Candidate Profiles: Uncontested EngSoc candidates talk pandemic recovery

Accessibility and engagement stand out as key issues

Voting takes place Feb. 1 and 2.
Supplied by Julia Stratton

This year, all Engineering Society (EngSoc) positions up for election—president, vice-president of operations (VPO), vice-president of student affairs (VPSA) and junior senator—are uncontested.

Danielle Rivard, Sci ’23, is running for president, Evan Wray, Sci ’22, is running for VPO, Jane Cohen Wallis, Sci ’24, is running for VPSA, and Adam Raco, Sci ’25, is running for junior senator.


If elected EngSoc president, Rivard hopes to rebuild the community students have lost throughout the pandemic. She’ll begin by listening to student voices on campus.

“I want to do this by talking to people, because making decisions based on assumptions isn't the right direction to go,” Rivard said in an interview with The Journal.

Rivard plans to pay particular attention to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and accessibility issues. She pledged to commit to “full transparency and communication.”

“I really want to have open discussions with everybody who might be affected by being excluded by certain things or being a minority,” she said. “Anything to do with EDI […] I want to talk to them because I'm not in that position.”

Rivard has wanted to become more involved in EngSoc since her time as an orientation leader. The role of EngSoc president seemed “perfect for what [she] was looking for.”

“I’m excited to put everything into this role, and really learn as much as I can and use everything that I'm learning to advocate for everybody.”

Vice-President (Operations)

“I remember what it was like before [the pandemic]. Some of these students never had that experience before,” Wray said in an interview with The Journal.

Wray’s platform is based on four pillars: pandemic reopening and recovery, improving student engagement, automation, and data analytics for long-term planning.

Beyond limiting socializing, Wray feels a lack of student engagement is hindering students’ learning and formation of soft skills through being part of student clubs on campus.

“[People neglect] the soft skills and things you can learn from in these in [EngSoc] positions.”

Wray has been heavily involved in EngSoc since coming to Queen’s.

“I got really interested in student government and advocacy. So, the following year, I ran for AMS rep on our Sci ’22 year executive,” Wray said.

After spending his third year as an AMS representative, Wray worked as the director for internal processes under the VPO in his fourth year.

“I oversee an automation and process development team that was put in place last year by me and the current vice-president of operations, Ben Frosst,” Wray said.

“The biggest reason I did that is because [of] the high turnover rate in [the] Engineering Society.”

Automation is especially important for helping with turnover in EngSoc. Since it takes a few months for everyone to transition into and out of their positions, there are only a few months left for executives to make the changes they want to see.

“[I’m] trying to give all the directors and everyone at team […] more time to actually make meaningful changes to their portfolios to this society,” Wray said.

Vice-President (Student Affairs)

If elected, Cohen-Wallis will strive to make the engineering community more accessible.

“I have been involved in EngSoc since I started here at Queens, and slowly I've started to get to know it better and see changes that I would like to be a part of making,” Cohen-Wallis said in an interview with The Journal.

Cohen-Wallis has been involved in EngSoc as a project coordinator for the Professional Development team, has participated in the Gender and Diversity Engineering Panel, and was the first-year representative and co-chair for the Queen’s Engineering Competition.

“I want to have an impact on as many individual students as possible and give them the opportunity to really find a place where they can succeed.”

For all students to participate in EngSoc activities, Cohen-Wallis recognized the importance of focusing on accessibility initiatives to make programing accessible to everyone.

“This is the part I see a lot of space for growth.”

Above all, Cohen-Wallis said strong social connections are the foundation for success at school.

“I believe that promoting the connection between years is very important to ensuring that all the students feel welcomed and can succeed.”

Junior Senator

Raco values transparent communication between the Senate and engineering students.

“Being in Senate, anything that happens should be as transparent as possible,” Raco said in an interview with The Journal.

“If there's a motion or something that might have a negative impact on the engineering community, it should be completely transparent and spread to the rest of my peers.”

During his first year, Raco worked as a project coordinator for EngSoc and created social media content for the Sci ’25 Instagram account. He said these experiences equip him to communicate effectively as a Junior Senator.

“I saw some things that I really want to make even better for other students and my peers, and I wanted an opportunity to voice their concerns and make improvements at the Senate,” he said.

 “Working with a broad diversity of engineering students [through the ‘Sci 25 Instagram account], I can get a really good range of input from different people and see what they think about certain things.”

Raco also hopes to advocate for increased access to academic support.

“[I’d advocate for] free academic support options […] and the Engineering Society might facilitate collaborative opportunities for students to work together instead of hiring a tutor.”

He plans to prioritize first- and second-year classes that students tend to find most difficult.


Voting for EngSoc positions takes place Feb. 1 and 2, with results to be announced Feb. 3.

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