Incoming AMS Executive Council transitions in

Team JBP's selected commissioners and directors discuss new roles

From left to right: E. Vassos, C. Lerebours, K. Kennedy, M. Bowen, C. Draeger, C. Hollidge, M. Przyborowski, R. Safeer, M.Satok, V. Lewarne, S. Nijhuis
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On the night of Feb. 12, Team JBP made the calls to hire their executive council — the 13 commissioners and directors operating beneath them.

Director of Information Technology 

Matt Bowen, ArtSci ’17 

“When Jenn called me, she wanted to mess with me a little bit,” Bowen said. “She asked me, as a follow up question to the interview, if I’d be able to fix her computer.” 

Bowen’s experience at Queen’s has largely been within the Solar Design Team, the Satellite Design Team and Queen’s Rocket and Engineering Design Team. 

To him, the Information Technology role allows every aspect of the AMS to run smoothly and without foreseeable glitches. “I can build on the tools and the frameworks that my predecessors have built,” he said of the next year, “and help bring new innovations to the AMS.”

Managing Director of the Student Life Centre 

Katherine Kennedy, ArtSci ’19

“Brian called me,” Kennedy recalled, “There were tears of sadness then joy all in a matter of 30 seconds. I called my mom, then called my sisters.” 

Kennedy’s prior experience has been centralized around the Student Life Centre, starting as a front desk representative in her first year. Last year, she served as the Human Resources Manager for the Centre, with roles in the Mental Health Awareness Committee in between. 

Throughout her term, Kennedy is electing to focus more on what she sees as the services offered by the Student Life Centre. 

Director of Retail Services 

Monica Przyborowski, ArtSci ’19 

“Brian used a lot of ‘however,’” Przyborowski said. “I kind of zoned out and didn’t know what was happening. But then he was like, ‘we’re pleased to offer you the position’ and I was like, ‘what?’” 

Przyborowski has spent her years at Queen’s as a volunteer with ASUS Lost Paws, on the ASUS Photography Committee, the Marketing Subcommittee of the Queen’s Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Leadership Program within the School of English. 

She stressed the importance of the existing services, including Bikes and Boards for sustainable transportation on campus and the Publishing and Copy Centre. 

“My big goal would be to make all three of them more sustainable.”

Commissioner of Academic Affairs

Victoria Lewarne, ArtSci ’17 

“When Palmer called me I got the same sort of walk-around,” Lewarne laughed, gesturing to her new coworkers. “I got the whole, well, we’re gonna need some follow up questions, a lot of good candidates, though I don’t actually remember them because I was a ball of nerves.” 

Lewarne was working at her other job, at Tango Nuevo, when she got the call, but her other experience has been specific to the Academic Affairs Commission as Chair for the Teaching Awards Committee.

As well, she spent two years on the Federation of Charitable University Students. During her term, she hopes to maintain financial accessibility, and lower ancillary fees like textbooks for the student body. 

Director of Media Services 

Chelsea Hollidge, ArtSci ’17

“I wish I had an eventful story,” Hollidge said of her phone call. “I was alone in my home, so I couldn’t share the experience with anyone, but when my roommate finally came home she gave me a big hug.” 

Hollidge has served terms as assistant manager for used books and school supplies at Tricolour Outlet, SMART head manager, WalkHome service staff, a volunteer with Studio Q and the former Sexy QueensU and co-chair of the ASUS heart and stroke committee.

“I am also looking forward to just continuing the growth of the services that fall under my portfolio,” she said, adding that the projects coming out of each this year have impressed her. 

Director of Hospitality and Safety Services 

Stephanie Nijhuis, ArtSci ’17

When the phone rang, Nijhuis said she was with friends who “were just as excited as I was for the position, who were super encouraging ... Then I figured I should actually tell my parents I even applied for the job in the first place.” 

Currently serving as the Assistant Student Constable Manager, her experience has ranged from the Queen’s Live Music Committee to positions within Riot Theatre and The Journal

“I like to think of myself like the fun services,” she explained. “My services’ job is to make sure students are having fun and doing so in a safe and productive environment.”

Commissioner of Social Issues 

Ramna Safeer, ArtSci ’18

“I don’t know how I made it through the call,” Safeer admitted. “The entire time, I was like, I should probably say something but no words came out.” After she hung up, she had a momentary panic that she hadn’t remembered to say yes — though, she assured, she had. 

Her position, she explained, was necessary “simply because social issues are never going to solve themselves.” Issues like racism, mental illness or stigma won’t be solved within her term. “There’s only options for growth.” 

In the next year, she hopes to navigate “a sensitive time for a lot of vulnerable communities at Queen’s,” citing the racial incidents of last semester. Conversations she facilitates will, she hopes, take into account different levels of education and accessibility on campus.

Director of Human Resources 

Marlee Satok, ArtSci ’17

“I was a recipient of the infamous script,” Satok said. “And I’m familiar with the script, as Jenn knows through some of my previous experiences. It does start with that decline, and then she got to the point where it was actually good news. And then I asked if she was joking.”

Satok’s roles at Queen’s have included roles on the Club Street Initiative, as Clubs Deputy, as co-chair of the United Way Committee, a deputy in the Judicial Affairs Office and as Recruitment Committee Chair. 

She hopes to continue equal opportunity volunteer practices, but also to act of resource for students “to problem solve, to help their involvement or understanding of things in the AMS.” 

Director of Clubs 

Emily Vassos, ArtSci ’17

“I think I was one of the first calls,” Vassos said. “Palmer called me and asked what my favourite club was, and I wasn’t even thinking of clubs I’m a part of. I was like, ‘swing dancing.’ And he was like, ‘really?’” 

For her, the phone call to her Queen’s alumnus parents afterwards was special, especially considering her dad’s involvement with the AMS long ago. “It was a really special experience to talk to him about that,” she said. 

The current SLC Marketing Coordinator, Vassos has also held roles within the BISC student government, Queen’s International Affairs Association, Model United Nations, Queen’s Model Parliament, QMUNi and as co-President of the Politics Department Student Council. 

Next year, Vassos hopes to build on the momentum of the clubs caucus and ensure any feedback heard is followed-up on. 

Director of Communications 

Craig Draeger, ArtSci ’18

“Well, I recall that I was home in my drawing room by the fireplace, drinking a glass of cognac when I heard the telegraph machine buzz,” Draeger joked to the room. 

Draeger has served as an ASUS rep to the AMS, for two years on the AMS Board of Directors, as Clubs Manager, the inaugural Chair of the Queen’s Media and Journalism Conference and as editorial staff at The Journal

“In the Marketing Communications office I think we’re particularly proud of being the avenue through which students voices and student feedback can be heard,” he said. 

Director of Advancement 

Clifford Lerebours, Sci ’18

When Lerebours got his call, he was in the ILC studying for a midterm. The room he was in had bad reception, so he missed Li’s initial call. 

“I was like oh sh- fill in the blank,” he said, catching himself before cursing, to the amusement of his teammates. “I don’t think she expected me to call right back! I feel like she had a shpiel set out, but I kind of caught her in the moment.” 

The Office of Advancement, to him, comes down to the creation of identity. “It’s very important once you’re part of the school,” he said. “[It’s] alumni that are able to bring what they’ve learned and whatever knowledge that they’ve amassed, and bring back little golden nuggets.” 

“That’s how we pass on that identity.”

Commissioner of Campus Activities Devon Laflamme and Commissioner of Municipal Affairs Stefano Hollands were unable to attend the interview. 

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Ramna Safeer is the current Editorials Editor at The Journal, and Stephanie Nijhuis is the former Photos Editor at The Journal. The conflict of interest was declared prior to the interview.  

 

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