Three third-years vie for EngSoc presidency

Logan Bell, Julie Tseng and Kristy Tu all looking to re-evaluate past changes

Logan Bell.
Logan Bell.
Photo: 
Julie Tseng.
Julie Tseng.
Photo: 
Kristy Tu.
Kristy Tu.
Photo: 

Logan Bell wants to see EngSoc put its best face forward — namely, his.

Bell, Sci ’16, is running to be EngSoc President.

“The President’s role is to really be the face of engineering for Queen’s, the student face,” he said.

“And, as President, I feel that I would provide the most personable face, the most charismatic face, and I could really represent our school [outside of Queen’s] and internally.”

Bell, who was Logistics Coordinator for Engineering Frosh Week and a FREC in 2014, said his knowledge of and ability to plan big events will be an advantage to him when working on EngSoc’s external relations with other schools.

One of his two major priorities is making the crossing from Miller Hall to the ILC safer.

“Almost every engineering student crosses from Miller to the ILC, and they do it multiple times a day — today I crossed it 12 times,” he said.

“We’re trying to make that crossing safer, whether it be a crosswalk, a stop sign or a stop light. That’s high on my priority list, because students shouldn’t be risking their lives just to go to class.”

He said there are a number of ways a three-way stop could be installed outside the ILC, but it would be best if EngSoc or the AMS applied to the City to have a stop installed.

“You just contact City Council – I think if we did it, we would have a petition, and I think that many students would get on board because they cross there so often.”

He added that a stop sign is likely the most feasible option for a crossing there, rather than a crosswalk or stop lights.

Bell’s other big priority is evaluating how Emily Fleck — EngSoc president in 2013-14 — restructured the EngSoc executive.

“I think that this presidency – whether it be mine or one of my opponents – would really be about evaluating how that restructure has worked and really fine tuning the work that the past presidents have done,” he said.

“The president doesn’t get to vary too, too much per year; we get to restructure and we get to allocate funds to and resources to certain areas, but I don’t have a radical plan.”

He added that he felt the last year had gone well, but he wants more time to evaluate Fleck’s changes.

“Change is good, but every year somebody has to get elected, right, and people run on change consistently, and sometimes that leaves projects half finished and is not really a long-term strategy,” he said. “We can’t change the society every year.”

Bell also wants to promote a better relationship with Commerce, saying that the two faculties could work well together.

“Many industries have business people and engineers working side by side to achieve common problems, and I want to see that in our learning structure, how we can get conferences and design teams and things like that, so that we can work along, like we would in the workplace,” he said.

“But I also want to keep that spirit alive and so, I want to see how we can promote a friendly rivalry.”

— Chloe Sobel, with files from Sebastian Leck

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Julie Tseng likens EngSoc to a tree: something she’ll plant and grow, but won’t necessarily sit in the shade of.

Tseng, Sci ’16, has sat on the EngSoc Council in three different capacities: year President, Director of Internal Affairs and year Vice-President.

“It’s been really nice to, you know, connect with my friends who weren’t as involved and get more about their opinion,” she said.

“I think that’s really influenced a lot of my platform points, just to make sure that they’re hitting as broad a variety of engineers as there are, because some engineers are also very into business but some engineers are part of a cappella groups — so you want to try to give as many of these students opportunities as possible.”

Tseng said she’s looking to plan for the future as EngSoc president.

“It’s that great proverb – you want to plant a tree that maybe you won’t sit under the shade of – paraphrasing, but that’s definitely the feeling I’m going for,” she said.

“I’m looking at having a good year but also setting it up so the years to come also have the same thing.”

Her priority is making sure that every engineer not only feels prepared for future success, but has enjoyed their journey through university.

Her platform has both major and minor action plans. The former looks toward more long-term, impactful ideas; the latter towards more immediate effects.

One example of an idea both long-term and short-term is rebuilding EngSoc’s relationships with other universities.

“This past year, we’ve lost a lot in terms of our relationships with other universities,” she said. “It was never our intention to cut ourselves off from the rest of the world, it was to say — hey, how do we do what we’ve been doing with them, and support other universities and share information and create, collaborate, communicate, but with engineers across Canada or across the world? There’s got to be a better way to do it.”

She added that in the long-term, EngSoc should always support other universities because “at the end of the day, all of us are engineers” and will likely work together in the future. In the short-term, she can work on developing an inter-university platform that will have students collaborate at different “chapters” of design teams at other universities.

“One of my minor action points is definitely to lead a team with this vision,” she said.

“I hope to inspire people with it, and I think one person can only accomplish so much.”

— Chloe Sobel, with files from Natasa Bansagi and Sebastian Leck

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Kristy Tu, Sci ’16, has four major platform points: improving support to clubs and first-years, evaluating the society’s structure, increasing student opportunities and providing more accessible resources.

Tu said her experiences, both as a Director of Professional Development on the EngSoc executive and positions outside the society – such as Engineers without Borders – have given her external and internal perspectives on the society.

One of her top priorities will be tweaking the responsibilities for each executive position after the restructuring of the society last year, she said.

“Having actually worked directly under the President, it was easy to see where the weak points were and where we can improve,” she said.

The society’s external ties have been diminished due to the restructuring of Director positions, according to Tu, and she’s aiming to strengthen them.

Tu said she’d also have executives do more outreach to clubs to help them access society resources.

“One of my goals is to improve support for them, whether it is financial support or guidance,” she said. For example, she added, she may hold a discipline club roundtable to share information between clubs.

She will also keep the Tom Harris Student Lounge open after office hours, she said, and aims to add more accessible ways for students to provide feedback to the society.

“One of the biggest barriers for engineering students is time,” she said. Town halls and student councils are large time commitments for students, so she would look into surveys, she said.

She said she implemented a summer survey as a Director of Professional Development and based most of her yearly strategic planning on it.

“That portfolio saw incredible growth,” she said, “not because of things I thought of, but because of things that other people actually wanted.”

— Sebastian Leck

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