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New rector ready for the challenge

By Hollie Knapp-Fisher, Communications Intern

New Rector Mike Young (ConEd’15) faces the daunting task of not only representing the interests of all undergraduate and graduate students but also following in the footsteps of his popular and well-respected predecessor, Nick Francis (Artsci’14). Even though it will be a challenge, Mr. Young sees a wonderful opportunity to build on Mr. Francis’ initiatives while implementing some of his own ideas.

[Rector Mike Young]Rector Mike Young wants to support the innovative spirit within the Queen's student population.

“The role of the rector is to be the voice of the students and a liaison to the university, but being a confidential support system for students is a role that is often underutilized,” he says. “I want the students to know that I am here for them and they can stop in and see me in my office at any time.”

Introducing himself to the broader Queen’s community during the election period presented some challenges for the unassuming gender studies student.

“It was so strange seeing my face plastered all around campus and on social media. I’ve never experienced anything like that before,” he says. “Luckily I had people like Nick, Sarah Kucharczuk (Artsci’14) and my family to support me, and the end result was worth it. It’s an honour to be chosen to take on this role.”

During his time at Queen’s, Mr. Young has developed a strong desire to raise awareness of mental health issues and equity on campus. As rector, he wants to support students as they pursue their own passions.

“I really want to keep alive the innovative spirit that Queen’s has to offer. It’s amazing to watch students who see a gap in the community and have the drive not only to fill that gap but to take on the responsibility that it holds.”

Mr. Young has a passion for music and can often be found performing around town. His dream is to one day become a primary school teacher.

Follow Mr. Young on Twitter @QueensuRector