Queen's University — Since 1873
29th January 2013

Team BGP gets the green light

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For an explanation of how the endorsement process works, see here.

The Journal believes that team BGP will be the best executive in place for next year’s AMS.

Team BGP won the Editorial Board vote with 10 in favour and seven abstentions.

Team TNL received three votes and team PDA received two.

Over half of those who abstained stated they did so due to a personal relationship with one of the candidates, while others admitted they felt little confidence in any of the teams.

In the initial round of the discussion, conversations were dominated by praises of TNL.

But, Team BGP won the endorsement vote due to their emphasis on bringing about a much-needed change that students desire.

TNL had a strong team dynamic — it was clear that they all respected each other.

As a team of insiders, TNL also brought necessary experience but failed to convince the Editorial Board how they would dismantle the “AMS clique.”

Their plan to build a bridge connecting the JDUC and the Queen’s Centre also doesn’t represent what students actually want or need.

PDA’s campaign and platform, both based on critical and financial accountability, was commendable. However, their high-strung and hard-liner attitudes didn’t seem to indicate a more inclusive or approachable AMS.

BGP offered something different — a mix of idealism and practicality. Their focus on both the arts and the LGBTQ communities — typically marginalized groups at Queen’s — is refreshing and indicative of the change in mindset they’ll bring to the AMS. Their plan to bring Queen’s WiFi to the Student Ghetto seems too idealistic given that the Queen’s wireless network is often unreliable and would be more so with an increased volume of users.

While the team is dynamic, their leadership has potential to be shaky.

Presidential candidate Eril Berkok isn’t nearly as aggressive as his two competitors — as evidenced by last week’s presidential debate — but he still offers an effective leadership style. His experience as Student Senate Caucus Chair and former COMPSA president are assets to dealing with the administration, the City and faculty societies.

If elected, Berkok will have to ensure that his approachable nature doesn’t make him a pushover when standing up for student’s needs. Similarly, vice-president of operations candidate Peter Green has a steep learning curve ahead of him. While his external experience is notable, he lacks the internal experience that his teammates bring.

Vice-president of university affairs candidate T.K. Pritchard, who had admitted defeat in last year’s executive race, remained one of the strongest candidates in the overall campaign and consistently outshone his teammates in the conversation. His love for Queen’s and his commitment to mental health and LGBTQ issues is palpable.

The other front runner in the campaign period, TNL’s Nicola Plummer, brought poise, experience and approachability.She didn’t shy away from tough questions and had a thorough understanding of what her portfolio entailed. Her commerce background and previous experience managing large budgets make her a stronger vice-president of operations candidate than BGP’s Green.

Liam Faught, team TNL’s candidate for the position, seemed less well-versed in his position than Plummer, but he brought both internal experience and a likeable demeanor.

Troy Sherman, the TNL presidential candidate, was clearly well-versed in town-gown issues, but his rhetoric often seemed disingenuous.

PDA’s Alexander Prescott was a stronger presidential candidate and if placed at the helm of the AMS, he would be highly effective and diligent in bringing about change to the student government. Unfortunately, PDA’s abrasive and arrogant attitudes weigh down Prescott’s strengths.

Vice-president of university affairs candidate Lisa Acchione was the weakest link of the entire campaign. She consistently seemed out of place and overpowered by her teammates throughout the campaign period.

While Craig Draeger, vice-president of operations candidate, would be a financially savvy leader, he placed more emphasis on criticizing questions asked than explaining how he would help create a more inclusive AMS.

No one on team PDA was able to effectively answer a question about the tangible steps they would take to be approachable to students. This was the team’s biggest detractor for the Editorial Board.

In this executive race, TNL proved to be the team that would maintain the AMS the way it is, and PDA encouraged a drastic and un-inclusive overhaul.

Neither is desirable; the AMS needs a cultural change and BGP’s inclusive and realistic platform and friendly demeanor makes them the team that should be in office.

— Journal Editorial Board

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