ComSoc hopefuls, uncontested for top jobs, want to shift Society’s perception

Team pledges to publish reports on hiring and career outcomes, student body composition

From left to right: Seby Monsalve, Michelle Kong, and Will Van Vliet.
Supplied by Team MKV.

This year’s Commerce Society election will see Team MKV run uncontested for the executive positions.

The team is made up of Presidential candidate Seby Monsalve, Comm ’21; Vice-Presidential candidate (Student Affairs), Michelle Kong, Comm ’21; and Vice-Presidential candidate (Operations), Will Van Vliet, Comm ’21.

Before running in this year’s election, each candidate had been involved with the Society before—Monsalve since his first year, and Kong and Van Vliet since their second years.

Prior to running for president, Monsalve interned for the vice-president (Operations), then moved into the role of external student relations officer, and most recently, the talent strategy officer. Aside from ComSoc, his other involvement within the Commerce program includes high school liaison and the Queen’s Sales Association. Outside of Commerce, Monsalve is a supervisor on the Queen’s First Aid Campus Response Team.

Before launching her campaign for vice-president (Student Affairs), Kong was also involved in ComSoc, holding roles including chief policy officer, returning officer, and industry associations commissioner.

Van Vliet’s experience includes joining ComSoc as a treasurer in his second year before being promoted to chief financial officer. His involvement within Commerce includes the Queen’s Finance Association.

All three say they decided to run because of the large impact student government can have on the broader student community.

“Student governments that are well run and rooted in strong principles have the potential to affect the entire scholastic experience of hundreds of students,” Van Vliet wrote in a statement to The Journal.

In their platform, they emphasize three key values: community, accessibility, and accountability.

“I wanted to change the perception and communicate the value of student government,” Van Vliet said.

In addressing recent concerns about diversity in Commerce, the team referenced accessibility, one of their three main platform points. “Our accessibility value emphasizes our equity, diversity, and inclusion strategy where we plan to ensure that underrepresented groups, including members of the LGBTQ+ community, international students, and visible minorities within our program are advocated for and feel included within the ComSoc community,” the team wrote.

If elected, they want to address this issue by engaging with students through town hall-style meetings to listen to students’ concerns. They’ve also consulted with the Commerce office’s new Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator to discuss their vision for ComSoc.

The team also hopes to publish reports about hiring outcomes, career outcomes, and student body composition.

Initiation rituals in Commerce clubs is another ongoing issue the team plans to tackle by keeping executive teams in charge of the clubs and committees accountable for their actions. They also hope to create stronger lines of communication between the executive and students.

Team MKV said they recognize attending AMS assembly as an integral part of improving communications with the broader Queen’s community. They want to encourage Commerce students to become involved with other societies and ensure AMS extracurricular activities are accessible to Commerce students.

In response to a question about how they plan to increase student engagement, Team MKV said they plan to bolster ComSoc’s visibility in the Commerce program and vocalize the intrinsic benefits of holding a position in ComSoc Assembly.

“We must ensure that, particularly for lower years, there is some form of tangible career benefits for joining our team, and that each role accomplishes specific impact that can be communicated within employment prospecting,” Team MKV said.

“We have an unparalleled desire to give back to the program we love so much,” the team added. “We have all had a deep admiration for the program, its students and faculty since day one and we are excited at the opportunity to make a meaningful impact.”

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