AMS Year in Review: Restoring student engagement

Team ETC talks Orientation, tackling food insecurity, promoting equity 

Image by: Herbert Wang
Team ETC has been running the AMS since May 1

AMS executive team ETC’s last interview with The Journal saw President Eric Sikich and Vice-President (University Affairs) Callum Robertson credit their term with successfully restoring student engagement on campus.

“Just by virtue of it being an in-person year, we saw more engagement,” Robertson said, reflecting on the past year.

Vice-President (Operations) Tina Hu was unable to participate in the interview and provided a written statement in lieu. 


Working on brand identity and centralizing marketing for students was among Sikich’s top achievements.

“We did allocate more funds to the marketing officethis year, so that we were able to expand,” Sikich said. “We were able to really reimagine some of the brands of the AMS.” 

Sikich spoke to challenges Team ETC faced.

“The challenges in general are pervasive issues within the organization as the AMS and within Queen’s University as an institution, when it comes to focusing on [Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity] (EDII) work,” he said.

“That can be definitely seen with what happened during the elections process and the debate with the Queen’s Black Clubs caucus,” he added. 

Sikich noted he also had a “good conversation” with Queen’s Hillel and how the AMS can be better support to Jewish students on campus.

What the AMS has seen less tangibly from the University is advocacy work on housing, Sikich noted.

“We have done quite a bit of advocacy on student housing this year alongside the Rector and the SGPS President. It’s something that we will not see this year, I don’t believe, but it’s something that I hope in future years we’ll be taking more into consideration,” he said.

Another achievement of Sikich’s was the Secretariat Office conducting a policy overhaul, including changes to the Constitution.

“It was a lot of hours put in by us to ensure that those policies were able to get passed […] we were able to see that and that was something that was out of the scope of our policy,” Sikich said. 


Vice-President (Operations)

Hu emphasized the Operations team’s efforts to provide essential services to students, particularly in light of the challenges posed by increasing costs of living and

food insecurity.

The launch of the PEACH Market, a pay-what-you-can cafe aimed at tackling food insecurity on campus in collaboration with the AMS Food Bank and the University, is among one of Hu’s major accomplishments.

“Alongside this collaboration, we have been able to advocate to a multitude of bodies about the rising cost of food and the need for support, as well as raising funds from the University Board of Trustees and University Council,” Hu said.

The AMS Media Centre (AMC) was also introduced this year, which aims to merge Studio Q and the Printing & Copy Centre.

The relaunching of the Menstrual Product Accessibility Initiative was also a special project to note, Hu added.

“Our goal is to expand access across campus withthe support of the University,”Hu said. 

Currently, the team has launched “Take1Leave1” bins in 10 AMS restrooms and have been collaborating with the University administration to install three more coinless dispensers in the Queen’s Centre.

“We look forward to expanding access across campus and we hope that by providing menstrual products, folks within the Queen’s community will be able to feel a sense of security in menstrual product accessibility,” Hu said.


Vice-President (University Affairs)

Taking advantage of unique opportunities is how Robertson attributed his success.

“With the marketing and communications office, funding them more [was important] to get that attention for students and welcome them back to campus,” Robertson said.

The ORT mystery concert is a good example of this, he noted, claiming funding was increased for  the event, allowing the AMS to “procure better, more 

influential artists.”

“We understood that these kinds of first moments that students stepped on the campus would be so important—our team really stepped up to the challenge by taking advantage of those early moments to capitalize,”Robertson added.

“Initially, we did not succeed on the Orientation front,” he said. “We saw a lot of success, but there were definitely some growing pains.”

Orientation had some communication and transparency issues due to teaching new student leaders, but they were addressed by holding an Orientation summit, individual consultations with societies, and returning to the pre-COVID budgeting process, Robertson said.

Robertson also spoke to the veteran report, a year-long comprehensive EDII based audit of the AMS. 

In late summer, the team recognized the need to better understand and address the needs of their BIPOC and diverse employees, Robertson stated.

“Some of the initial data I’ve received is looking very positive in terms of actionable items and ways we can improve directly,” he said. 

Roberston stated that the report will be finished by the end of the month and is showing promise in terms of quality and offering actionable items for equity improvement. 


AMS, AMS year in review, ETC, Team ETC, year in review

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