Even though this year’s Commerce Society (ComSoc) executive election sees an experienced team running uncontested, don’t expect Team JMT to rest on their laurels.
Jordan Flanigan, Megan Long and Tony Yu, all Comm ’19, look to their experiences ranging from Queen’s Women in Leadership to the Commerce Executive on Orientation to inform the systemic changes they seek to accomplish.
Speaking to The Journal, Vice-Presidential (Operations) candidate Yu said, “[w]e’ve all come from really extra-curricular-focused backgrounds … and that has caused us to want to give back to the Commerce Society in a way that we think will help implement some positive change moving forward.”
Vice-Presidential (Student Affairs) candidate Long concurred with her running mate. “We want to ensure that every opportunity for engagement provides value to both the executive they’re a part of as well as … the student’s learning experience.”
The team’s platform addresses three points: increasing 360-degree value, improving transparency and accessibility of resources as well as revamping the operations portfolio. Presidential candidate Flanigan explained since one year in office is “not a ton of time,” JMT looked at current executive efforts to “build on what they’ve been working on” while developing their own vision.
The team promises concrete action towards increased student engagement. Primarily, Long hopes to encourage a culture of executive innovation under her portfolio. In recent years, corporate sponsors have donated less while expecting more from committees.
JMT hopes to remedy this by providing committee executives with creative “tools to navigate [this] changing climate more effectively.” One of these tools is a better hiring process for co-chairs and executive teams, allowing for longer transition periods and time to access ComSoc resources
The team’s second pillar addresses ComSoc’s perceived lack of transparency. Flanigan said they want to increase resource accessibility within ComSoc to ensure “diversity and inclusion.”
“Often, there is confusion … conveying what’s going on in [ComSoc Assembly] meetings to students that aren’t as involved,” Flanigan said. To remedy this, JMT proposes enhanced livestreaming of biweekly assemblies and improved promotion of mental health resources.
“This is a really strenuous program, and some of the feedback we’ve gotten … is that students are struggling to figure out what resources they can access,” Flanigan added. “We’re lucky in that we have those resources centrally available within the Commerce Society, so [we’ll be] using those to our advantage and really streamlining.”
Another key element of JMT’s platform is a revised VP Operations portfolio. In order to do so, Yu plans to “simplify the finance system” to abridge it for co-chairs and finance directors on ComSoc clubs. The goal of this is to improve “the desirability and the value” of these positions and encourage a greater pool of candidates to apply.
Yu looks to further achieve improved infrastructure through the implementation of a data management system that, “ensures that projects from year to year are held intact,” similar to an online dropbox.
Though the team is diverse in its strengths, they said they have a “strong and united vision.” Flanigan believes that along with individual drive based on personal experience, “a little bit of fate” drove the candidates together.
“Jordan, Tony and I all share the idea that we were only going to run if we had a solid team that we knew would work really, really well together,” Long said. “When we came together for that initial meeting, something really clicked.”
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