AMS faces backlash from Queen’s clubs on new events sanctioning process

Co-chair of AMS-ratified club speaks to ‘The Journal’ about her experience

Image by: Curtis Heinzl
Student claims process makes event planning difficult for smaller clubs.

In light of COVID-19, the AMS has introduced mandatory event sanctioning forms for both in-person and online events. Clubs that hold events without AMS approval are at risk of being de-ratified.

The new process for event approval has received backlash from some AMS clubs. The Journal spoke to Renée Davies, ArtSci ’22 and co-chair of an AMS-ratified club, on her experiences.

Davies claims the new process makes event planning difficult for smaller clubs.

“[My club] has been planning a product drive like we have done in years past. This consists of setting up a table booked ahead of time through the Student Life Centre (SLC) in the Queen’s Centre, which is run by AMS, every day for a week.” Davies said.

Davies told The Journal the event sanctioning form is five pages. She feels these extensive steps are sufficient for large events but strenuous for small-scale operations.

“The [event sanctioning] form isn’t really catered to Queen’s Centre table booking,” Davies said.

The form requires applicants to provide information on security details, COVID-19 plans, a floor plan of the event setting, and signed waivers from all volunteers prior to the first day of the event.

“This is a big challenge for us, as there are 10 people on the club and then we have various volunteers who come to sit at the table for volunteer hours,” Davies said.

“We are planning our first drive for the week of Nov 29. We submitted our form yesterday, as it took our exec three days to fill out the form, ask all the questions, and go to the SLC to book the table.”

The AMS held its event sanctioning information night last Wednesday, which Davies attended.

“It’s just a lot of back and forth,” Davies said. “We have no idea if our event will be approved.” 

The timeline given by the AMS for event sanctioning is two weeks to a month.

“I do see how these forms are necessary for larger events that are offering food and beverages or with over 50 students to protect students, but our event is simply booking a table at the Queen’s Centre and having students walking by,” Davies continued.

Davies said if the university is to make these processes necessary, there must be more work done to make holding events less of a burden for student-run clubs.

In an email sent to The Journal, Anika Chowdhury, AMS commissioner of club affairs, provided insight on the transition to in-person events this year.

“We are doing our best to review all event submissions as best as we can while maintaining COVID-19 regulations on- and off-campus and maintaining clear communication lines with all campus partners involved in facilitating student-led events,” Chowdhury said.

According to Chowdhury, the AMS has been working with the Queen’s Risk & Safety Office to create a COVID-19 conscious opening process for in-person events.

“We continue to look forward to collaborating with student groups in facilitating these events and seeing that Queen’s spirit come back to campus.”


AMS, AMS clubs, clubs

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