AMS fall referendum statements

AIESEC

AIESEC Queen’s is a local chapter of AIESEC, the world’s largest student-run organization, and an international platform for youth to discover and develop their potential.  AIESEC Queen’s members have the opportunity to become involved in our innovative development process, which includes unmatched leadership experiences and global internships.  AIESEC Queen’s has been in Kingston since 1968, and develops the leadership skills and cultural understanding of students in higher education at Queen’s University and in Kingston.

Chat

The Chat Program strives to promote visible multilingualism and diversity on campus and in the greater community using free colour-coded language buttons. These buttons enable participants to display languages they know or want to practice, teach, or learn. The button program currently features 23 languages and will be adding 3 more this year. We will continue to add new languages to the collection in order to represent the diverse society we live in, break down communication barriers and create a positive environment for the learning and sharing of languages.

In addition to the button program, Chat strives to create opportunities for students to learn languages on campus. Opportunities include free language classes run by volunteers, a buddy program and conversation groups. These initiatives are made possible only by the enthusiasm of participants and the funding received from opt-outable fees. We are asking for your support to continue the Chat Program’s $0.65 opt-outable fee. We hope to maintain our program and keep Chat buttons and initiatives free for students and the community.

The Earth Centre

What It Is:
The Earth Centre is a student-run, not-for-profit AMS club that strives to educate Queen’s students and Kingston community members alike about the value of sustainable living. The centre functions both as a store and resource centre on the Queen’s campus. It is run by a dedicated eight-member executive committee and is completely staffed by student volunteers.

The goal of the Earth Centre is to offer students an opportunity to transform their environmental concern into positive action through responsible consumerism and innovative discussion. The Earth Centre is a place that encourages students to engage in a positive dialogue about the environment through exposure to new information and opinions on environmental topics. The products the Earth Centre carries offer a more sustainable, responsible alternative to students’ consumer needs.

Goals of The Earth Centre:
The Earth Centre sells environmentally friendlier alternatives to common products, such as household cleaning products, personal hygiene goods, recycled paper products and organic cotton shirts. All products are sold at-cost. Our products are made with natural ingredients (no synthetic chemicals or dyes) that are biodegradable, not animal tested and/or vegan, recyclable or made of post-consumer recycled materials and, when possible, organic. The Earth Centre also contains a growing resource library of books, periodicals, and videos available for public use. Additionally, The Earth Centre regularly organizes initiatives aimed at improving environmental awareness on campus and in the Kingston community.

The Empress

Founded in 1993, The Empress is the only bilingual publication at Queen’s University. The quarterly magazine aims to promote Chinese & Asian culture in the Queen’s community as well as serving as an information forum for Asian students on campus. The magazine has enjoyed a long history of 15 years of publication and is an integral part of cultural diversity at Queen’s. In the past, opt-out student fees have helped subsidize the expenses of printing the publication in addition to sponsorship and fundraising efforts by the executive committee. This opt-out fee of $0.25 is necessary for the Empress to be able to continue providing this magazine to students of the Queen’s community free of charge.

Free the Children

Queen’s Free the Children (QFTC) is a brand new chapter of Free the Children, a Canadian charity founded by Craig Kielburger that has become world renowned for working towards breaking the cycle of child poverty through education.  QFTC’s primary goal is to fundraise the cost of building schools and community infrastructure projects through Free the Children’s Adopt a Village Program. 

QFTC is currently working towards the goal of fundraising the cost of building a school in the Kenyan village of Salabwek in the Massai Mara. 

More than 120 million children around the world are denied the basic right to an education—the key to ending extreme poverty and hunger. Education ensures that children learn valuable skills that help them grow, protect themselves from disease, earn a better living and understand their rights to ensure they’re never exploited. But in many areas, schools simply don’t exist or are in no condition for teaching and learning and this is where QFTC wants to make change. 

By fundraising to build schools with Free the Children, Queen’s students are empowering Kenyan youth to break the cycle of poverty. 

Powered by Youth in Action Groups like QFTC, Free the Children has built over 500 schools in over 45 countries and has reached over 1 million youth through its North American youth empowerment programs. QFTC follows Free the Children’s holistic development model which encompasses both international development and youth empowerment programs by initiating local campaigns such as Halloween for Hunger, to collect canned goods for Kingston food banks and the Vow of Silence which raises awareness for youth around the world who are not fortunate enough to have a voice to have their opinions and ideas heard. 

Lighthouse Wire Magazine

Lighthouse Wire Magazine is not about lighthouses or wires; it’s about the visual arts. For over seven years it has passionately maintained a tradition of promoting the visual arts to the Queen’s community. Acting as an annual publication dedicated to the exposure of the visual arts, it features contemporary artwork in a variety of medias, as well as art related content from sources such as: Queen’s University, the Kingston community, nationally, and abroad. It is the only publication on campus dedicated entirely to visual arts, offering an excellent platform for upcoming artists and current students to show their work. It also allows those who may not be familiar with visual arts to be exposed and learn more. The magazine would not be possible without the support of the AMS and the AMS opt out fee of $0.75. By paying this small fee you are not only supporting Lighthouse Wire Magazine, you are supporting the arts community at Queen’s.

Living Energy Lab

Living Energy Lab (LEL) is a design team focused on reducing energy consumption in homes. Students from engineering, commerce and environmental sciences work each year on projects varying from a dual-flush toilet retrofit to heat loss characterization in homes to appliance load reduction. Currently, LEL is working in partnership with the AMS Sustainability office on Greenovations, a project where we measure the effects of specific ways of reducing energy consumption in student homes, such as putting plastic over glass on windows or vacuuming coils on the back of your refrigerator. LEL is also working with the Tea Room on a compost heat recovery project, to see if it is possible to use heat generated by their vermin-composters to generate electricity. With the data gathered in LEL’s tests, LEL does community outreach programs with local schools and at Queen’s, to show how to save energy, and therefore money, on your utility bills! The mission of LEL is to quantitatively assess energy conservation ideas for homes, and use that information to educate the community.

Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish Queen’s is a student volunteer sub-chapter of Make-A-Wish Canada, and operates under the umbrella of Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario, one of eight chapters across the country. In 2009, we began with the purpose of improving the quality of life for local children with life-threatening illnesses, and became the first wish-granting group based in Kingston. We are the first 100% student run sub-chapter of Make-A-Wish in Eastern Ontario, and one of the first student groups in Canada responsible for the entire wish granting process from fundraising to wish fulfillment.

Make-A-Wish Queen’s is a part of the largest not-for-profit wish-granting organization in the world, but we are committed to helping our own Kingston community discover and share the power of a wish. Wish granting has a tremendous ability to restore hope for a sick child, and can also have immense resonating effects on his/her health. This make wishes truly magical for our wish kids, and their friends and family who fight their illnesses alongside them.

The optional student activity fee of $1.00, subject to individual opt-out, would aid in providing Make-A-Wish Queen’s with financial stability as we pursue our goals. The primary goal for our student organization, set in collaboration with the Eastern Ontario chapter, is to financially and logistically support all of the Kingston area wishes. Each wish, on average, costs approximately $7,000, justifying our selection of a $1.00 fee. Our goals are ambitious, but with the help of the Queen’s student population, we can make them a reality and have a powerful impact on local children with life-threatening illnesses and Kingston at large. Queen’s Mostly Autonomous Sailboat Team (M.A.S.T.) is a unique undergraduate student team that designs and constructs robotic sailing vessels for competition at an international level. During the competition the boat steers, hoists and trims the sails based on wind, GPS and water speed measurements without human intervention. M.A.S.T. has represented both Queen’s and Canada at international conferences and competitions where they have earned many awards for their performance. With over 50 participating members, M.A.S.T. is one of the biggest and most active design teams on campus. Students from all faculties and years are welcome to join and require no previous experience.

Mostly Autonomouse Mostly Autonomous Sailboat Team

M.A.S.T. is the only educational initiative on campus that teaches marine architecture and one of the few teams that focuses on systems engineering. Members are also exposed to real-world problems, hands-on construction and project management experience, which are instrumental in finding employment after graduation. Some of the beneficial applications of the technology M.A.S.T. develops include alternatives to large-scale oceanographic research vessels, handicapped sailor assistance, sailor training, sailing safety, ocean surveillance and carbon emission-neutral transportation.

M.A.S.T. is asking to establish an optional $0.50 fee that is subject to individual opt-out. Your support will help M.A.S.T. continue to be successful and allow them to represent Queen’s internationally. Allocated funds will be used for materials, software, transportation to competitions and building equipment.

Queen's Backing Action on Climate Change

Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change (QBACC) is the only student run environmental- activist group on campus that works directly with the Queen’s administration in order to develop and implement more sustainable policies on Queen’s campus. We believe that large-scale political action and policy changes are the most effective way to go about reducing the university’s carbon footprint, ultimately putting Queen’s where is should be – a showcase for sustainability. Our group differs both in organization and goals from other environmental groups at Queen’s. The scope if this group is larger than most other groups since we have a very large membership and executive committee.

 Global climate change and environmental degradation are THE challenges of our generation. Our actions now will define the future of every generation. Our goal is to help Queen’s and Kingston to become part of the growing movement of cities and educational institutions across the world who are beginning to engage with this problem. Our hope is not only to bring about change through our actions but to demonstrate that the change needed can and must come from students and concerned individuals. We hope to empower students beyond feeling that environmentalism is about recycling or buying eco, or turning of lights.

 Through political actions we hope to send a clear message to the government of Canada that Canadians are demanding action and that our current policies (the world in the developed world) are not only embarrassing but if not reversed could derail international negotiations.

QBACC is always accepting new members – those students, faculty and staff who are frustrated with the sense of feeling helpless in the fight against climate change. If you are interested please email us at queensbacc@gmail.com.

Please see Tuesday’s paper for more fall referendum statements. Voting takes place on Oct. 27 and 28.

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