Introducing the AMS Council 2010-11

Thirty people applied for eight council positions, president-elect says

Left to right: Sarah Kwong, Hilary Windrem, Mitch Piper, Ashley Eagan, Lara Therrien Boulos, Daniella Dávila, Calum MacBeth and Kieran Slobodin are the incoming AMS Council.
Left to right: Sarah Kwong, Hilary Windrem, Mitch Piper, Ashley Eagan, Lara Therrien Boulos, Daniella Dávila, Calum MacBeth and Kieran Slobodin are the incoming AMS Council.

After two rounds of interviews, incoming AMS executive—president Safiah Chowdhury, vice-president (operations) Ben Hartley and vice-president (university affairs) Chris Rudnicki—announced their council on Sunday night.

“Hiring was actually incredibly difficult to do,” Chowdhury said.

Chowdhury said 30 people applied for the eight council positions and the executive team conducted 28 interviews, because two people rescinded their applications before the scheduled interviews. There were two rounds of interviews, she added.

“The first was a course of set individual interviews and the second round we divided the candidates into three groups,” she said. “We asked the candidates situational questions and asked them to come up with a conclusion.”

Chowdhury said the eight council members were given the positions they applied for, as it wouldn’t have been fair to switch them to commissions and directing jobs they didn’t apply for and don’t necessarily have the skills for.

“They will be amazing in their portfolios,” she said. “We believe we put together a team that has genuine love and appreciation for Queen’s and for the betterment of our community.”

Chowdhury said she hopes the candidates who weren’t hired will stay involved with the AMS.

“These are fantastic people with fantastic abilities,” she said.

Incoming academic affairs commissioner (AAC) Kieran Slobodin, ArtSci ’12, said his focus this fall will be on two campaigns—a financial awareness campaign to help students with budgetary issues and a campaign for the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance’s fee, which goes up for renewal on the AMS referendum in 2010-11.

Lara Therrien Boulos, incoming campus activities commissioner and ArtSci ’11, said the first thing she wants to do is conduct a review of the sports and activities portfolio.

“My focus will be bringing more unity and interactions between the commission’s four areas—arts, orientation, sports and politics,” she said.

Calum MacBeth, incoming commissioner of internal affairs and ArtSci ’11, said he’s most excited about improving the clubs portfolio.

MacBeth said he hopes to offer the clubs database in more than one language.

Incoming municipal affairs commissioner Hilary Windrem, ArtSci ’11, said she wants to give students job opportunities so they stay in Kingston over the summer.

“I spent the summer here and it was amazing and makes Kingston feel more like home,” she said.

Windrem is the human resources deputy this year.

Daniella Dávila, incoming social issues commissioner and ArtSci ’11, said she wants to work with each commission to make AMS events more accessible.

“I’ve actually been in touch with different people on campus involved in equity and I want to break the disconnect between the AMS and those organizations,” Dávila said. “I think we can be a great resource to them and I think they can be a great resource to us.”

Dávila said being a don this year helped put equity issues into perspective.

“I’ve seen first-hand how important it is to create a community.”

Incoming hospitality and safety services director Mitch Piper, ArtSci ’11, said he wants to facilitate co-operation among the services his portfolio oversees.

“It’s an interesting challenge with so many services and so many staff,” he said, adding that his priority is to create a good base for each service to build on for the future.

Sarah Kwong, incoming media services director and ArtSci ’10, said she wants to focus on recruiting, training and retaining staff and volunteers in media services.

“It’s more experienced-based learning and Queen’s doesn’t have a journalism program,” she said.

Incoming retail services director Ashley Eagan, BFA ’11, said she wants to facilitate a smooth amalgamation of the Used Book Store, Destinations and Tricolour Outfitters.

“Transitioning is the biggest part and we’re trying to make that smooth and very organized,” she said.

Eagan is the Destinations head manager this year.

“Everyone … works so hard to make sure we’re able to give students affordable stuff.”

—With files from Gloria Er-Chua

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