EngSoc executive debate recap

Candidates discuss finances, improving student engagement

Presidential candidate Delaney Benoit, Sci ’20.
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In the ILC atrium on Tuesday, four candidates vying for next year’s Engineering Society (EngSoc) executive team answered questions on transparency, promotion, and pneumonia.

Out of the three executive positions on the upcoming EngSoc election ballot, only the vice-president (operations) role is contested, with one nominee each in the president and vice-president (student affairs) positions.

President

Delaney Benoit, Sci ’20, opened the debate promising a more efficient, equitable, and connected EngSoc.

In the questions following her statement, Benoit advocated for changes to policy within EngSoc, while maintaining important parts of tradition. She argued for improved position and “redundant policy” restructuring.  

Currently EngSoc's equity officer she said her presidency would ensure “[no club] is falling through the cracks.”

Benoit aims to create more mental health and financial resources for employees within EngSoc, as well as engineering students in general. However, no specific plans were addressed.

Vice President (Operations)

As the only contested position, the vice-president (operations) candidates faced questions ranging from Clark Hall pub accessibility to the effects of the Ontario government allowing students to opt-out of non-essential fees.

Jinho Lee, Sci ’21, kicked the debate off with a plan to improve financial literacy within EngSoc, promoting better documentation, communication, and transparency for students.

His plan outlined a system of workshops for EngSoc employees and engineering students he hopes to implement.

Lee focused on fiscally responsible ways to increase profit at businesses like Clark Hall pub. Facing competition from Queen’s Pub, Lee suggested opening Clark on Mondays and Tuesdays to better compete with the campus staple.

“Straying away from [Clark Hall’s] classic “ritual” event on Fridays, with more trivia-like nights, will help them open more often,” he said.

Lee also addressed the possibility of a smaller budget due to the recent cuts in tuition, suggesting he’d have a solution following consulting with financial support in the summer.  

Meanwhile, Melissa Young, Sci ’20, pitched more fluid communication and stronger staff management within the society.

“The Tea Room advertises well, but often has issues with staff becoming overwhelmed with the rush of students that come in after class” she said. She plans to learn how to make the business run smoother.

In response to a question about Clark Hall pub, Young said she would address the issue of accessibility as the pub’s popularity grows over the coming years.

When asked how her position would ensure programs that don’t fall under EngSoc jurisdiction receive support, Young said she plans to employ a specific director that will manage the gaps.  

Vice President (Student Affairs)

Zaid Kasim, Sci ’21—the sole candidate running for vice-president (student affairs)—opened the position’s forum by affirming the three pillars of his vision: making resources accessible, increasing EngSoc engagement, and creating a diverse space for students.

Kasim stressed the importance of opening himself up to students, whether it’s supporting conference chairs or helping students voice their opinions on EngSoc. He proposed creating a regular feedback system for all events within the society to maintain accountability.

When Kasim fielded questions from the audience, they posed various hypothetical situations that elicited laughter from attendees

Four out of the five questions asked Kasim how he would handle possible situations like overhearing complaints about EngSoc in the ILC halls, disagreeing with his fellow executives, and reacting to a sponsor backing out of a conference.

While Kasim used some of the scenarios to reiterate points from his platform, like seeking out student feedback and prioritizing student engagement opportunities, the final hypothetical about filling in for a pneumonia-stricken director of internal affairs had him stumped.

“I have no idea [what I’d do],” Kasim answered to laughs from the crowd. “I hope that doesn’t happen.”

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Corrections

January 26, 2019

This story incorrectly stated Benoit's class was '19. It is '20. Additionally, she is EngSoc's equity officer, not social issues comissioner.

The Journal regrets the error.

January 26, 2019

This article incorrectly stated EngLinks falls outside of the juridstiction of EngSoc. It does, under the director of academics. 

The Journal regrets the error.

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