New Council hired

Team WRL hires commissioners and directors

AMS Council for the 2014-15 academic year.
AMS Council for the 2014-15 academic year.

The incoming AMS executive team WRL hired its new council on Sunday.

The six AMS commissioners lead the student government half of the AMS. The commissions organize campus events, advocate for students and coordinate certain AMS operations.

The three service directors manage AMS services, including TAPS, Common Ground, QTV and Walkhome.

Team WRL chose their commissioners and directors after considering 48 applications and two rounds of interviews, according to the team.

The Journal sat down with the new AMS council on Wednesday to hear their plans for the upcoming year.

Social Issues Commissioner

Emily Wong, ArtSci ’15, said she’s been involved in social justice groups both at Queen’s and in the City of Kingston.

She was a Queen’s Education on Queer Issues Project (EQuIP) co-chair last year, and currently is the education deputy commissioner for the SIC.

“Anti-oppression is something I’ve taken a personal interest in,” she said. “I’m pushing for a more inclusive community, one that is more accepting and tolerant of the people in it.”

Campus Activities Commission

Michele Charlton, ArtSci ’14, said she’s spent a lot of time in the drama department, although it’s usually been on the technical side of stagecraft, like sets, lighting and logistics.

She said she’s helped produce shows for the drama department, Queen’s Musical Theatre and Blue Canoe Productions.

Charlton said she wants to focus on keeping campus events up-to-date with the changing student body, Charlton added.

“Every year we gain one fourth and lose one fourth of our student body. It’s about really looking to make sure we’re serving the current student body,” she said.

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainability

As a second year, Leah Kelley, ArtSci ‘16, is one of the youngest members of the group. Despite this, she said she’s had a variety of experiences at Queen’s so far.

“This summer I was in Nepal for a couple months, teaching English and doing some trekking and I’m also involved with St. John’s Ambulance,” she said.

She’s currently the Deputy Commissioner of Advocacy and Education for the CES, she added. As the Commissioner of Environment and Sustainability, she said, she’ll focus on getting students interested in environmental issues.

“First off, I want to see what students want from the commission and figure out how to engage them.”

Municipal Affairs Commissioner

Ariel Aguilar Gonzalez, said he had already worked with local city groups, such as a poverty reduction commission and the educational charity Youth Diversion, before being hired.

“I love how the Municipal Affairs Commission is at the intersection of the AMS, Queen’s and the city,” Gonzalez, ArtSci ’16, said. “There’s potential for collaboration.”

As Municipal Affairs Commissioner, Gonzalez said he’ll be trying to live up to the legacy of current commissioner Catherine Wright.

“There’s definitely a few major events coming up, like the municipal election, so I want to do her proud,” he said.

Academic Affairs Commissioner

Colin Zarzour, ArtSci ‘15, said he was drawn to the Academic Affairs Commission because of its potential to directly impact students.

He’s been an academic advocate before, he said, as an academics representative to the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) and President of the Philosophy department student council.

“I love the idea of engaging with and learning from the student body,” he said. “I’m very excited to meet the rest of the team.”

Internal Affairs Commissioner

Claire Cathro, the new Internal Affairs Commissioner, lived at Herstmonceux Castle in England for her first year at Queen’s.

“When I arrived on campus, it was amazing to see just how engaged, spirited and ambitious our community is,” Cathro, ArtSci ’15, said via email.

Since then, she has been involved with undergraduate research journal Politicus, Queen’s Model Parliament and the AMS Judicial Affairs Office, where she works as a deputy.

She’ll be looking at strengthening the Non-Academic Discipline system and expanding the Clubs Office, she said.

Campus Services Director

Kanivanan Chinniah, ArtSci ’15, said he’s been involved in student politics since he arrived at Queen’s.

“I’m been involved in the Queen’s Debating Union for a long time, and I’ve been part of QIAA for long time as well,” he said.

This year he became an ASUS representative to the AMS, he added. Above all else, he said, he wants to prioritize communication as Campus Services Director.

“First things first, it’s important that I continue the good work [current Media Services Director] Devin [McDonald] has done, and it’s all about talking to people and making sure we’re responding to students,” he said.

Hospitality and Safety Services Director

Alex Marshall, ConEd ’14, said the first thing he’ll do as Hospitality and Safety Services Director is sit down with student managers at TAPS, Common Ground and Student Constables.

“It’ll definitely be sitting down and getting to know everyone, and working on building those relationships with student managers, which are built on trust,” he said.

He said he applied for the position because he wanted a challenge that was different from his work at Concurrent Education Students’ Association (CESA). He’s currently the President of CESA.

“I wasn’t quite ready to leave Queen’s, and I felt this was an area I wanted to work on,” he said.

Retail and Design Services Director Dylan Trebels, ArtSci ’15, said his greatest challenge will be integrating Yearbook and Design Services into the retail services. The service, which was under media portfolio this year, will now be under his purview.

Trebels was the Marketing Manager for Tricolour Outlet last year, and currently sits on the AMS Board of Directors.

Trebels, also an athlete, competed with the Queen’s wrestling team at the 2012 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championship.

“I’m looking forward to taking all those experiences, from Athletics, residences and the AMS and applying it to my job,” he said.


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