Team Chris & Taylor want to hear “your voice”

ASUS Executive candidates stress diversity as an asset

ASUS executive Presidential candidate Chris Yuen and Taylor Magee

For Team Chris and Taylor, the biggest focus of their campaign in this year’s ASUS Executive election is to increase efficiency and transparency in the Society.

If elected, presidential candidate Chris Yuen, ArtSci ’21, and vice-presidential candidate Taylor Magee, ArtSci ’21, will focus their efforts on three aspects of student government operations: advocacy, accessibility, and accountability.

“I think there are a lot of things ASUS does well, but there are a lot of things that could be improved on,” Yuen said in an interview with The Journal.

Prior to running for ASUS Executive, Yuen sat on the ASUS advisory board for the last two years, specifically dealing with the Community Outreach portfolio. Outside of ASUS, he’s an executive for the Queen’s Biomedical Innovation Team and a volunteer at the Peer Support Centre. He also works at the Academic Grievance Centre.

Magee was an Orientation Coordinator for this year’s ASUS Orientation Week. As well, she is a co-chair of Get Real Queen’s, an organization that seeks to tackle LGBTQ+ discrimination and bullying on campus, and a volunteer for the non-profit student-run organization Lost Paws and at the Peer Support Centre. She also works for Walkhome. 

Within their platform for advocacy, Team Chris and Taylor want to focus on academic support and mental health. 

In terms of academic support, they stress the importance of working with the faculty to create smooth transitions for both incoming students and graduating students, ensuring they know their options and what they can do with their degree.

“I want to make sure Arts and Science students know the value of the degree they’re working towards and know that the services ASUS provides can add to that,” Magee said.

With both Yuen and Magee working as volunteers at the Peer Support Centre, they see mental health advocacy as a priority within their campaign. They want to explore the possibility of adding an Arts and Science lounge or safe space on campus for students to connect with their faculty and peers. 

They believe improving access to accessibility services, academic resources, and mental health will ensure students are having the best experience at Queen’s possible, regardless of their background. 

“I’d like [equity, diversity, and inclusion] to be represented through ASUS,” Magee said. To do so, they’d like to create more opportunities within the Equity Commission for collaborating with other clubs on campus that voice marginalized identities, including “LGTBQ+ identities, Indigenous identities, and people of colour.”

“As a queer student, I don’t always feel that my voice is heard or my identity is represented on campus. That’s really important to me,” Magee said.

Regarding student wellness, Team Chris and Taylor believe the transition to same-day counselling made getting support easier for students, but think many students still don’t know enough about the services available to them.

“It’s about finding new and appealing ways for students to understand their resources,” Yuen said, stressing campus-wide education on academic and wellness services.

They want ArtSci students to understand what their executive and council are working towards. If elected, they plan to create an online calendar showing students what exactly they’re working on every day and where their financial contributions are going. 

“Efficiency and transparency is where lies the key of the society moving forward,” Yuen said.

They also want to make the running budget available to students. Currently, the ASUS website features a “line-by-line” break-down of the ASUS budget from the previous year. In the aftermath of the Student Choice Initiative, Team Chris and Taylor believe it’s important to let students know what they’re paying.

To best represent the faculty, they want to create monthly consultation meetings with ArtSci students to ensure they have the opportunity to voice their opinions on ASUS decisions.

“Diversity at Queen’s is definitely our best asset. There are so many leaders in ArtSci that we can cultivate if we’re able to create a casual setting for students to speak about their concerns,” Yuen said.

“We really want to be there for the students, creating an open line for communication,” Magee said, in reference to their campaign slogan, “Your Voice, Your Vote.”

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