AVC wants to earn ComSoc’s confidence

All three members are on exchange, but working to remain engaged with Commerce students

From left: Vasanth Ranganathan, Ana Lopez and Caroline Hayes.
From left: Vasanth Ranganathan, Ana Lopez and Caroline Hayes.
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Team AVC

After exchanging ideas with Caroline Hayes on issues discussed at Commerce Society (ComSoc) Assembly and the future of the Society, Ana Lopez said it was only a matter of time before they began thinking of a third member to complete their executive team.

Lopez, who is running for ComSoc president, said that third member was Vasanth Ranganathan, who she added had similar ideas for ComSoc and was a “really good manager”.

Together, the three became Team AVC, and are running uncontested in ComSoc’s executive election.

“We’ve obviously talked a lot more since forming a team and we get along really well, the three of us, through a strong interest in rap music,” said Lopez, Comm ’16.

Lopez, who was ComSoc representative to the AMS in first- and second-year, said her experience and the relationships she has forged make her the best candidate for the role of ComSoc President. This role, she added, has often been described as a “relationship manager”.

The team’s platform hinges on three pillars: academic and student support, valuable external relationships and committees, and conferences and competitions. Lopez said the feedback her team received during consultation fit within these three categories and AVC consulted with people with varying degrees of ComSoc experience, from those who haven’t held ComSoc positions to those serving as co-chairs.

“ComSoc really exists to serve both these types of students and we wanted to make sure that we kept both stakeholders in mind, and obviously anyone that fits between those two extremes,” she said.

This year saw an extended nomination period after the initial nomination period resulted in either one or no candidates running for each of ComSoc’s elected positions. Commerce students are much more likely to apply to positions instead of running in elections, Lopez said.

“There’s no question about the health of hiring within the society,” she said.

“It’s just for many elected positions, it’s harder for students to put themselves out there.”

Contrary to past executives, whom Lopez said focused on operations or advocacy, she said AVC chose to focus on “specific issues” they believe are important to ComSoc. While actions taken by past executives have all been “great things”, she added, AVC can now focus on issues like improving nomination turnout in elections.

“We can now take this opportunity to work on … building on the future and building on things that we see as chronic issues,” she said.

VP External candidate Hayes — who is currently one of ComSoc’s Chief Marketing Officers — told the Journal via email that she is “confident” she’ll be able to engage with external parties to bolster recognition of the ComSoc “brand”.

Hayes, Comm ’16, said the part of AVC’s platform that she’s most passionate about is strengthening corporate relationships.

“Sponsorship is inherently competitive, but we plan to create a space where executive committees can share best practices,” she said.

“I also hope to work closely with our Corporate Relations Officers to improve feedback mechanisms and bring suggestions back to Co-Chairs.”

Ranganathan, Comm ’16, is running for VP Internal. Ranganathan — who is a co-managing director at CREO Solutions and is on the Queen’s Consulting Association executive — told the Journal via email that he thinks he’s the best candidate for the position because of his leadership experience “delivering large-scale impact” for students and the community and managing organizational finances, coupled with “passion for enriching student life and building rich relationships across campus.”

“My experience outside Assembly also brings a special perspective to the table as we continually strive to improve ComSoc’s visibility and impact with the student body,” Ranganathan said.

As for a point that he’ll be especially championing, Ranganathan said he’d like to set “long-term, operational and cultural precedents” to ease the congestion of resources at Goodes Hall.

“Tangibly, this looks like improving the room-booking system and increasing individual study space to free up breakout rooms for group work, among other key ideas,” he said.

A vote of confidence for Team AVC will be held Jan. 30-31.

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