CESA teams tackle enrolment & connectivity

JAM and MiDAs candidates will face off in first election since 2008 that involves more than one team

Team JAM is focusing on growing student enrolment in their campaign for CESA executive.
Team JAM is focusing on growing student enrolment in their campaign for CESA executive.
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Team MiDAs is making strong links with the City and the Faculty a priority in their campaign.
Team MiDAs is making strong links with the City and the Faculty a priority in their campaign.
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Issues surrounding growing enrolment are a focus for Team JAM, one of two teams running in the Concurrent Education Student’s Association’s (CESA) 

executive election.

A priority for the team is implementing changes to accommodate the Faculty’s increasing size.

“Primarily, we see ConEd growing and we want to foster that,” internal vice-presidential candidate Jake Ferguson said. “At the same time, we want it to still be inclusive and a place where people can feel comfortable. We still want to have that feel of a nice ConEd family that everyone knows.” The team also includes presidential candidate Alex Marshall and external vice-presidential candidate Hannah Miller.

“Because our faculty is getting so much bigger, change for how our faculty runs events has to happen now,” Marshall, ConEd ’14, said. “That’s a really exciting opportunity to be able to improve on the faculty.”

The team intends to encourage non-CESA members to participate in CESA meetings by providing “cheat sheets” with Council information. This resource, they say, would make members-at-large feel more comfortable voicing opinions. “I think we can really cater to the group outside of CESA that aren’t aware of what’s going on within it,” Marshall said.

Another key aspect in their platform is crowdsourcing.

“A lot of times people have ideas and their [ideas are] so big that they get intimidated,” he said. “We really want to connect people and find people that are also passionate about others’ ideas.” Ferguson, ConEd ’14, said they intend to create two new scholarships for undergraduate ConEd students who contribute to the Queen’s and Kingston community through education.

“Primarily we’re going to look to the Faculty of Education to see if they would fund it,” Marshall said.

Ferguson added that they would also like to create a “ConEd Week” at the beginning of January involving students from all years. The event would be similar to Eng Week and would include activities such as Beer with Profs and karaoke.

“We think it’s really key to have this team-building week before we have our Orientation leader hiring because a lot of the time there’s a divide between people that get that Orientation leader position and people who don’t,” Ferguson said.

“We’ve gathered some ideas from several students that we think have an idea of what ConEd wants and the direction it’s heading in.” All three candidates have past experience with CESA. Marshall and Ferguson were both Orientation Week executives, and Miller currently fills the position of Social Affairs Coordinator for CESA. They are also involved with intramurals.

Marshall said he believes the team offers a degree of outside perspective.

“A lot of times CESA can be a little introspective and sort of closed-in,” he said. “There’s a perspective that they’re just self-serving, but we want to show that’s not the case.” *****

For team MiDAs, connectivity is key.

The executive candidates want to create a stronger connection between the ConEd faculty itself, as well as between other faculties and the Kingston community.

The team is comprised of presidential candidate Michael Till, external vice-presidential candidate Brandon Asselbergs and internal vice-presidential candidate Dana Jones.

“Essentially, we want to make it so CESA Council is much more visible and connected to students,” Till, ConEd ’14, said.

Other issues they plan on tackling include establishing more first-year positions on CESA Council and improving transparency between the executive and students. “One of the biggest parts of our platform is what we’ve put under a heading called ‘connect,’” Jones, ConEd ’14, said. “There are a lot of educational opportunities out there. We want to help people get out in the Kingston community and give back.” The Limestone District School Board typically offers volunteer positions as tutors or extracurricular assistants to ConEd students.

He added that the team is interested in linking CESA to other ConEd faculty societies at other schools, such as Trent University and Brock University. “We want to get better connected to them through talking with their executives and try to get them included in what we’re doing,” he said. “There’s a lot we can learn from each other.” They also hope to strengthen the relationship between CESA Council and ConEd students.

“We’re hoping to get everyone more involved and maybe not perceive Council as an exclusive club.,” Till said. “One of the ideas that we tossed around is a YouTube channel and maybe starting up a [video blog].”

Low participation rates at ConEd events, especially individual ones put on by year representatives, is another issue that team MiDAs would like to fix.

Jones said the team’s experience as executive members for the Queen’s Conference of Education demonstrates their ability to work well together. Jones was Conference Chair and Till and Asselbergs were Director of Logistics and Special Events, respectively. They also all partake in intramurals and were Teaches — Orientation Week leaders for the Faculty. This year marks the first time since 2008 that the election for executive hasn’t been a vote of confidence.

“One of the main things we want to stress is that now that there are two teams running in the election, people need to really read the platforms and get a sense of what each team is bringing to the society,” Till said. “We really want to advocate voters being informed.”

The team plans on using their Facebook group to answer questions about their platform.

Voting takes place on Jan. 29 and 30 via an online ballot emailed to ConEd students.

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