AMS Assembly discusses feedback on remote term, student elections

Thirty-nine new clubs ratified, two new faculties approved

AMS Assembly met over Zoom on Thursday evening.

AMS Assembly met over Zoom on Thursday evening for their third meeting of the 2020-21 academic year.

The Assembly voted to approve the establishment of a new faculty society within Health Sciences and the existence of the Dan School Undergraduate Society as a sister society of ASUS.

It also voted to ratify 39 new clubs to the AMS Clubs Commission—half are completely new and the other half are clubs from last year that hadn’t been re-ratified yet.

“[I’m] hoping that […] we can have wonderful expanded club opportunities,” Olivia Stanton, AMS clubs commissioner, told the Assembly.

With only three weeks left in the fall term, the Assembly is looking ahead to remote learning in the winter term. The AMS prepared two reports on the impacts of remote learning that were circulated with University senior administration and the Academics Operations Group.

The Assembly discussed the Queen’s Survey of Students’ Experience of Teaching (QSSET), a new platform for students to provide feedback to their course instructors. The platform will replace the USAT, the long-standing feedback form distributed to students at the end of each semester.

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“[Students] are just starting to really get down that feedback that they want to send to different faculty heads and departments,” AMS President Jared den Otter told Assembly. “I’m really excited to hear more from students.”

According to den Otter, the AMS has been meeting with Provost Mark Green, Principal Patrick Deane, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health, and the City of Kingston to discuss possible student activities for socialization and studying in the winter term.

Den Otter also mentioned an AMS working group promoting the upcoming AMS executive elections through various events, which is including an Instagram takeover and information session Dec. 2.

According to Residence Society (ResSoc) President Oliver Flis’s report to the Assembly, this year candidates for the ResSoc executive team will be able to run individually, rather than as a slate of three candidates. This decision is subject to a final vote by the ResSoc General Assembly.

In response to a question, Laura Devenny, chief electoral officer, said the AMS is currently not planning on changing its election process in the same way.

“Right now we have everything set up so everyone can run as a slate, but that may be something to consider in future years,” she said.

In her report, Alexandra Samoyloff, AMS vice-president (operations), told the Assembly that Walkhome is running a promotion: anyone who downloads the Walkhome app before Nov. 22 will be entered in a draw to win various prizes, including a $75 Metro gift card.

She said the AMS hopes to increase the accessibility of Walkhome through the app.

Samoyloff also mentioned the AMS student bus pass is projected to go on sale in early December, along with the winter bus pass subsidy.

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In her report, Alexia Henriques, AMS vice-president (university affairs), addressed the Campus Safety Grant, which features $220,000 in grant money from the provincial government allocated to forwarding safety initiatives on campus.

She told Assembly various AMS commissions have several grants open: the Accessibility Grant, the Equity Grant, and the Sustainability Grant are accepting applications.

Rector Sam Hiemstra’s Equity Partnership Grant, which aims to support the events and initiatives of QTBIPOC clubs on campus, is also now up and running. The deadline for applications is Nov. 13.

Shoshannah Bennett-Dwara, undergraduate student trustee, said the Assembly the Board of Trustees is currently reviewing the Student Code of Conduct Amendments—in the context of systemic racism at Queen’s—and the revised Sexual Violence Policy.

“There are some really exciting things going on at the level of the Board of Trustees,” she said.

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AMS, AMS Assembly, remote learning

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