Different focuses for EngSoc hopefuls

Three presidential candidates discuss the innovations they have planned for the Society

Emily Fleck says her EngSoc experience gives her an edge in the race.
Emily Fleck says her EngSoc experience gives her an edge in the race.
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Eric Goldfarb’s platform addresses transparency, accountability and hiring bias.
Eric Goldfarb’s platform addresses transparency, accountability and hiring bias.
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Alex Wilson’s campaign puts a priority on academic issues.
Alex Wilson’s campaign puts a priority on academic issues.
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Engineering Society presidential candidate Emily Fleck has change on her mind.

Fleck, Sci ’14, was the Engineering Society (EngSoc)’s vice-president of society affairs this year.

As someone who’s been involved with EngSoc since first-year, Fleck said she thinks her time on the executive team gives her a slight advantage in the run for presidency.

“Someone coming out of the blue … will have a lot to learn about what the structure is,” she said. “Once you’re elected, it will minimize your learning curve and let you jump into projects faster.”

Fleck’s four-point platform consists of plans for an analysis and restructure of EngSoc’s executive infrastructure, the creation of a strategic planning guide for long-term projects, the establishment of inter-society relationships and a plan to oversee next year’s vice-president of society affairs during their summer term.

Of the four, Fleck said her priority is the EngSoc restructure.

“This will take a lot of my summer [continuing] into the year,” she said.

The initial plan is to evaluate EngSoc’s executive structure top down, Fleck said.

“The purpose of that would be to determine the best structure moving forward,” she said.

According to Fleck, EngSoc, currently with a five-person executive team, might go by way of the AMS with fewer executive members.

“I honestly see us in the direction of a smaller exec,” she said. “[But] this is a discussion to be had with the new exec.”

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An executive “outsider,” EngSoc presidential candidate Eric Goldfarb said he sees more transparency in the Society’s future if elected.

As the Engineering Review Board Chair, Goldfarb, Sci ’14, has overseen the grievances of many Applied Sciences students.

His platform addresses three problems he sees within EngSoc — transparency, accountability and equality hiring and bias.

According to Goldfarb, EngSoc can achieve a greater amount of transparency by reaching out to students via avenues like Facebook.

“[The EngSoc] Facebook page has less than a quarter of members ‘liking’ it, and does not even periodically post about its affairs,” his candidacy Facebook page reads.

In terms of accountability, Goldfarb said he’d like to oversee the release of budgets for EngSoc services like Golden Words, the Tea Room and Clark Hall Pub.

“People are entitled to know when they’re paying money for it,” he said. “We should know if they’re making or losing money.”

Goldfarb said he plans to gather student opinions before making any decisions.

“It’s very rash to say we’re going to cancel these conferences,” he said.

According to Goldfarb, it’s important to get students interested in EngSoc again, especially after the initial peak of interest during Frosh Week.

He said there’s a period between first-year and fourth-year that applied science students drop involvement with EngSoc.

“People stop caring about EngSoc as they progress because of the exclusiveness,” he said.

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As EngSoc’s current vice-president of academics, presidential candidate Alex Wilson knew he wanted to put a priority on the academic side of things.

Wilson, Sci ’14, said the most feasible part of his seven-part platform is the implementation of a subsidy program for the Englinks Tutoring Service.

The service, which ran on a trial budget this year, saw a near-doubling of its tutors. Wilson said he wants to see the program grow even more.

“We’ve proven the need. We’ve proven the value and we’ve proven that what we currently have is working well,” he said.

After observing EngSoc’s work in the months prior to September, Wilson said he plans to address the bigger issues that the council can’t get to during the school year.

“During the school year … it’s more about maintaining the status quo,” he said. “We just never got to the big thing that everybody wants to get to but doesn’t.”

Wilson, who has also worked as a don and been involved with Queen’s Bands, said he has a clearer vision from staying over the summer.

“I have things that I would do differently to make our paid time a little bit more efficient,” he said.

According to Wilson, being a part of executive has its positives for the campaign.

“It would give us an advantage over someone certainly that’s never held a leadership or executive [position] or large commitment in University,” he said.

Voting takes place on Jan. 29 and 30.

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