As the uncontested candidates for next year’s Commerce Society (ComSoc) executive, Team MEC spoke with The Journal from their exchange locations across Europe to explain their platform.
Team MEC is comprised of Presidential candidate Mahir Hamid, Comm ’24, Vice-Presidential (student affairs) candidate Ethan Williams, Comm ’24, and Vice-Presidential (operations) candidate Charlotte Alfred, Comm ’24.
Campaigning on their experience within the Commerce program and their “genuine love” for the Commerce family, they spoke about reforming Assembly to emphasize student voices.
“We plan on changing the culture at ComSoc so that it’s less serious, less policy-focused, but more enjoyable, or community-focused, more fun, and more inviting for everybody to come to Assembly,” Hamid said.
By “shrinking” the ComSoc team and bringing external people to Assembly, they aim to make it more efficient and relevant to Commerce students.
“Historically, ComSoc has been a group of 50 to 60 […] that’s extremely inefficient. It doesn’t work. People don’t know each other. People don’t care as much about the community,” Hamid said.
“There’s so much bureaucracy to a point where people are not putting in the work to create the initiatives that they originally planned.”
Team MEC wants to increase community participation, which includes having more team members involved in ComSoc’s investments, alongside the Chief Investment Officer. The society invests in initiatives and businesses in the local and Canadian community.
“There could be many more students benefiting from [a certain] position, as opposed to just the Chief Investment Officer and maybe one or two supporting council members,” Alfred said.
She said they want to implement a council set up around “substantial roles” within ComSoc to spread the wealth of decision-making experience to more participants.
The team didn’t outline the charities they plan to invest in, as they want student input on the matter first.
“We want to be the team that doesn’t really take control over every decision that we make and wants to make sure that all students are somehow included,” Hamid said.
Hamid explained the integrated relationships MEC wants to cultivate with Commerce clubs and administration. He said the current communication between ComSoc and the co-chairs—leaders of Commerce clubs—is currently relegated to a Facebook group.
“[We want to] have a lot more in-person communication with the co-chairs,” he said.
Hamid said MEC wants their relationship with the Commerce administration to be “frequent” and “transparent.”
“We want to ensure that any disagreements are met […] very directly.”
Transparency extends to MEC’s vision for EDII initiatives. Hamid is hoping to implement a data analytics process to understand demographics, involvement in different clubs, and “how well” they’re performing.
William’s student affairs platform pushes equity and inclusion initiatives such as “multicultural days,” which visibly celebrate diversity in the community, and “ComSoc Student of the Month Award[s],” which highlight student accomplishments or events.
Team MEC has ideas for various new initiatives, and Alfred will oversee ComSoc’s spending.
“Having been on the operations portfolio for two years, I feel like I do have a very valuable understanding of the kind of the harsh realities of what finances look like,” she said.
Alfred proposed raising mandatory student fees for all Commerce students and said financial support for ComSoc has not been updated to reflect inflation. She also aims to provide detailed cost templates for co-chairs of Commerce clubs.
“I know a lot of co-chairs come into the role with tons of excitement and the right ambitions, and they want to execute these events […] it is our duty to support these co-chairs and the realities of their costs,” Alfred said. “[That way], they can get the support that they need ahead of time, as opposed to being blindsided.”
Team MEC also discussed the club culture in the Commerce program, and the “rah-rah” energy which characterizes involvement in the program.
“[In clubs] we’re all gaining this super tangible and intangible experience. And it’s made so easy, and it’s facilitated by that spirit,” she said.
“People want to make their clubs better. People care about their clubs; that’s kind of Commerce’s entire identity,” Hamid added.
Team MEC said it was a “big shame” the election was uncontested, considering the importance of clubs and involvement within the Commerce program.
“I think in the future, we would love to see a bit more desired interaction from the students and then needing to vote, [and] have their voice heard,” Alfred said.
ComSoc elections will be held Jan. 28 to 30 online.
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