The Queen’s Rifle Team (QRT) is refunding membership fees this week after the AMS rescinded their club status six months after its inception.
The team had been ratified as an AMS club in June, however, concerns were raised that the club’s mandate could jeopardize the AMS based on its insurance policy, which lead to the team’s dissolution.
Clubs seeking ratification make an application to the AMS Clubs Manager, which are then brought to AMS Assembly through the Clubs Manager and the Commissioner of Internal Affairs.
The decision to rescind the team’s club status was made by Mira Dineen, AMS vice-president of university affairs, according to QRT representatives.
“I did not formally rescind the ratification of the Queen’s Rifle Team as I do not have the authority to do so,” Mira Dineen, AMS vice president of university affairs, told the Journal via email. “I informed the Queen’s Rifle Team that if the club did not voluntarily rescind ratification as an AMS club that I would need to bring forward a motion to AMS Assembly to formally rescind ratification.” After the Team requested funds from the AMS for guns, ammunition and membership fees, Dineen said she became concerned over the high-risk nature of the club.
It wasn’t until the Team requested space on campus for gun safety classes that the AMS became aware of a potential violation through Campus Security.
After being told the AMS could no longer affiliate themselves with the club, QRT was asked to seek ratification with Queen’s Athletics and Recreation.
“Athletics and Recreation agreed that it would make sense for the Queen’s Rifle Team to be considered an athletic club, given the comparison to the Queen’s Archery Team and given shooting is considered a sport internationally,” Mira Dineen, AMS vice president of university affairs, wrote in an email to the Queen’s Rifle Tem presidents.
However, Dineen, ArtSci ’11, also stated that the scheduled gun safety classes on campus would have contravened Queen’s Weapon Policy, which states that “no person while on property controlled or owned by Queen’s University, shall store or carry a weapon.”
Weapons listed include explosives, knives, BB guns, crossbows, longbows and martial arts weapons. Any potential misconduct could have compromised the AMS insurance policy, which the Team had been covered under prior to December, according to Dineen.
According to team representatives, the club had arranged separate insurance coverage from the Canadian Shooting Sports Association prior to proceeding with scheduled events.
Despite this, all affiliated clubs are covered under AMS insurance as per policy.
Athletics and Recreation wouldn’t insure the Team either.
“In a follow-up meeting, it became clear that the University through Athletics and Recreation would in no way support or insure the club because of its high-risk nature,” she said.
She said she plans to include the AMS General Manager and Queen’s Athletics and Recreation in future ratification processes to explain issues pertaining to insurance coverage and appropriate affiliation.
“It’s unfortunate because I want to make this better so it doesn’t happen again,” she added.
“We have annual turnover so that kind of slipped through the ratification process.”
Since the decision, the former team presidents are giving back $5,500 to 55 members for clubs fees intended to go toward space, rifles, firearm safes and insurance. None of the QRT membership fees had been used.
Jesse Waslowski, vice-president of the Queen’s Rifle Team, said it was difficult to understand the reasoning behind the decision.
“It doesn’t make all that much sense, to put it frankly,” Waslowski, ArtSci’ 13, said.
“There’s also the Queen’s Archery club which makes this kind of inconsistent, but beyond that, I don’t see how [it] goes against AMS policy.”
There are no plans for the club to continue on campus, he added.
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