ASUS hires new General Manager as part of ASUS 130 reform

Executive revamps permanent staff position 

The ASUS 130 reform was passed at referendum in February.

As part of its ASUS 130 initiatives, the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) has revamped its permanent staff position to implement a General Manager.

Sean Thompson, ArtSci ’83, was appointed ASUS General Manager on March 29. 

Thompson will focus on long-term growth for ASUS and provide oversight for higher-level Society operations, financial management, and legal procedures.

ASUS 130 is a package of reforms intended to instigate long-term growth following the Society’s 130th anniversary. 

During the February referendum, ASUS secured a $4.76 increase to its $26.79 mandatory student fee to fund the reforms.

“As ASUS has continued to grow […] we’ve realized and recognized a need for more oversight of someone who isn’t 20 and 21 years old, and who’s had a little more experience,” Matt D’Alessandro, ASUS vice-president, said in an interview with The Journal.

The General Manager position is an expansion of ASUS’s current permanent staff member position, originally a low-level accounting role. 

With the addition of the second ASUS Vice-President—also part of the ASUS 130 reforms—these financial responsibilities will fall under the portfolio of the Vice-President (Operations).

Thompson will be involved with less bookkeeping and more oversight. He will help the Vice-President (Operations) with managing compliance procedures, upholding the bookkeeping system, and following other financial procedures. 

“[It’s] being aware and identifying all of the key steps necessary to keep this society going, and then working to fill those gaps where the [Vice-President (Operations)] might be lacking a little bit in terms of just the experience that they’ve had,” D’Alessandro said. 

The General Manager will also help with legal matters and collaborations with legal councils, maintaining the operation of the ASUS house, making sure the ASUS executive team follows all policies and procedures, and maintaining relationships with stakeholders across the University.

According to D’Alessandro, the role is similar to permanent staff roles in other student societies at Queen’s, like the AMS and the Engineering Society.

The General Manager will also help transition student leaders into their roles during their one-year terms. 

The incoming ASUS executive team are currently transitioning into their roles from the outgoing executive members. D’Alessandro said this results in a significant amount of time spent learning how to do their jobs.

“It is really difficult with these one-year terms to preserve institutional memory from year to year,” D’Alessandro said. “I think [the General Manager] will make transition a lot more efficient and a lot more effective.”

Though the General Manager will oversee ASUS operations, they will not run them. They are there to advise and help student leaders, not control them, D’Alessandro added. 

“I think one of the most important things that we looked at when we […] thought about the new General Manager position is how do we maintain the professional development opportunities that we offer to student positions within ASUS, while implementing someone who can advise them,” he said.

Thompson has extensive work and non-profit experience. He is currently the Vice-Governor District 6 of Kin Canada and has spent 19 years with The Marlin Company.

“He was the standout applicant in our pool by a long shot,” D’Alessandro said. “The first thing that I really liked about Sean was his personality—he has a very warm personality and, when you talk to him, he’s very genuinely excited to interact with you and interact
with students.”

In a statement to The Journal, Thompson said he’s “thrilled to come full circle with Queen’s.” 

“I am truly impressed at the success that David, Matt, and their team has achieved in the creation, acceptance, and adoption of the ASUS 130 Strategic Plan,” he wrote. “I really look forward to working with Alyth and Brandon as their term starts May 1.”


All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.