Rector candidate talks mending relationship with city at open forum

Morcos to implement ‘Kingston Community Hero Grant’

38th Rector election to take place on Oct. 1 to 2. 
Journal File Photo

On Sept. 28, the 38th rector open forum took place with uncontested candidate Maya Morcos, HealthSci ’24.

Moderated by AMS Secretariat Laura Devenny and Chief Electoral Officer Erica Johnson, the open forum kicked off with questions submitted by the student body. 

“I’ve had the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the wonderful community, whether this being the logistics coordinator for the global society of genetics and genome biology, or acting as the finance director for Queen’s for Parkinson’s,” Morcos said. “These different experiences have allowed me to meet many members of the student body.”

According to Morcos, the strong sense of community Queen’s has built is what defines the university to her.

“It’s not the buildings or classes or all that, but that people who build the buildings to build a strong and ever-evolving community.”

“This extends to the faculty of the University who were so willing to give up their time to help me, especially last year in my transition from high school to university,” she said.

When asked how she will address inequality as some students attend Queen’s in-person while others attend online, Morcos said the gap is “absolutely visible.”

“Many students have complained about not being able to gain the same classroom experience online other students do in person, and when talking to the students, they felt that they were paying full price for half the experience,” she said.

Morcos said some of these complaints stem from technical problems and difficulties in communicating with the teachers and professors.

“I don’t really understand the online student university experience because I’ve never lived through it, so part of what I want to do is collect the thoughts of online students on what exactly can be fixed to resolve the issue, whether it’s a technical system that can be put in place or different timings for online classes,” Morcos said.

During the open forum, Morcos was asked what her personal strength would be as the next rector. She said communication is essential.

“As [the rector], the position is meant to elevate the voices of the different groups on campus, and also to communicate with students and help them work through their grievances.”

On her platform priorities, Morcos emphasized her hope to mend the relationship between the university and the Kingston community.

“I’m hoping to implement a new grant called Kingston Community Hero Grant,” she said.

According to Morcos, the grant will allow a club to undertake a project to positively impact the community.

“Queen’s is host to many clubs that already support the community, and I want to give these clubs the opportunity to run to the best of their ability make a positive impact,” she explained.

Despite only being in second year, Morcos said she will accurately represent the needs of upper-year and graduate students.

“I’m relatively new to Queen’s. However, I don’t think this places me at a disadvantage,” she said.

“As a student representative, I would not be in this position alone, and I’m not here to just voice my opinions or what I think things should be like—I would be speaking for the community who I will encourage to communicate their ideas.”

The rector election will take place on Oct. 1 to 2.

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