At a Feb. 1 meeting of AMS Assembly, four parts of the Campus Activities Commission were dissolved indefinitely — namely Queen’s Live Music Committee, Queen’s Media and Journalism Conference, Queen’s Model Court and Queen’s Model United Nations.
Commissioner of Campus Activities Devon LaFlamme brought forward the motion, attributing the decision to dissolve based on a lack of engagement within the groups. At Assembly, LaFlamme and Vice-President (University Affairs) Palmer Lockridge explained the four committees saw low levels of engagement because other student services already provided similar or better opportunities.
In an email to The Journal, LaFlamme elaborated on these low levels of engagement with specific examples. According to him, Queen’s Media and Journalism Conference (QMJC) never hired co-chairs in the 2017 spring hiring period due to insufficient applications. Instead, the former commissioner and deputy commissioner took on these responsibilities.
“After extensive marketing efforts and preparation from the committees [and] organizers, it was with great disappointment that … QMJC [had to move] their intended first semester dates due to insufficient delegate registration,” LaFlamme wrote. “During the fall 2017 hiring period QMJC leadership positions were opened again, with no applicants coming forward.”
Queen’s Model Court (QMC) and Queen’s Model United Nations (QMUN) saw similar issues with applicants.
“Last month, QMC and QMUN continued to face low registration numbers,” LaFlamme wrote. “The committees felt that between 75 to 100 delegates as a minimum were required in order to successfully run the conferences. When the conferences were canceled in the beginning of January 2018, each only had registration numbers in the range of 30.”
According to LaFlamme, 30 delegates weren’t enough to cover costs for the venue and conference expenses, let alone provide an enriching experience for the students.
For Queen’s Live Music Committee, LaFlamme explained the primary factor in its conclusion was its increasing deficit year-over-year.
“The deficit incurred this year was directly related to insufficient engagement by students, reflecting the need for further critical review of the programming being provided by the Commission,” he wrote.
As noted at Assembly, another significant factor in deciding to dissolve the committees was that their mandates “directly competed with events [already] organized by student clubs.” For example, the Live Music Committee — responsible for organizing events like QPOP! — had a mandate to provide live music on campus.
“The majority of the venues utilized for QPOP! — including Clark Hall and the Grad Club — already feature live music frequently at their venues, so the opportunity for students or student bands to play, or for students to listen to live music will not been diminished,” LaFlamme wrote.
The Live Music Committee was also responsible for promoting the Isabel Bader Centre as a resource for students. In March, the AMS created a grant for students to allow them to access the Isabel at an affordable cost. LaFlamme said this grant will provide “greater experiential learning and self-driven opportunities to interact with the Isabel.”
Despite the loss of these committees, LaFlamme is looking forward to the addition of the ReUnion Street Festival (RSF) under the Campus Activities Commission (CAC).
“Hosting RSF also allows the CAC to move towards the goal of not replicating programming offered by clubs, and to provide events that engage large portions of the broader student body,” he wrote.
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