that would cut down the crime.”

Szczepanek said the second campaign pillar centres around anti-discrimination.

“We feel that we have a very unique way of tackling the issue,” he said. “It’s been a small minority that has these views. There’s a silent majority that believes in creating an inclusive environment. We see it every day from the initiatives that student s take part in.

“One of the action plans that we have for this is to create an online resource. We will have all the events listed.”

This will allow students to participate in positive initiatives across campus more easily, he said.

Szczepanek said frosh week is an opportunity for ASUS to illustrate to incoming students that Queen’s is an inclusive campus.

“Right from the beginning, we have to start promoting this concept of a diverse and inclusive campus.

ASUS has a hands-on role in orientation week.”

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