Historic AMS executive election sees three teams ratified at Assembly

AMS elections have not had three teams since 2014

Image by: Curtis Heinzl
Polls open for the AMS elections on Feb. 6. 

After years of uncontested elections—the last being in 2021—there’s a tight race for the lead executive positions of Queen’s largest student government, the AMS. 

Three teams will run for the AMS executive after being ratified at AMS Assembly on Jan. 26. Polls open on Feb. 6.


Team ERA consists of Ryan Chen, Kin ’23, for president, Elisabeth McHarg, ArtSci ’23, for vice-president (operations), and Alicia Parker, ArtSci ’24, for vice-president (university affairs). 

After the team was ratified, the candidates were asked what goals they hope to achieve if elected to office. 

“My number one thing I would like to change on campus is definitely financial accessibility,” Chen said. “Events, housing, food; literally everything around us has been getting a lot more expensive so it’s tough to get that full Queen’s experience.”

Chen hopes to continue his work impacting students after eight months as the President of Queen’s Physical Health Education & Kinesiology Student Association (PHEKSA).

McHarg spoke about her experience in community outreach and emphasized her experience working with people—specifically helping service staff and managers achieve their goals.

Team ERA wants to bolster student wellness, increasing access to mental health care, and improving the University’s health insurance plan. The team said their approach is to hear from everyone.

“I’ve spent three years in student government and I’m really passionate about advocating for students,” Parker said. “In the last week, we’ve spoken to probably 100 folks.” 

“Whether that’s on the student side and on the university administration side, I think the approach we’ve taken is we want to hear from everyone.”


Team KMV includes Kate McCuaig, ArtSci ’23, running for president, Michelle Hudson, ArtSci ’23, for vice-president (operations), and Victoria Mills, ArtSci ’23, for vice-president (university affairs). This team was ratified.

Accessibility for students is an important issue for Team KMV.

“There’s a lot of legislation that’s going to be passed for post-secondary students,” Mills said. “Queen’s is about to get a monumental task about how it deals with accessibility in the future and meeting new standards that encapsulates many different areas, including online learning.”

Team KMV wants to encourage students to access the AMS resources available to them. They see their job as being a “cheerleader” for students. 

“The aim of this job is to be in everybody’s corner,” McCuaig said on running to be AMS president. “I want to learn; I want to find my gaps. I want to challenge those gaps and see where I can improve as a student leader.”

Team KMV is committed to representing the voices of all the faculties, especially important given they are all Arts and Science students. 

All Team KMV members gained experience working across student teams during their roles as Orientation Week executives.  

“We’re always looking to develop inter-faculty relationships,” Mills said.

Team ETC asked Team KMV where they see themselves facing challenges in these executive roles.

“I trust these women implicitly to make decisions and [face] hard challenges and to bring calm under pressures,” McCuaig said.


Candidates for team TBD include Thomas Crawford, ArtSci ’23, for president, Ben Bertin, ArtSci ’23, for vice-president (operations), and Dante Caloia, ArtSci ’23, for vice-president (university affairs). The ratified team plans to reinvigorate a sense of community among Queen’s students.

Unity is the guiding principle for team TBD.

“After COVID-19, a lot of stuff happened—we’ve lost a lost sense of our community at Queen’s, and we need to find a way to bring us together,” Crawford said.  

Bertin said, if elected, team TBD would host informal luncheons for all AMS management.

To increase connectedness, Caloia claims a focus on clubs is key.

“I really want to equalize all the clubs at Queen’s,” Caloia said. “I feel like there’s certain clubs that get focused on by not necessarily the AMS, but the University, and there’s other clubs that get kind of just left on the backburner.” 

When asked about their EDII-A platform, Team TBD acknowledged their personal biases.

“It’s not a secret to anyone in this room that we are three men, and we are not people of colour either,” Bertin said. “[That] is why we are talking to as many people as we can to gain as many perspectives as we can.” 

Team TBD plans to leverage their lack of experience with student governance to bring a fresh perspective to the AMS. 

“I think that we’ll have a better kind of neutral approach about what’s great and what else needs to be fixed because it’s not all perfect,” Caloia said.

Team TBD proceeded to leave AMS Assembly immediately after they were ratified. 

In Other News

Reem Al-Rawi is running for undergraduate trustee uncontested. Al-Rawi’s strategy to being a successful undergraduate trustee is to build relationships with university and student leaders. 

“I’m going to get to work hands on with students to work on the issues that mean most to them,” Al-Rawi said.

The AMS discussed the merit of minimum course requirements for AMS executives and the ethical issues of AMS executives running in teams.

Assembly addressed the barriers Queen’s online students face when accessing AMS services. A representative for online students said online students are advocating for an opt-in option for the AMS membership fee.

AMS Vice-President (Operations) Tina Hu moderated a discussion on the accessibility of menstruation products on campus.

AMS members agreed the “take-one-leave-one” initiative for menstrual products was more “take one” and less “leave one.”

Eight clubs secured their place on the fee referendum ballot this winter after passing at AMS Assembly. 

The AMS Food Bank, Qapsule, Queen’s Musical Theatre (QMT), Queen’s Chess, Queen’s Correctional Services Volunteers (QCSV), Exhibit Change, Queen’s Project Sunshine, and Queen’s Hellenic Student’s Association will all appear on the student ballot.


AMS, AMS Assembly, Election, Elections2023, ERA, Executive, KMV, TBD

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