AMS Assembly convened Feb. 17 to discuss some services’ move to the LaSalle building, Orientation Week for the upcoming year, managing partying on St. Patrick’s Day, and the upcoming rector election.
President Zaid Kasim opened his report by detailing the move of the AMS’ offices to the LaSalle Building in preparation for JDUC renovations beginning May 2022.
The transition to LaSalle will begin on Feb. 28. AMS services housed in the JDUC, like Walkhome and the Printing and Copy Center, will be moved to the Queen’s Center, while the Tricolour Outlet, Studio Q, AMS Food Bank, and Peer Support Centre will be relocated to Rideau Hall at the end of the semester.
Kasim is also working to obtain extra storage space for student groups and ensure the renovated JDUC meets the AMS’ desired bookable space requirements.
In preparation for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the AMS hopes to ramp up harm reduction protocols to minimize the impact of partying on students and the town.
“The AMS has been really engaged internally, but also with the administration and community partners to work through St. Patrick’s Day. I think the number one priority is to make sure that we aren’t overwhelming the healthcare system,” Kasim said.
Some of these interventions include securing food trucks, distributing naloxone kits and “survival kits,” working with St. John’s Ambulance to set up triage stations, launching a social media campaign to dissuade students from inappropriate behaviour, and organizing street clean-up.
Kasim also gave a brief report on the Senate, expressing some frustration with obtaining information about the upcoming April exam period.
“I think right now we’ve been trying to get a lot of answers when it comes to academics and ensuring that folks are feeling good about exam period, because we don’t want what happened last time in the fall to repeat itself. We’re trying to get answers about academic accommodations and academic exceptions and all those things,” he said.
Kasim is also working with the Queen’s University Faculty Association to secure better resources and administrative support for academic personnel teaching mixed learning courses, and is helping to onboard new executives-elect Team ETC.
Lastly, Kasim announced the rector election will begin Mar. 1. According to AMS Secretariat Laura Devenny, candidates will be ratified at the Annual General Meeting on Mar. 10.
Vice-President (Operations)’s Report
Vice-President (Operations) Tiana Wong announced the successful passing of the Bus-It referendum amongst the AMS and SPGS. According to Wong, the next steps are to finalize the contract with Kingston Transit and Kingston City Council.
“We [will] continue the negotiations for the contract, but it will look very, very similar to what has been in place in years past. [The Bus-It Contract] will stand for the next three years, beginning in the 2022-23 year,” Wong said.
Wong announced almost all AMS services have returned to their level of operation from last semester.
Vice-President (University Affairs)’s Report
Ryan Seig, Vice-President (University Affairs), is working to reinstate a full week of orientation events for the 2022-23 year.
Seig, who started a petition to “bring back orientation WEEK,” is looking to shift move-in days back by one week so incoming first-years can have an extended orientation experience. He presented the petition with over 1,000 signatures to the deans and designates, the Provost, and the Division of Student Affairs on Feb. 17.
Seig is also overseeing the mass distribution of masks in response to the university’s new heightened mask mandate ahead of the return to in-person learning on Feb. 28. The new mandate will require all on-campus students to wear an ASTM F2100 Level 2 medical-grade mask indoors.
EngSoc Vice-President (Student Affairs) Kaija Edwards brought up concerns surrounding the university’s plans for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, which was observed by Queen’s for the first time this year on Sep. 30.
According to Edwards, the university is no longer considering a full day break, but a half-day off. Although, there are plans to bring an “educational piece” to the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
To Edwards’ knowledge, the university doesn’t have any training or learning resources in place for staff regarding teaching on this day.
VPUA Seig, President Kasim, and EngSoc President Christina Bissell discussed whether declaring the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation as a full-day break might interfere with the days available for orientation or the pre-exam break, since there are restrictions on the number of non-academic days Queen’s can have in a year.
Kasim promised to speak to other universities on the matter and give a report at the next Assembly.
The AMS moved to approve the addition of a representative from the Human Rights and Equity Office and the Yellow House to the selection committee for the Robert Sutherland Award, and to preferentially select assembly members of colour for the award committee.
18 clubs were also ratified or re-ratified at the February Assembly, bringing the total number of AMS-ratified clubs to 354.
AMS, AMS Assembly, orientation
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