New AMS council ready to ‘make it happen’

James Macmillan, AMS president-elect, toasts the new AMS Council on Sunday night at the QP.
James Macmillan, AMS president-elect, toasts the new AMS Council on Sunday night at the QP.

Team MBT continued to “make it happen” this past weekend when they announced the council members who will staff next year’s AMS.

The AMS council consists of five commissioners and three directors who operate different aspects of the AMS’s student services.

James Macmillan, AMS president-elect, said hiring council members was challenging.

“We have a wide range of people [on council],” he said. “We were lucky to have a strong applicant pool.”

The council will include Dan Jacob as media and volunteer director, Ryan Quinlan Keech as municipal affairs commissioner, John Manning as food and safety director, Stephanie Ramsden as internal affairs commissioner, Hillary Smith as campus activities commissioner, Charles Sumbler as academic affairs commissioner, Allison Williams as social issues commissioner and Bill York as student services director.

Ethan Rabidoux, outgoing AMS president, said the MBT council has something unique: a member—Williams—who will only be in second year while being a commissioner.

“They have a youthful, dynamic administration,” he said. “They have a first-year, I don’t know if that’s ever been done before.”

Williams, ArtSci ’09, and this year’s social issues commission intern, said she is aware of the skepticism some people may have about her level of experience.

“It is slightly intimidating,” she said. “I think it will inspire me to work that much harder, to push me to prove myself.”

Williams said she is interested in raising the profile of the social issues commission and making students aware of its work.

Keech, who is currently the deputy commissioner for municipal affairs, said he ready to take on the challenges that will face his commission next year, including continuing to implement the Golden Cockroach award, promoting the upcoming municipal election and working towards solutions to past years’ problems associated with Homecoming weekend.

“Homecoming is going to be big,” he said. “I want to work together with the city for a viable solution.”

Keech filled in as MAC commissioner earlier this term when Naomi Lutes, went on leave to run for AMS executive.

Ramsden, the incoming internal affairs commissioner, said she will draw on the self-motivation and initiative she developed as operations manager for the ASUS jackets committee, as well as from her membership on ASUS Judicial Committee and the editorial board for the ASUS Undergraduate Review. She said she aims to enhance and better promote the different aspects of the internal affairs commission.

“[I want to] make sure there’s awareness with the CIA,” she said. “Awareness of clubs, of the clubs manual, awareness of the [AMS] campaigns.”

Smith, incoming campus activities commissioner and current MCRC VP (Society Affairs), said she is aware of the troubles the commission has faced this year, but that she has “big shoes to fill” and is ready for the challenge, including dealing with the Leonard ice rink.

“I’m looking forward to working with this council to get everything done they set out to do,” she said.

Sumbler, incoming academic affairs commissioner, said he wants to make sure the commission is looking forward, not just reacting, to decisions such as the tuition framework.

“A big focus at the AAC this year is that we examine our responses for issues going forward … working with all the stakeholders at Queen’s to ensure the student voice is heard,” he said.

Sumbler has prior experience with the academic affairs commission: he was the deputy commissioner in 2004-05 under then-commissioner Omar Kadrie. While deputy, Sumbler helped oversee the AMS’s analysis of and contributions to the Rae Review.

In addition to the five commissioners, the council also includes three directors, who have had their portfolios shuffled, said Ian Black, AMS VP (Operations)-elect.

“It was a decision made by last year’s executive, but it makes a lot of sense,” he said.

Jenn Hirano, outgoing AMS VP (Operations), said the main change was to combine all the media and volunteer-based services together, since they have different issues than paid staff, including volunteer management and honoraria.

Jacob, incoming media and volunteer director and this year’s advancement and development officer, said his portfolio will include the Journal, CFRC, Studio Q, the Food Bank, Yearbook and Convocations Service and the Queen’s Entertainment Agency.

“I would love to see Studio Q get their video production more developed,” he said. “I am so much an entrepreneur at heart and [I enjoy] developing untapped potential.”

Manning will be taking over the food and safety portfolio, which will include TAPS, StuCons, Walkhome and Common Ground, similar to the portfolio held by current food and entertainment director Julie Hirst.

Manning, who is the chair of the Earth Centre committee of the social issues commission, said he will be addressing the All Ages Access program, which was suspended in December.

York, who is currently marketing and merchandising manager of the Tricolour Market and will be taking on the portfolio of the student services director—which includes the Tricolour Market, Green Room, Destinations, and the P&CC—said he will be picking up from where current student services director Ashik Bhat leaves off.

“[We will be] seeing if we can do used books here, and pushing to see if we can differentiate the Tricolour Market and Green Room,” he said.

VP (University Affairs)-elect Meghan Teuber said she feels good about the new council.

“It’s going to be an awesome year,” she said. “We are really coming together as a team.”

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