Several CESA positions contested this year

Candidates discuss vision for Con-Ed community

A number of positions are contested at CESA this year.
Credit: 
Supplied.
A number of positions are contested at CESA this year.
Credit: 
Supplied.
A number of positions are contested at CESA this year.
Credit: 
Supplied.
A number of positions are contested at CESA this year.
Credit: 
Supplied.
A number of positions are contested at CESA this year.
Credit: 
Supplied.
A number of positions are contested at CESA this year.
Credit: 
Supplied.
A number of positions are contested at CESA this year.
Credit: 
Supplied.
A number of positions are contested at CESA this year.
Credit: 
Supplied.
A number of positions are contested at CESA this year.
Credit: 
Supplied.

Ahead of the upcoming CESA election, The Journal met with candidates to discuss their plans should they be elected.

Representative to the AMS

Cora Sleegers, ConEd ’23, and Ben Bishop, ConEd ’24, are running for the position of representative to the AMS.

Sleegers said her role as an orientation leader—a Teach—inspired her to become more involved.

“Con-Ed has so many amazing people,” Sleegers told The Journal. She said she’d focus on communication, if elected. 

She wants to avoid “mixed messages [about] rules and what’s going on,” and is confident that clear communication is achievable whether meetings between the Concurrent Education Students' Association (CESA) and the AMS meetings are online or in-person next year.

Should Bishop be elected, he’ll focus on making himself available and promoting open communication between Con-Ed students, CESA, and the AMS. 

“Next year I want to put a strong emphasis on […] being contactable,” he told The Journal. 

He said he’s been in communication with past AMS Representatives to hear their recommendations and thinks “it’s very important in this role to be able to speak up if there are issues Con-Ed students want addressed.”

Senator

Nate (Layth) Malhis, ConEd ’23, and Zaynab Karimjee, ConEd ’24, are running for Senator. 

Should he be elected, Malhis wants to advocate for students by putting them in direct communication with those who can make real change. He proposed a task force made up of representatives from each faculty to ensure those in the highest positions at Queen’s hear from students. 

Inadequate handlings of equity issues by the University have led to distrust, according to Malhis—something he hopes to address. 

Another one of his priorities is supporting students academically and socially through the “transition period” between remote and in-person university life.  

Karimjee’s platform focuses on mental health, diversity and academic initiatives, including advocating for Pass/Fail grading options to be accessible to all students. 

“Student mental health services need to be equipped to deal with the unique struggles that teacher candidates are facing,” Karimjee told The Journal.

She plans to hold regular workshops that promote equity and inclusivity — a strategy she said will address the racism associated with Queen’s culture. 

“I fully intend to hold the University accountable for condemning bigotry,” she said. 

Executive Administrator 

Natalee Veisi, ConEd ’23, is running for the position of executive administrator. 

Though she declined an invitation to speak with The Journal, Veisi’s platform focuses on accountability and accessibility within student government. 

Second Year Representatives 

Claire Christie and Maeve Stemp, both ConEd ’24, are competing against Massimo Recupero and Sam Barton, all ConEd ’24, for the position of second-year representatives. 

Christie and Stemp told The Journal they want to create connections between Con-Ed students and focus on transitioning their year back to campus in September following a remote first year. 

Stemp said making sure students have “those experiences that they potentially missed” is a priority. 

The team also wants to make the Class of 2024 feel well represented, denouncing the idea of “a threshold of enthusiasm” being necessary for student voices to be heard. Should they be elected, Christie hopes to be a voice of encouragement for Con-Ed students to get involved.

Recupero and Barton said their goal is to foster a stronger sense of community next year, should they be elected. 

The team told The Journal their experiences on and off-campus this year will enable them to meet both the needs of students who spent the year at home and those who lived in residence. 

Recupero said he and Barton are “really passionate” about making the Con-Ed community better in any way they’re able to. 

Third Year Representatives

Avery Desrosiers and Hanna Slowikowska, both ConEd ’23, are striving for a fun and engaging 2021-22 school year. 

Since online events have fostered engagement this year, they plan to supplement in-person events with online versions next year. They also aim to offer opportunities for every type of student.  

Having served as first and second year representatives, Desrosiers and Slowikowska hope to expand on efforts to include all Con-Ed students. 

“We feel passionately about maintaining [active participation],” Slowikowska told The Journal.

Fourth Year Representatives 

Bronwyn Clifton and Jaebets (JJ) Joseph, both ConEd '22, are passionate about addressing the specific obstacles faced by fourth years in the faculty. 

Joseph cited focusing on equity issues and feelings of detachment from the community often felt by fourth year students. 

With previous CESA experience including QCE and Third Year Rep., the team is confident they’ll be able to plan effectively despite the uncertain year ahead.

Clifton said she’s looking forward to “rebuilding [the closeness] of the Con-Ed community” following the remote year.”

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