ASUS executive election goes uncontested

Team Chayce and Aaryan talk wellness services, transparency, and accessibility 

Aaryan Chaudhury (left) and Chayce Perkins (right). 
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As the lone candidates in this year’s ASUS executive elections, Team Chayce and Aaryan says it can bring accessibility and inclusivity to the Arts and Science faculty next year.

If elected, Chayce Perkins, ArtSci ’20, and Aaryan Chaudhury, ArtSci ’21, will focus on six key pillars of their platform—aiming to increase the availability of wellness resources and solidify ASUS’s relationship with the student body.

The team hopes to promote mental health awareness on campus by lobbying administrative groups like Student Wellness Services to meet students’ needs and by facilitating mental health campaigns. They also proposed creating a Wellness Officer position under the ASUS umbrella that would be responsible for lobbying and promotion.  

“It’s not a talking point anymore—it’s something that needs to change. ASUS is the largest faculty society here at Queen’s, and we think it’s problematic there’s nothing right now that pertains to wellness,” Perkins told The Journal in an interview.

Increased transparency is a necessary step forward for ASUS, according to Perkins and Chaudhury. If elected, the pair hopes to expand transparency by introducing student feedback surveys for all students within the Society.

“ASUS is supposed to be an academic lobbying body to the faculty and to the administration, but sometimes it seems like there’s a disconnect,” Perkins said. “Students don’t necessarily know what [ASUS is] lobbying for. [It] should be lobbying on behalf of the students.”

Team Chayce and Aaryan has also proposed the implementation of further equity initiatives on campus. At the forefront of their proposed changes are increased representation of Indigenous students at the decision-making level. The pair held two consultations with Queen’s Native Student Association (QNSA) and hopes to create a relationship between ASUS and Indigenous groups on campus.

This relationship would include the appointment of an Indigenous student representative on the ASUS assembly.

Amplifying the voices of marginalized groups on campus would be a priority for the team. Chaudhury told The Journal her past two years of experiences at Queen’s inspired this component of their platform.

“I think there’s a really important way to do consultations to ensure that all student voices are heard—marginalized groups, students part of the LGBTQ group, Indigenous students,” Chaudhury said. “As a marginalized student, I often feel like my voice is not heard, [and] I think we really do have to reframe our consultation policy.”

Chayce and Aaryan’s platform’s final three components focus on increasing academic support through DSC presidents, making course selection less stressful for students, and implementing an interactive ASUS calendar on the Society’s website.

With the prospect of leading a government that represents 14,000 students, the team said the biggest challenge it expects to face is reaching every student it serves.

“For me, what often seems overwhelming when you look at it on paper [and see a] whole 14,000 students—how do you ensure that all of those voices are heard?” Chaudhury said. “I think that will be the biggest challenge—ensuring that no voices are marginalized when making decisions.”

Before campaigning, Perkins co-chaired the Provincial Advocacy Committee. She is also a member of Queen’s politics student council. This past year, she was an ASUS orientation coordinator and served with the AMS as its Deputy Brand Manager.

Chaudhury’s experience includes an executive position on Queen’s Model United Nations Conference. She was also a Logistics Coordinator on Queen’s Economics Case Conference and is the current Policy Deputy for the AMS.

“Both of us combined have a lot of experience under our belt—when it comes to advocacy, when it comes to finance, when it comes to budgeting,” Perkins said.

“At the end of the day, we can have these extracurricular experiences [...] but what’s most important in an ASUS executive is to have a President and a Vice-President who have Arts and Science students’ best interests at heart.”

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Corrections

January 21, 2019

This article incorrectly called ASUS assembly ASUS council.

The Journal regrets the error.

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