Groups to be moved from Grey House

Three groups will be removed from their space in the Grey House, located on Bader Lane near Victoria Hall.

On Aug. 29, Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), Levana Gender Advocacy Centre and Education for Queer Issues Project (EQuIP) were informed that they would have to leave the Grey House by Sept. 30.

Kieran Slobodin, AMS vice-president of university affairs, said OPIRG and Levana are being removed from the space because they didn’t re-ratify as AMS clubs.

“They were given multiple warnings throughout the summer [as to] what re-ratification meant,” Slobodin, ArtSci ’12, said. “Part of that is entitlement to apply for space allocation.”

AMS clubs typically have to re-ratify each year by filling out a form that gets sent to the Clubs Manager.

“By not re-ratifying, they’re not eligible for AMS space because they’re not an AMS club,” he said.

EQuIP is a committee under the AMS Social Issues Commission (SIC). It has undergone name changes throughout the years but has existed in the Grey House for four decades.

“EQuIP is by policy an AMS committee and by policy, committees are supposed to be housed within AMS exclusive space and not AMS club space,” Slobodin said.

EQuIP will continue its operations out of the SIC office, but it’s unclear where OPIRG and Levana will go on Oct. 1. Kavita Bissoondial, OPIRG Kingston coordinator, said it was never made explicitly clear what not re-ratifying would mean for the group.

“We never said we’re not going to re-ratify … we said explicitly we need more time,” Bissoondial, ArtSci ’10, said. “That’s never really been respected or acknowledged or understood in these conversations.”

She said it’s not within her power alone to re-ratify as an AMS club.

“Our board operates on consensus, and I’m an employee of the organization,” she said. “I don’t make decisions on behalf of the organization.”

Right now, OPIRG is being pressured to re-ratify, Bissoondial said. There’s been hesitation about re-ratifying because OPRIG and the AMS don’t always see eye to eye, she said.

“A lot of it has to do with our historical relationship with the AMS and them not being very supportive and actually taking actions that are in opposition to our actions and goals and aims,” she said.

The groups will meet with the AMS today and will be given the chance to re-ratify as AMS clubs.

“I don’t think what they’re doing is ethical,” she said. “These things are explicit choices.” For a full story, see the Sept. 9 issue of the Journal.

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