Students vying for trustee talk platform points

All three candiates share a focus on engaging the student body through social media

Andrew Aulthouse’s platform include support for faculty-specific counsellors.
Andrew Aulthouse’s platform include support for faculty-specific counsellors.
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Leo Erlikhman plans to create a page on the University Secretariat website for feedback.
Leo Erlikhman plans to create a page on the University Secretariat website for feedback.
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Nathan Utioh hopes to establish a position for a first-year intern to the Student Trustee.
Nathan Utioh hopes to establish a position for a first-year intern to the Student Trustee.
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Mental health and overcrowded residences are a priority for Andrew Aulthouse if he’s elected to the position of undergraduate student trustee. He supports the idea of faculty-specific counsellor for academic stress related issues.

“That way you can deal with your academic stress through those councilors who are familiar with the unique circumstances within that faculty.”

Aulthouse, ArtSci ’15 said he was eager to focus on mental health after talking with the AMS Social Issues Commissioner Katie Conway, who brought up similar concerns. The Faculty of Law and School of Medicine each already have a staff member offering academic and non-academic support for their students. Additionally, Beamish Munro Hall has a satellite service of the Peer Support Centre for engineering students.

Aulthouse said making sure that students have a comfortable place to live ties in with his plan to improve mental health and student experience on campus.

He wants to ensure the University follows through on its promise to turn the common rooms that are currently housing students back into common rooms.

“They increase enrolment every year, [and] the job of the undergraduate student trustee will be to advocate that enrolment does not increase by the large increments that new residences could allow for.”

Aulthouse said his passion for student government was ignited during his first year at Queen’s, when he acted as a first-year intern to the president of the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society.

This year, he’s served as an Arts and Science representative on Senate and as a member of ASUS Assembly, the Non-Academic Discipline Committee and on Arts and Science Faculty Board.

“As the vice-chair on the ASUS Board of Directors, I got to approve their budget,” he said, “[which involves] overseeing the finances of the largest faculty budget on campus.”

Aulthouse said it was serving on Senate that convinced him to stay involved with student government.

After meeting with members of the Board of Trustees, including foerm ASUS President Rico Garcia and current Student Trustee Lauren Long, Aulthouse noted the similar ideas they shared, such as focusing on mental health, and incorporated them his platform.

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Leo Erlikhman believes the perspectives of Queen’s he’s gained as a tour guide and an ASUS representative to the AMS will aide him in making the best decisions possible as undergraduate student trustee, if elected. “I educate myself on everything that happens around this university,” Erlikhman, ArtsSci ’14, said.

His major platform focus is opening up the way students can voice their opinion.

He wants to create a page on the University Secretariat website which will allow students to submit anonymous feedback.

“This would allow students to connect directly with the Board [of Trustees],” he said, adding that he’s seen a lot of passion from Queen’s students about issues on campus through channels such as editorials and forums.

He plans on creating a Facebook page aimed at students which will provide updates on the Board’s activities. Student feedback is especially important now that the administration will be revisiting the Campus Master Plan, which will act as a policy framework for the University over the next 10 to 15 years, he said. For him, both the short-term and long-terms needs of students are a priority.

“We need to see what is good for students now and students 10 years from now,” he said. “For example, we are increasing the number of students that we have but our faculty ratio is at its lowest. These are the things that need to be addressed.”

Erlikhman was inspired to run for the position through his campus involvement, which he believes provided him with an idea of what students applying to university look for. He said he knows what Queen’s has to offer and what it lacks.

Much of his insight came from his time as an ASUS rep, a position he held in his second year.

“I love this school a lot and [holding the position of student trustee] would be the best way for me to contribute to the future,” Erlikhman said.

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Nathan Utioh plans to get students involved from the get go if he’s elected as the undergraduate student trustee.

As someone who got involved in student government positions in first-year, he believes providing first-years especially with opportunities is essential.

He plans to create a first-year intern position to the undergraduate student trustee in order for them to see how student government works.

“If we can get the first-years involved, they will hopefully stay for another three years,” Utioh, ArtSci ’15 said. “Once you get involved, you want to stay involved.”

Utioh’s interest in the position began in his first year after he was elected as an ASUS representative to the AMS and sat on both the AMS and ASUS assemblies.

He also interned for Morgan Campbell, last year’s AMS President.

“Ever since I got exposed to the student level [of] governance, I wanted broaden how I can get more involved with the University,” Utioh said. He added that he feels first-year involvement is crucial to a successful student government, and the intern position he plans to create will facilitate this.

Utioh said many first-year students have a “tight knit“ group of friends whom they can recruit to get involved with the AMS.

To create increase participation among the student body, he plans to increase the student trustees’ presence on social media. He wants to enable the student community to voice their opinions on sites like Facebook and the AMS website.

In addition to this online presence, he also plans to host an informal open dialogue meetings for students to attend and voice their comments or questions. He hopes he can get the AMS involved as well.

“There will hopefully be an involvement the Rector, Student Senate Caucus Chair and the AMS executive,” he said.

He also hopes to seek out specific student groups for feedback and give them a chance to talk to him directly.

“I want to get to a few club meetings once a month, just stopping in and introducing myself and talking about the issues,” he said.

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