Vice-president of university affairs debate unfolds in front of full crowd

The AMS Vice-President of University Affairs took place Tuesday night in the JDUC.
The AMS Vice-President of University Affairs took place Tuesday night in the JDUC.

At Tuesday night’s vice president of university affairs debate, candidates each shared their teams’ priorities.

The debate took place in the Lower Ceilidh of the JDUC in front of a full crowd.

TK Pritchard, BGP’s candidate, said his team’s main priority is student health and safety.

Pritchard spoke to a number of different initiatives in their platform, namely the expansion of the blue light system.

“It’s extremely important based on evidence that students are facing safety issues in Victoria and City Park,” Pritchard, ArtSci ’12, said. “Expanding blue lights to these areas could greatly increase student safety around the University District.”

Lisa Acchione, PDA’s candidate, agreed that a greater focus on student health is a priority for her team.

Acchione, ArtSci ’14, said students currently face more than a two-week wait time to see Health, Counselling and Disability Services’ lone sexual abuse counsellor.

“I think that is a tragedy,” Acchione said, noting that PDA plans to increase health care coverage for greater psychiatric help through HCDS and within Kingston.

For team TNL’s Liam Faught, the AMS mission statement to “serve and represent the students at Queen’s” is their main priority.

Tackling enrolment at the university will be where they start.

“While this is a broad issue, I think it is something we need to make a priority in the near future and I think it’s something team TNL is very well equipped to do with our experience,” Faught, ArtSci ’14 said.

Homecoming, which was reinstated by Principal Daniel Woolf last December, was also a prominent debate topic, with all teams agreeing that sustaining the tradition is important to students.

Team BGP will look to create different networking activities for students and alumni, Pritchard said. This would serve to displace the number of students on Aberdeen St.

“We want to encourage our clubs to hold events on both weekends so they can connect with alumni,” he said.

Acchione said that team PDA would encourage the AMS to play a role in increasing student involvement, either by providing opportunities for volunteers or by utilizing the Student Maintenance and Resource Team to facilitate clean-up efforts.

“We want to ensure that this is an event we can have year after year,” she said.

Faught said TNL has a great understanding of Homecoming since Sherman, the current Municipal Affairs Commissioner, sat on the Fall Reunion Working Group and saw the processes of reinstatement first hand.

Scheduled programming like the Tricolour Run and networking events are some ideas that Faught offered.

“We want to see programming that does constructive things for students,” he said.

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