Welcoming the AMS council

Hiring decisions for the incoming AMS council were made Sunday night.
Hiring decisions for the incoming AMS council were made Sunday night.

On Sunday night, AMS incoming executive confirmed their council choices for 2010-11.

With 25 applicants for eight positions, it was a difficult hiring process, president-elect Morgan Campbell said.

“By the end we really understood how many strong student leaders there are at Queen’s,” Campbell, ArtSci ’11, said. “There are a lot of people who probably deserve to work full time for the AMS next year. Making our council is about picking who is going to bring the most varied perspectives to council next year.”

The interview process had two rounds, she said.

“The first round went for four days. At the end of every night we would come together and assess how everything had gone for that day,” she said. “The second round interview is a group simulation …where we asked them questions and would break them into small groups [to answer].”

Hiring council is a hugely important task, Campbell said.

“You could say that hiring’s the most important decision you make all year,” she said. “It’s not just your vision you’re going to be acting on the whole year. It’s a vision every commissioner and director brings towards their portfolio.”

Mira Dineen said as next year’s academic affairs commissioner, she wants to get students more involved in provincial politics.

“I am really excited about the upcoming provincial election … it represents a great opportunity to get students more involved in the political process and to make sure student interests are represented in politicians’ platforms,” Dineen, ArtSci ’11, said, adding that although she’s external to the AMS, she feels prepared for the position. Dineen has been actively involved in Queen’s Health Outreach for the past three years and recently co-authored a book on poverty in Ontario.

“I have experience doing policy analysis and policy and advocacy work, albeit in social justice not academic affairs … but I think that has definitely prepared me,” she said.

Incoming campus affairs commissioner Stephen Pariser said his experience in the commission has prepared him for his new role.

“I was already in the [campus affairs commission] as an intern, a committee member, a committee chair and an OC in orientation week … all those are really useful,” Pariser, ArtSci ’11, said. “Being the director of the [JDUC] and the Queen’s Centre gives me the most knowledge of resources on campus …. that can really be of use to the commission.”

Mark Preston, incoming commissioner of internal affairs, said he wants to maintain the success of his predecessors.

“The [commission of internal affairs] is a diverse portfolio with elections, clubs, non-academic discipline and assembly matters … [I want to] make a few progressive changes … [but] keep with the status quo … my predecessors have left me with a great office to work with,” Preston, ArtSci ’11 said.

“This year I worked on the judicial committee. After talking to a lot of people … I know what it means to be a commissioner … and I think I’m pretty well rounded to do this position.”

David Sinkinson, currently the Journal’s business manager, said he wants to focus on issues like the Aberdeen street party when he takes his position as municipal affairs commissioner.

“I’m going to have a very aggressive campaign to reduce the number of students on Aberdeen. I want to see if really effective and consistent marketing can reduce the turnout at the event,” Sinkinson, ArtSci ’11, said. “I want Homecoming to come back in a few years. If we take a few steps now, obviously it will set us up for a better situation.”

Incoming Social Issues Commissioner T.K. Pritchard said one priority is to increase outreach in residences regarding anti-oppression and other social issues.

“That I’m really excited about because I feel like they’re kind of lacking,” Pritchard, ArtSci ’12, said. “I’ve talked to [administration] … about bringing in more programs for floor talks and workshops.”

Pritchard, current chair of EQuIP, said the commission’s future depends on growing from the past.

“I’m most excited to continue with the work that’s being done,” Pritchard said. “I feel like seeing how the [social issues commission has] been run over three years has really helped, seeing that growth has really helped.”

Gracie Goad, hospitality and safety services director, said meeting with head managers this year has helped prepare her for her future role.

“The head managers were a huge asset,” Goad, ArtSci ’11, said, adding that she wants to implement new transition manuals. Currently, Goad is an assistant manager (marketing) at the P&CC.

“[I want to emphasize] the importance of on-the-go transition manuals so that it’s not as stressful for outgoing managers in March. It’d be more of a task oriented process … to help alleviate [managers’] stress,” she said. “I’m excited to get to know my management teams and see what vision they have in store for the services.”

Incoming media services director Dan Szczepanek said he’s especially excited about two initiatives he hopes to implement next year.

“I want to put together a lot more training resources for the staff across the media services so I’m going to reaching out to professionals, alumni over the summer time so we have regular seminars throughout the year,” Szczepanek, ArtSci ’11, said. “The second [initiative] is institutional memory … to ensure we have strong transitions year after year … I want to put together manuals.”

Szczepanek said operational manuals, updated as the year progresses, would be created for each media service. This would ensure that when hiring happens in March, there is already a transition manual available for incoming managers. Currently, manuals are mainly left until the end of the year, he said.

Jeff Heenan, incoming retail services director, said he’s most excited to work with Tricolour Outlet in his new role.

“I’ve worked at P&CC for two years now. It’s been a really positive experience … I don’t have very much experience with tricolour outlet and that’s a really important service that has a lot of potential at Queen’s,” Heenan, ArtSci ’10, said.

“I think definitely my experience this year as head manager of the P&CC [has most prepared me.] Obviously there’s a lot more that I have to learn stepping from that role into director but I think it will be a really good groundwork to build on.”

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