Ending the party with team CHR

Outgoing AMS executive talks about their year in office, their initial campaign promises and their achievements

AMS President Safiah Chowdhury (centre), Vice-President (Operations) Ben Hartley (left) and Vice-President (University Affairs) Chris Rudnicki (right) consider their year in office an overall success.
AMS President Safiah Chowdhury (centre), Vice-President (Operations) Ben Hartley (left) and Vice-President (University Affairs) Chris Rudnicki (right) consider their year in office an overall success.
Photo: 
Team CHR wins AMS elections on Feb. 5, 2010 with 54.5 per cent of the vote.
Team CHR wins AMS elections on Feb. 5, 2010 with 54.5 per cent of the vote.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo
Safiah Chowdhury, ArtSci ’11, says bringing back Homecoming was a focus of CHR’s election campaign. Vice-President (Operations) Ben Hartley says the debit, credit and swipe card options brought to Common Ground were beneficial to the service.
Safiah Chowdhury, ArtSci ’11, says bringing back Homecoming was a focus of CHR’s election campaign. Vice-President (Operations) Ben Hartley says the debit, credit and swipe card options brought to Common Ground were beneficial to the service.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Homecoming, municipal elections and solar panels were some of the things that marked team CHR’s year in office. The team is comprised of President Safiah Chowdhury, Vice-President (Operations) Ben Hartley and Vice-President (University Affairs) Chris Rudnicki.

Chowdhury, ArtSci ’11, said that although her team was unsuccessful in bringing back Homecoming, it was a focus of their year.

“We met with Principal [Daniel] Woolf, the Kingston police, city councilors. We asked ‘what is it that we need to do to make sure that Homecoming comes back’ and in no uncertain terms [Principal Woolf] told us … it needs to be any other weekend in terms of student turnout,” she said.

One of CHR’s main platform points regarding Homecoming was ensuring that students knew their rights if they were out on the streets. Although they didn’t have student officers out on the night of Fauxcoming, Chowdhury said her office was open that night so students could voice concerns if they felt mistreated by police.

“We took every step we could to make sure that students understood this is what we need to get done to get this event back,” she said.

Another key platform point of the team was to provide students with halal and kosher food options, however due to the lack of suppliers they were unable to expand options.

“We looked [for suppliers] in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, however we faced issues related to freshness of food, shelf life and costs. So we do have an extensive database, which I will be leaving for future executives but if we really want to provide this service to students we really need Kingston to pick up the slack,” she said, adding that in order for this to be successful the market needs to expand.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, such [as a] shortage of suppliers for kosher or halal food, we were not able to complete some of our platform points,” she said. “But these are things that we did pursue and we did look into them.” Hartley, ArtSci ’10, said that one of Team CHR’s best successes was the implementation of the debit and credit options at Common Ground. Their original platform point also included swipe cards, which would function like a CoGro gift card. “We did want to do it in a two phase process, just to see if the first part would be advantageous to the service,” he said, adding that the cards have already been made and will be ready to be put into action in September.

“The vision is finished. The cards are ready to go. It’s just a matter of rolling them out.” AMS Vice-President (University Affairs) Chris Rudnicki said the solar panel project was a major success for the team. During the campaign period, he said they faced skepticism in regards to the feasibility of their idea. Rudnicki, ArtSci ’11, said after winning the election, Team CHR partnered up with Queen’s Solar Coalition to provide information to students about the huge potential of the Queen’s solar project.

Currently the school is in discussion with energy firm Johnson Controls to negotiate the finishing terms of the contract. “It’s a go. Currently we have nine roof tops and ground mounts,” he said, adding that the installation will take place in the summer.

Rudnicki said one thing he regrets about his time in office is that AMS assembly didn’t take a strong stance on many of the issues they had to deal with this year, such as promoting a mayoral candidate. “In essence the incoming [vice-president (university affairs)] needs to take seriously the mandate of the AMS and the ways they can mobilize students to take a stance on issues,” he said.

Platform points in review

  • Lobby administration to bring back Homecoming
  • Install solar panels on campus
  • Provide swipe cards and debit capabilities at Common Ground
  • Working towards halal and kosher food options
  • Creating an informational one stop academic shop website (whatswhat.ca)
  • Provide students with better job opportunities in Kingston
  • Consolidate the Used Bookstore, Tricolour Outfitters, Destinations
  • Improve the clubs website; provide better club support
  • Educate students on academic changes
  • Update students regularly about happenings in the AMS; install of a ‘what’s your beef?’ forum on the AMS website
  • Partake in an efficient transition process
  • Promote Alumni Speaker Series
  • Support Queen’s Athletics
  • Hold an on-campus mayoral debate
Tags: 

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.