Race to the executive posts

Campaign managers for teams BGP, PDA and TNL write in why their team deserve to win

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Chelsey Morphy, ArtSci ’13

Team BGP is composed of Eril Berkok, Peter Green and T.K. Pritchard. These are three extraordinary individuals who collectively create a phenomenal team with an insightful vision of the AMS. I am proud to manage their campaign and cannot imagine working with a more genuine and caring team.

I became friends with T.K. a year and a half ago. Over this period, I have seen him both as a passionate student leader who advocates for student interests, but also as a close friend who is always willing to listen to others and help during desperate times. T.K. has had experience as a manager on the corporate side and as a commissioner on the government side of the AMS. This thorough understanding of how the AMS operates as a whole, his charisma and care for others makes him the most experienced candidate in this election.

I met Eril last year when he decided to take his only vacation days from his internship at IBM to come back to campus for the AMS elections, as he himself was running for Senator. His commitment to stay connected with on-campus politics and academic issues at Queen’s, even while working at IBM, are what made agreeing to be his campaign manager a no brainer.

Eril did unparalleled research for a senatorial race, and I am therefore not surprised that he became the Student Senate Caucus Chair. I have seen him advocate for student interests in front of not only students, but most importantly, university administrators. He has already challenged the Provost and Principal on increased enrolment at Senate, and as President of the AMS, he will continue to speak up on behalf of all Faculties and students at Queen’s.

I only met Peter this past fall, and even though he is not a student who has been heavily involved with student government in the past, I am convinced that he is both the right fit for our team and person for the job. Peter has worked for two summers at Scotiabank. Peter has the real world corporate experience, and the capacity to operate and deliver under pressure. He is also a good people- person and manager; this will make him a great Vice-President of Operations. Peter will not only bring a fresh perspective to the AMS, but also perfectly compliment both Eril and T.K.

BGP’s combined strengths, experiences, and personalities make them a strong team and I am extremely proud to be BGP’s campaign manager. They are hard-working, passionate, dedicated, and committed. But most importantly, they have the best interests of students in mind, and are humble enough to recognize that the AMS is not about them but about students as a whole.

BGP is not afraid of challenges, dreaming big, consulting with students and being held accountable for their proposals and actions. Our platform and website detail the team’s plans for expanding queensu WiFi, introducing a new service, expanding the Blue Light network, introducing an LGBTQ night at Alfies, early access to course syllabus, revitalizing the AMS Health and Dental plan and making the scholarship application process easier. Eril, Peter and T.K. are devoted to implanting big change and advocating for students to ensure a better Queen’s experience.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I will be voting for Eril, Peter and T.K. I hope you will too.

Chelsey is Team BGP’s campaign manager.

Alexander Rotman, ArtSci ’13

Team PDA believes you deserve better from your AMS. Our bold plan for concrete change and meaningful reform will help the AMS evolve into the student government it needs to be to serve its students effectively.

They have a comprehensive action plan to make the AMS a stronger, fairer, and more inclusive organization. Further, they’re willing to back up each of their promises with a guarantee: that they will return five per cent of their salaries (approximately $1,200) for each of their 20 pledges that remain unfinished by their term’s end.

I have met many people over my four years at Queen’s, including many elected student leaders. In all this time, I have never encountered individuals with the same level of integrity and devotion as Alexander Prescott, Craig Draeger and Lisa Acchione. I have had the pleasure of sitting on AMS Assembly with Alex this year, and few people display the clarity and passion that Mr. Prescott brings to the table. We would all benefit from his dedication to speaking out on the issues that really affect students.

Their comprehensive 72-page platform, The Road Ahead, tackles the tough issues facing students. Currently, they are the only team who has released a line-by-line budget proposal to explain exactly how they will spend your money. It’s not just a list of ideas, but a substantive plan to implement each proposal.

Team PDA knows that financial accessibility matters to you, and will make it one of their top priorities. In addition to continued lobbying to keep tuition down and student aid opportunities high, they will take immediate action to put more money back into your pocket, by reducing the mandatory AMS Specific Fee from $70.18 to $50. The fee, which all full-time students under the AMS must pay, will be reduced by addressing wasteful and questionable expenditures; without reducing any services that the AMS currently provides to students.

They will also double the value of the AMS membership bursary from $5,000 to $10,000, so that students with financial need can still benefit from membership in the AMS. This means that 200 students can have their AMS Specific Fee fully paid, above the 70-odd students presently covered.

Team PDA recognizes that the AMS Health and Dental Plan is insufficient for many students with chronic illnesses and particularly those with mental health challenges. They will negotiate for more comprehensive coverage to provide students with the option of upgrading their prescription drug benefits, coverage for psychiatric counseling and other elective care. These are issues Health, Counselling and Disability Services, and others have recognized for a long time, and it’s inexcusable that the AMS hasn’t acted yet, when a solution is literally a phone call away.

Team PDA knows that elected student leaders need to respect our members’ money and the trust they put in us to manage it. They’re the only team willing to bring transformative and long-lasting change to the culture of the AMS by taking on the tough issues now.

All of these comprise only a fraction of their 20-point plan to make the AMS a stronger, fairer and more inclusive society. Everyone I speak to on campus acknowledges that Team PDA has presented the strongest ideas and most thorough plan for implementation. I’m confident that you’ll feel the same way once you read each team’s platform and compare their vision to the others’.

This campaign is about you, and the issues that affect you and your peers’ lives. You deserve an AMS that represents you; an AMS you can truly be proud of. It’s time we demand better of our AMS by voting for Team PDA.

Alex is Team PDA’s campaign manager.

Daniel Bone, Comm ’14

Every student at this University has their own unique Queen’s experience, and I’m proud to say that Troy Sherman, Nicola Plummer and Liam Faught have played an important role in shaping mine.

Having spent countless hours with the three of them preparing for this campaign, I have experienced their team dynamic on a very intimate level. Over the past few months, they have proven to me that they are unafraid to challenge each other and unrestrained in challenging themselves.

Troy, Nicola and Liam naturally avoid complacency, as they are constantly searching for the best alternative. Often, they disagree, but their fundamental values always align, and they always work efficiently towards a solution that serves the best interests of students.

I truly believe that an AMS executive team that has a common vision will present a strong, united front during their term in office.

An executive team that consistently expresses similar views on a range of issues offers a dangerous mentality that refrains from supporting the needs of a diverse student body. With this in mind, I decided to offer my support for Troy, Nicola and Liam’s candidacy in the greatest possible capacity as their campaign manager.

Through my volunteer work in the AMS Human Resources Office, I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to get to know Troy and Liam. Between recruitment and volunteer appreciation initiatives, my exposure to them in the workplace has been limited, but they both left lasting impressions.

Coming into the office in September as nothing more than a volunteer, Troy and Liam welcomed me and committed to supporting me in all aspects of my service. My opinion of them has not only been shaped by my own familiarity, but has also been fuelled by my deep understanding of the level of professionalism with which they carry out their work, the high regard in which they are held by their volunteers, employees and co-workers, as well as the thoughtful ideas that they consistently present.

I first met Nicola during Orientation Week, where she was my Boss for Commerce Orientation. More than two years later, I still look back at this week and feel overwhelming gratitude towards Nicola. I will never be able to thank her enough for her subtle persistence and genuine concern for making one 18-year-old boy not only feel like he was welcome, but also that he belonged.

Nicola will never be able to fully recognise just how significantly she has impacted my life, nor the contribution she has made to countless students over her four years at Queen’s — it’s simply second nature for her to do whatever she can to ensure that her peers are comfortable, supported, and empowered.

As a team, these three have put forward a comprehensive platform that I whole-heartedly support. I have witnessed the research that went into it, and throughout the entire process I heard all three of them ask repeatedly, “Is this what’s best for students?” What truly separates TNL from other candidates is their experience and their managerial skills. They each have their unique management style, all of which will be effective in their respective roles.

I believe in this team, but I can’t expect you to do so blindly. I encourage you to read their platform and engage in a discussion with Troy, Nicola or Liam.

Daniel is Team TNL’s campaign manager.

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