CBW is seeking student support

Kristen Olver, campaign manager of CBW, argues the team deserves to be in office

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During each year’s AMS executive election campaign period, the Journal runs an opinion piece written by the campaign manager of each candidate team.

On Jan. 15, Team CBW was elected by acclamation to be the next AMS executive.

An unusual and unprecedented situation nobody anticipated, election by acclamation is a method used by other electoral bodies, including elections to the House of Commons of Canada.

Nevertheless, since the beginning of the election period, CBW has been working to engage with students in the same nature as many executive teams before them.

They’ve collected signatures, organized volunteers and presented a platform to reflect their vision for the AMS and its students. The platform wasn’t made overnight — it was a result of extensive consultation with all stakeholders.

This platform will build a better AMS.

Throughout the campaign period, CBW has prioritized facilitating awareness on campus for their platform, and remaining accessible to students who want to voice their concerns about CBW and their platform.

Team CBW recognizes they must earn the support of students.

The team acknowledged at their candidates’ forums this week that they need to work twice as hard to gain the trust of students. That work has begun, and will continue well after the end of the election period. Despite not being subject to an election period, Team CBW has performed multiple class talks in many faculties to introduce themselves to as many students as possible. They’ve attended meetings of all faculty societies throughout this election period, and will continue to do so.

The team has also made recruitment a key plank of their outreach strategy. Meeting students as the incoming AMS executive presents an opportunity to recruit more students to participate in the delivery of the AMS’s programs and services.

Team CBW has seized this opportunity and has reached out to various constituencies to build their team for the upcoming year.

I’m confident in Team CBW — not just from witnessing their tireless dedication on their exciting and pragmatic platform, but from the unique individual experiences they bring to the table.

President-elect Kanivanan Chinniah is a fourth-year economics student and the current campus services director, and sits as an arts and science student senator on University Senate. Kanivanan has a history of firm yet pragmatic advocacy on behalf of students, whether it be on University Senate, or on ensuring the financial sustainability and affordability of AMS programs and services. Vice President Operations-elect Kyle Beaudry is the current president of the commerce Society.

In his capacity as President, Beaudry has proven himself as a good manager and diligent steward for delivering high-quality conferences and events that the Commerce Society is renowned for.

As a Commerce student, he represents a commitment to broaden the AMS’s appeal to underrepresented faculties.

Vice President University Affairs-elect Catherine Wright is an economics and gender studies student and a don in Victoria Hall.

Last year, Wright was the AMS municipal affairs commissioner, where she led and won the AMS’s appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board on Kingston’s electoral district boundary realignment, in spite of opposition from the City of Kingston.

Her proven vision and steadfast perseverance demonstrate that she’s a strong advocate to lobby for students right from the start.

Team CBW offers both an internal and external perspective on the AMS, bringing diversity, knowledge and the necessary pragmatism to handle the unique challenges they will face as an AMS executive. Together they are committed to creating a two-way conversation, not a one-way platform, about the future of the student experience at Queen’s.

In office, CBW won’t be characterized by grandiose ideas or unrealistic initiatives that won’t come to fruition.

Their focus as a team is on small, practical changes for students that will streamline current services to support students as Queen’s grows. The student body requires a sustainable AMS that works to preserve the value of our Queen’s degree.

With the expected increase of 2,000 students over the next four years, campus resources will be strained.

Adding more seats at Common Ground, advocating for increased study spaces and supporting the expansion of student clubs are important priorities to work on, to ensure students are supported as campus grows.

Along with our campus, opportunities for engagement are changing. Learning occurs in a variety of forms, and so it’s important we have an AMS executive that advocates for additional credits earned in the broader learning environment.

Student-led initiatives are the backbone of Queen’s tradition and the classic Queen’s experience. Continuing to support student-run orientation week is just one aspect of our university experience that sets Queen’s apart, and that CBW is committed to preserving. CBW is committed to strengthening and preserving the best in our school.

CBW has drafted a plan to ensure the AMS remains accountable to its constituents, be it by making budgets public and accessible or continuing to put students first by consulting them on their changing needs.

Through their class talks and visits to faculty societies, they’ve made an effort to ensure that they reach out to as many people as possible.

CBW’s the team the AMS needs at the helm to represent its constituents in the coming months, as the University takes on new challenges that will affect students for years to come.

I’m excited to see all they will accomplish, and have full confidence that whichever decisions they make as the incoming AMS executive, it will lead students and our university to great places.

Kristen Olver is Team CBW’s campaign manager.

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