Hailing from Cambridge, Ontario, Marcus Threndyle has quickly become a prominent individual on campus by running for the position of the Rector. Currently, a second year majoring in Biology, he also works part-time in downtown Kingston and enjoys skiing and playing hockey in his spare time. We sat down with Marcus to find out a little more about his campaign for becoming Rector, the initiatives he envisions, and his overall passion for Queen’s!
Why did you decide to run for Rector?
I think it came down to that I slowly heard it was going to be coming up for election and the opportunity was going to be there. I found myself in the situation where if I didn’t run I would regret it down the road. I enjoy developing my own vision for it, being able to present it to students, and to ultimately have them choose if what they would like to see in the role aligns with what I want to bring to it.
How will your past experiences help you in carrying out the duties of a Rector?
I think that the neat thing about Rector is that truly anybody can run for it. I have had some great opportunities in my short time here on campus to become involved in student government and become acquainted with some of the politics that exist between us and the city, the relationship we maintain with administration, and how that can be looked at from a different perspective. I believe developing a sense of that is important towards the role. I’ve also had opportunites to work with diverse people at Queen’s, which gives a different perspective on what can be done here on campus.
Looking back at first year, what’s one thing that you saw as a possible area of improvement at Queen’s and if you were elected Rector, how would you change that?
I had an amazing first year experience, but that being said, I also understand that’s unfortunately not the case for everyone. For example, sometimes elements of campus and school don’t always work for everyone.That kind of became my motivation for running; it is the idea that this incredible experience needs to be universal at Queen’s. In talking to a lot of people, I’m starting to understand that us students can change on campus, and I see an opportunity to work with different groups to act on that change.
During the debate, you mentioned that you see the Rector as being a connector. How do you plan on connecting your role as a Rector to such a diverse student body, especially those that might not understand what the role of Rector entails?
I think the Rector really comes into responsibility to get themselves out there and to reach out as far as they can to find those students who are disengaged on campus and work to engage them. Communication is going to be such a big thing, whether it is working with the number of faculty bodies or various student groups that we have here on campus. As a Rector, it’s your job to be in contact with them to have a pulse on what they’re doing, the goals they’re trying to achieve, and how you can possibly assist them in reaching those goals. I hope that by having town hall meeting events and board meetings, I can try to spark student interest in what’s going on around campus and bring the issues to students to get their input. It’s not going to be a passive role where they’re coming to you; it’s about putting the effort to reach them and trying to find the ideas that are out there to make Queen’s better.
How do you plan on creating cohesion between the different faculties within Queen’s while addressing each faculty’s specific needs?
There’s so much opportunity for faculties to work together and it’s a situation where you can bring everyone together. For example, this is something that ASUS is doing really well, this is something that ComSoc is doing really well, this is something EngSoc is doing really well…how can we share those ideas? I think it’s important as a Rector to take initiative to bring those people together and facilitate meetings. These conversations with different groups will allow ideas to be bounced around and will lead to working towards a better campus together. It’s also recognizing that there are times where there are going to be faculty specific issues that need to be addressed separately. In that case, it’s about taking a little more bit time and putting a little more effort into one group or another because they need the help, and as Rector you have to be there for them.
Currently, a huge issue is student health and wellness on campus. How would you work with different student groups and faculties to create a more comprehensive health and wellness plan that still meets diverse needs?
I think with regards to mental health, there’s a lot of work being done and a lot of discussion going on. I do support a faculty specific approach to that issue and there’s been some solid steps taken by our current Rector in trying to develop what we as students are doing for mental health on campus, but I think we should continue in working with the faculty bodies to help them develop specific, effective strategies. Beyond the mental health scope of things, a broader idea is the positive, enjoyable, and healthy experience that we have here on campus. That’s what we need to aim for, and here we can do something more campus wide. We have a lot of groups on campus working towards these health and wellness projects. It’s about addressing some of the concerns, showing them to administration, and bringing people to get involved and share ideas. Ultimately, we need to identify as students what do we need to do to create a positive culture to lead to better health and wellness.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned from the current Rector Nick Francis that would help you if you were elected?
In a couple of conversations that I’ve had with Nick, I found he has a really great attitude and perspective on the role. His advice is that it truly is an opportunity to give back to Queen’s students and to have a positive influence on other people’s lives in the role of Rector. It’s so important to remember that at the end of the day, you’re doing this to create a more conducive environment here on campus and to try and make this a better place for everyone.
If you could imagine yourself 20 years from now, what would you tell the current you?
Keep doing what I’m doing because hopefully it takes me on a good path. Also, just remember to have fun and always look at the positive side of things!
What’s one song that describes your life right now?
I’m a big fan of the song Underwhelmed and Good in Everyone by Sloan. It’s positive, upbeat, and one of those songs that you play in the morning to get you going for the day.
If you could communicate a message to a large group of people, what would it be?
I would say to Queen’s students to really enjoy and make the most of your time on campus because there are so many great opportunities to get involved. It’s such an amazing place and the fact that we’re here and doing all these great things, I think it’s something we should all be proud of.
Voting for both the AMS Executive Elections and the Rector Elections are on the 28th and 29th through your Queen’s Email!