ACH to bridge ‘disconnect’

Diverse experiences led to team’s cohesiveness, running-mates say

Archer, Collins and Howard hope to bring what they’ve learned on and off campus to the AMS.
Archer, Collins and Howard hope to bring what they’ve learned on and off campus to the AMS.

Holly Archer, head manager of the P&CC and a fourth-year drama and English student, has only been involved with the AMS for two years but she doesn’t think that will hurt her campaign for AMS president. On the contrary, she believes her diverse experiences in those first two years at Queen’s make her an ideal fit for the job.

She exhibited artwork to Exposure art show for three years, working mainly in acrylic and canvas and pen and ink. In her second and third year she worked on the Vogue Charity Fashion Show first as a model and then as a designer.

She is also classically trained vocalist and a duathlete.

“I’m interested in a variety of things,” she said. After two years, she decided to get involved in something completely different and applied for a job at the P&CC.

“I was a little hesitant because I didn’t know very much about it. I wasn’t very familiar with the AMS.” When her manager suggested she apply for the job this year, she went for it. She said she thinks her experience outside student politics will help her connect with students both inside and outside the AMS.

“Obviously, you’re trying to represent the student body and the more variety in what you’re involved in the better you’ll be able to represent students properly.”

Jay Collins, candidate for the vice-president (operations), has a similar take on the value of his experience. Despite having worked for the AMS all four of his years at Queen’s, Collins said he never really felt like a part of the AMS until this year while working as events and marketing manager for The AMS Pub Services (TAPS). He got involved in the Queen’s Entertainment Agency in first year and stuck with it until third year. He also worked as a bartender for TAPS last year.

Collins said he has always enjoyed being involved with the people around him.

“In high school I was pretty involved so coming to university I was definitely one of the students who wanted to jump in and get involved.” In first year, he said, his Gaels played a big part in encouraging him to participate in the community.

But despite being part of a large corporation, he said, he has always focused on committing himself to the individual service he worked for.

“I never really thought of them in terms of a whole but in terms of its services,” he said.

He said he thinks his ability to retain an “outsider’s perspective” on the organization will help him see both the internal and external side of student issues.

“I just saw myself as another student working at a job,” he said. “I never really saw myself as part of the AMS. I just worked for a service. I think because of that, I can bring in a lot of different opinions and perspectives.” He said he has known a lot of people who are critical of the AMS and he wants to use his perspective to bridge the gap between students and their representatives.

“Obviously there’s quite a bit of a disconnect.”

When asked what makes him unique, vice-president (university affairs) candidate Jeffrey Howard was quick to respond.

“My DNA would be the first thing,” he answered glibly. On a more serious note, he said he brings knowledge of the workings of the AMS. His desire to help others learn and take advantage of their student government make him a prime fit, he said.

Last year, when a friend of his was accused of academic dishonesty, Howard guided his friend through the appeal process, helping him understand the appeal process and the function of the Academic Affairs Commission.

It was in August that Howard and Archer first discussed running together, Howard said.

“There was a personality click.” He said they got to talking about the future of the AMS and discovered they shared a desire to stay involved and help other students get involved in student government by making sure a diverse range of student demographics are represented. The pair approached Jay in the fall, recognizing him as someone with similar goals. The team was solidified in October.

Howard said he was first exposed to student politics in first year when he attended Queen’s Model Parliament.

“I met all those people through QMP who I wouldn’t otherwise have met.” In second year, he got a job at Destinations.

Currently Destinations head manager, Howard also brings a variety of extracurricular experience to the race, including lifeguarding and teaching at the Queen’s pool. He said his passion for involvement and commitment to helping others get involved and navigate the system make him approachable to students.

“Everyone knows I like to fight the good fight.”

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

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.