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Q&A with new RCS president Kiran Singh

As of May 1, 2015, Kiran Singh will become the new President of Ryerson’s Commerce Society (RCS). Singh worked her way up from a committee member, to the current Executive Vice-President and now the elected future President. Julia Knope was able to talk to her about her upcoming presidency.

Q: What change do you hope to bring by being president?

A: In terms of change, it’s all about making sure that the voices of our students are heard. Among all others: stronger communication and awareness and working with the community and all stakeholders. We want to make sure that whatever changes we bring are those that students have asked for. I literally have a list from campaigning of different things that students told me that they want to see happen. Even if I can’t [achieve them] with my year [and] with my team, we can lay the groundworks down for something in the future.

Q: What exactly does the job entail?

A: It’s working a lot with the board ensuring that every single portfolio is maximized. Basically it’s to work with external parties as well as internal ones to realize the goals of the organization and the vision of the year.

Q: How did you get involved with RCS?

A: There was an application that went around and I saw it but I just put it away. It wasn’t until I was on my way to California and my flight was delayed an hour. I was sitting at the airport and I was like there is wifi and the application is due is in a little bit so I will fill it out and see what happens. I never ever thought I would get an interview, I was so shocked that I got it. I went to the interview and I was so, so nervous. I got the news a couple weeks later. I became a member on the Corporate Relations Committee.

Q: Has your goal always been presidency?

A: No way! I never ever thought this would be a place I would end up being. I always had interest in politics, but I never really thought about taking government. I was really involved in high school, but it wasn’t until one of my friends approached me about it, who is currently on the team, who said “hey, have you ever thought about doing that?” The more students asked me about it, the more I realized it’s an opportunity that I can take. There is something to be said about just taking chances. The idea was always there, I just needed someone to push me.

Q: You are currently Executive Vice-President for the 2014-2015 year. You said you wanted to “standardize communication and organization systems” and create “new initiatives” for students. Have you achieved those things?

A: I think so, at various levels. You start off with one image and end up with something completely different. Standardized communications is something I thought would really help students share information and collaborate. I realized later that there are so many different communication channels because there are different needs. I think what really works is to make sure that people are aware of what everyone else is doing even if they are kept on their own paths. Beyond that the creation of general meetings for all RCS members was a key way to make sure everyone was on the same page and everyone was aware of the organization that they are a part of. Beyond that, the introduction of a study room — that was a really big hit.

Q: What skills do you have that will help you in your presidency?

A: There’s things like being organized, being responsible. I think the biggest thing, though, is being a team player. You couldn’t accomplish anything if it [wasn’t] for your team and the people you interact with. That’s my biggest strength. Then we can accomplish anything my team and I put forward.

Q: Are there any requirements you need to have to be a president?

A: You would require previous experience on the board of directors. The board of directors is comprised of six executives and nine directors. I was one of the six as Executive Vice President. Any one of those positions could have run for president this term.

Q: Was it a close race?

A: I believe so, between all of us there wasn’t anything that was very drastic.

Q: What are you excited about most for being president?

A: There’s so much to be excited about. It’s such a different kind of position. It’s doing all the things I love: being able to talk to people and getting a white board and just draw all of the ideas you ever have out on it. And I have such a great team. We are hoping to have a big set of meetings over the next couple weeks. I’m looking forward to just meeting other people and working with them and seeing what we can accomplish this year. It’s exciting. It’s a great honour.

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