AMS teams gear up for election

This year’s executive needs improvement in management, communication, candidates say

Team WCW spends their last day on the campaign trail.
Team WCW spends their last day on the campaign trail.

This year’s executive fell short in terms of management and communication, the AMS executive candidates told the Journal’s editorial board Sunday.

WCW vice-president (university affairs) candidate Yanique Williams said CMM’s management and human resources skills are lacking, evident in the seven senior staff members they lost this year.

“The fact that they’ve lost so many managers, I’ve witnessed how their council, also, operates, [and] I think the leadership approach of the team isn’t the best at times. I don’t think they’ve managed their staff very well.”

ACH vice-president (operations) candidate Jay Collins also thinks CMM’s management was its greatest weakness.

“We’ve lost a manager every single month but one,” he said, adding that many managers began their jobs without knowing fully what they entailed. “That’s one area where this year’s exec has struggled, making sure the managers just like their jobs. Recruitment in the AMS is generally a big issue. … That needs to change.”

Since May, seven mangers have resigned: Media Services Director Jordie Friese, TAPS Human Resources Manager Sara Porisky, Journal Business Manager Edward Kim, Common Ground Assistant Manager (Facilities) Alex Morris, Common Ground Assistant Manager (Events and Marketing) Karen Moxley, Deputy Chief Student Constable Sheila Pardoe and TAMS Head Manager Hillary Smith.

Vice-President (Operations) John Manning told the Journal on Jan. 15 he thinks expectations for those positions should have been laid out more clearly.

“What really takes a toll on us and also on everybody else in the organization is when people take on a responsibility that ends up not working out for them.”

Collins said he thinks Manning should have been more visible around the services.

“You need to be in your services every single day, pretty much.”

Stephanie St. Clair, RWS vice-president (university affairs) candidate, said she’s disappointed with the executive’s lack of communication with students regarding the revamped code of conduct. A draft code of conduct was put up for public consultation last semester, and Senate will decide on a finalized version in March.

“As a student government it’s your responsibility to bring that information to the students, especially something like the code of conduct that affects every single student here at Queen’s,” she said, adding that she thinks AMS President Kingsley Chak’s summer e-mail informing students about the changes was insufficient.

The AMS election campaign ended yesterday.

Chief Returning Officer Joanna Adams said the commission of internal affairs received five official complaints but issued no sanctions. Adams and Chief Electoral Officer Connor Langford investigated team ACH’s spending and what time team RWS’s website was posted, but both complaints were overturned. Three complaints were filed about managers participating in campaigns, but no policy exists governing manager participation so all three were overturned.

ACH presidential candidate Holly Archer said her team should have rethought how they approached the extended hours in Stauffer and the PEC.

“We would have been a lot clearer by what we meant by ’24 hours’ … [and] took more time to explain this wasn’t 24/7, seven days a week,” she said. “There was a lot of misunderstanding about that; we would have changed that.”

Yanique Williams said she wishes her team had started planning earlier. She was “very scared” when Allison Williams first approached her to run, she said.

If they had more time, Yanique Williams said, they could have developed their ideas and built momentum better.

Team WCW’s presidential candidate Allison Williams said her team’s long-term initiatives are both a strength and weakness. Several of her team’s plans, such as a diversity certificate, wouldn’t be completed during their term and would require strong transition to the next executive team if they would continue.

”We’re going to be laying the groundwork for a lot of things.”

She said the team’s approachability platform, in which they promised to hold a set number of office hours per week and be more proactive, might also be hard to follow through on.

St. Clair said RWS’s proposal to increase the number of farmers’ markets at the JDUC would be the hardest part of their platform to implement because they’re not sure if the JDUC will continue to subsidize its $300 fee next year.

St. Clair said the AMS could subsidize some of the cost of hosting the farmers’ market, but would need to know how much it would cost to do so.

JDUC Director Bob Burge said he and the AMS and SGPS presidents decide on the fee to rent space in the JDUC each year. This year, the fee was reduced by 50 per cent for the farmer’s market. The fee was waived completely the previous year, Burge said, because they wanted to see what kind of reception the market would get before deciding to continue.

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