AMS Assembly kicked off fall semester with discussions around elections and budget approvals.
The AMS and faculty societies met in-person in Mitchell Hall for the first AMS Assembly on Sept. 19. Members updated Assembly on their activities over the summer, reviewed budgets and elected an Assembly speaker.
All motions passed unanimously, including the debated AMS Recognition Policy. All commission budgets were reviewed and approved.
Following a land acknowledgement and the announcement of the beginning of Consent Awareness Week, Assembly elected Sean Lee, ConEd ’26, as speaker over Kai Siallagan, ArtSci ’24, who emphasised his commitment to fostering an inclusive environment at Assembly.
“I want to make people feel comfortable speaking even if it gets tense. I want people to feel comfortable raising their voices,” Lee said.
Rector Owen Crawford-Lem informed Assembly students caught with open liquor will now be issued a Part I Court Summons, requiring them to show face in court, despite the conclusion of the University District Safety Initiative on Sept. 10.
Recognition Policy for Student Consultants
The AMS is requiring students sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) as part of a new policy.
The proposed “Recognition Policy” is designed to compensate students who volunteer their time consulting with the AMS, specifically on equity topics. The goal of the policy is to reduce the burden experienced by equity-deserving students at Queen’s, contributing to equity work for the AMS.
The policy passed unanimously and will go into effect on Oct. 1 after being reviewed by the AMS’ controller and Human Resource Officer.
Victoria Mills, vice-president (university affairs), expressed her excitement about the policy given its five-year-long journey.
“[The policy] was worked on by our predecessors but it was never successful,” Mills said. “We’re incredibly excited to recognize and amplify equity-seeking students’ voices.”
As part of the consultation process, student consultants will be required to sign an NDA, requiring information about the consultation process isn’t disclosed to anyone.
Amaiya Walters, president of the Arts and Science Society (ASUS), raised concerns about the NDAs, citing student consultants are often representatives of equity-deserving student groups and need to discuss the topics of the consultation with their communities.
She emphasised equity-seeking students not only feel stressed about committing to a legally binding contract, but desire the chance to share important discussions about marginalized individuals with their community.
“When something happens in the community, people want to go [to] their community and tell them,” Walters said during Assembly.
Ruth Osunde, AMS social issues commissioner (internal), reiterated the policy is still in its infancy and may undergo changes in the future.
“The goal of the NDA isn’t to make students feel they’re signing a legal document,” Osunde said.
“We do aim to have transparency at the AMS so the goal [of the NDA] is not to keep [discussions] hidden. It’s to make sure whatever is going out to the student body is factually correct.”
Osunde and Mills promised to take into account the points raised by Walters, but the document will remain unchanged in its current form.
Accessibility Concerns for Event Sanctioning
Students have raised concerns about the AMS’ event sanctioning form and process.
Simarjeet Singh, ArtSci ’26, expressed the long, online, event approval form assumes students planning events are able-bodied and primarily English speakers. Singh explained one of his friends with carpal tunnel syndrome wasn’t able to fill out the online form, forcing him to cancel his event.
Singh encouraged the AMS to adopt a more collaborative approach when it comes to event planning, suggesting providing a paper-copy option, implementing a progress tracker to indicate students’ form completion status, and permitting students to endorse the form using their initials or Student ID.
“I hope the AMS can find solutions to create a more inclusive and accessible campus,” Singh said at Assembly.
Callum Fraser, AMS campus affairs commissioner, reiterated most changes made to the online event form were based on student feedback. Fraser is in discussions with FormStack, the platform servicing the online event form, to improve its accessibility.
The AMS’ extensive event sanctioning process is designed to mitigate legal risks. Students are required to complete and electronically sign an online form describing their event, after which they receive authorization, according to Fraser.
Mills expressed her concern about the barriers imposed by the online form.
“We understand there are diverse needs with [the form] and we’re absolutely committed to working with you,” Mills said.
Ratification of the Judicial Affairs Office Positions
Assembly ratified six positions within the Judicial Affairs Office, led by Sylvie Garabedian, the recently ratified Judicial Affairs Manager.
“The biggest thing in the office is looking at educational campaigns. educating students, so they know why it’s important to behave as responsible citizens in the community,” Garabedian said at Assembly. “The second part of it is restorative justice […] and it gives students a second chance.”
Assembly ratified Oluwamisimi Oluwole as the Judicial Committee Chair; Amin Nazari, Thomas Casola, and Bipan Dhillon as judicial affairs deputies, and Aastha Vaidhya as the Judicial Affairs Clerk.
All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.