Meet the Candidates: Meagan Berlin, your next LSS President
The President of the LSS is responsible for overseeing the LSS Core and LSS Council. The President presides over general meetings, submits an annual written report in February and co-signs all cheques. The President also sits on several other committees including the Appointments committee, Faculty Board, Senior Administration Meeting, SGPS and the Nominations Committee.
We asked Meagan to tell us why she’s running and some of her plans for next year.
Why are you running for President?
I did not want to let the opportunity go by in my last year at Queen’s Law to contribute and give back to the school and community that has provided so much challenge, inspiration, and joy to my life. I want to address and support some aspects where there is potential for change. I want to feel pride in knowing that my care for the school was combined with the care and passion of others in a common endeavor to make Queen’s Law even more of a positively impactful community for future students.
What qualifications and/or past experience do you have that you think will help you if elected?
If elected, my experiences from past positions will help by adding to my team’s strengths. I love the thrill of attacking a list of problems that are time-sensitive and ever-changing in priority. I worked as a dispatcher and communications agent at the Edmonton Police Service, where I learned to manage stressful and emergent situations, and to coordinate tight team responses to issues.
I interned for a year at the UNDP in Istanbul by leading a team of four on the implementation of a financial literacy program in elementary schools across the city. Though a project with singular focus, this helped me establish the ability to manage a team with varying educational backgrounds and professional experiences, much like my colleagues at Queen’s whom I would have the pleasure of working with if elected.
Additionally, I work as Production Manager for Juris Diction, and adore the challenge and adventure of solving novel problems as they arise. In this context, I have had the pleasure of supporting the evolution of an idea from first thought, to implementation, to maintenance. On-the-spot thinking and creative problem solving will be part of the position of President. I am well equipped with effective ways to battle challenges inherent in the implementation of new ideas.
What are some of the challenges you see for Queen’s Law right now? How would you tackle one of those challenges?
Incredible programs and efforts exist to help those who feel marginalized when entering Queen’s Law. It is undisputed that Queen’s Law has a strong community. One of the challenges that Queen’s Law faces is ensuring that all students can access this sense of belonging, for the period of time they study here.
There are a few ways I wish to tackle this:
1. Entrenching a welcoming culture by establishing initiatives that address the needs and interests of diverse students. This will further strengthen Queen’s Law’s reputation in areas additional to academics;
2. Increasing financial accessibility measures at the club level for events;
3. Further collaboration on promoting innovation:
a) between clubs;
b) between clubs and the LSS; and
c) integration of the input of the Equity Committee to encourage creation of new ideas and programs.
We will encourage creative attempts through a system of initiatives focused on each of these relationships.
Who is your favourite judge past or present?
Madam Justice Arbour; she is a reminder of the capacity for movement that a law career allows. Her work as a Chief Prosecutor of the ICTR and ICTY, professor, Justice of the Supreme Court, inquiries commissioner into prison abuse, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and as counsel at BLG, has made global and domestic impact. She constantly puts herself into new environments where she has to learn new things. I greatly admire her vast accomplishments and the risks she took throughout her career.
What is your management style?
I value ideas and collaborations that create innovation and change. This directly feeds into my management style; I enjoy listening to new insights and am attentive to those around me. I want people to be happy and feel that their roles are important, fulfilling, and challenging. My style of management ensures that each one of these factors is satisfied through particular attention to my team members’ individual strengths and talents. Thus, I can evaluate the level of support or guidance that will allow for success and team cohesion.
If a project or goal is best met through the leadership or expertise of a certain team member, my style of management allows for flexibility in project leadership. The best managers I’ve had didn’t limit the capacity or talents of their team members to their positions; rather, they discovered and sought to utilize their abilities in novel ways. The results of a position should not remain the same when different people fill it, because different strengths will arise. I’m excited for the opportunity to work with the diverse skill-sets that will drive the LSS Core in the coming year.
How would you describe your relationship with the administration?
Through involvement in the Happiness Project, as 2L representative on the LSS Awards Selection Committee, and on the Faculty of Law Recruitment Team, I’ve become familiar with a number of members of the administration. I’m excited for the possibility of this role, as it will provide a platform to solidify my relationship with the administration in furtherance of student representation.
This interview is the first in a series that will run until Tuesday profiling each of the candidates for the 2015-16 LSS Core Elections. The questions were designed by Juris Diction’s election coverage committee. The committee does not include any of the candidates or members of the current LSS core who sit on either of Juris Diction’s two boards. The views expressed are those of the candidates only; they have not been edited for content and do not reflect the views of Juris Diction or any of its board members.
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