AMS witholds funds from admin

Last night AMS assembly passed a motion to reallocate the $10.6 million originally collected to go towards Queen's Centre Phases 2 and 3 to the Queen's Centre project.
Last night AMS assembly passed a motion to reallocate the $10.6 million originally collected to go towards Queen's Centre Phases 2 and 3 to the Queen's Centre project.
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The AMS won’t be contributing $25.5 million towards the Queen’s Centre because two phases have been “postponed indefinitely,” says AMS President Morgan Campbell.

Instead, $10.6 million of collected student fees have been allocated to go towards the current phase of the Queen’s Centre. From this, $1.2 million of those funds will go towards a rejuvenation and restoration project on the JDUC.

“It’s a reality that Phase 2 and Phase 3 are not going to be constructed and so we had to find a resolution to be able to move forward,” Campbell, ArtSci ’11 said.

The decision was passed last night at AMS assembly.

The three phases of the Queen’s Centre were previously set to be completed by 2015 before the administration put Phase 2 and 3 on hold due to funding constraints.

“The University will be making an announcement that Phase 2 and 3 will not be happening,” Campbell said. “Phase 2 and Phase 3 are put on hold indefinitely and to be honest probably canceled.” Queen’s administration officials were unavailable for comment on Thursday.

In March 2005, AMS assembly motioned to contribute $25.5 million of AMS student fees to the three stages of the Queen’s Centre. A student fee of $70.50 was put in place in 2005 to begin collecting the proposed $25.5 million. It doubled to $141 when the ARC opened in 2009.

Campbell said this student fee will be defunct in the following year because Phases 2 and 3 won’t be completed.

“The VP Operations will be declaring the fee ineligible because the originally stated purpose of the fee collection is no longer in existence,” she said.

Phases 2 and 3 were initially focused on improving spaces in Stauffer Library with a new central help IT desk, the implementation of an electronic classroom and more group study rooms, as well as an on-campus field house and arena.

Due to a stall on Queen’s Centre construction, In 2009, AMS assembly passed a motion to withhold the funds until the University resumed construction.

Campbell said withholding the funds was meant to encourage the University to continue construction.

“In 2009 we passed an apportionment motion … we wanted a certain amount of [the funding] to go to the arena, a certain amount to go to the field house ... elements that we obviously do not see right now on campus,” Campbell said. “The idea behind that was to try and incentivize the construction of those elements in a certain priority list.”

In March 2011, the Board of Trustees passed a motion to allow full AMS management of the Student Life Centre, contingent upon the AMS resuming the Queen’s Centre payment to the University.

A similar motion was passed last month by the Board of Trustees to find a resolution to the capital contribution situation.

“[The motion] was to find a resolution regarding whether or not the management of the Student Life Centre was going to be continued,” Campbell said. “That was contingent on us finding resolution to this capital agreement.”

Campbell said this year’s AMS executives have begun the conversation, and it’s up to next year’s office to continue dialogue with the University.

“Our big goal was to get to this resolution,” Campbell said. “We’re going to let next year’s executive steer that next conversation and that will be an opportunity that they can take on and that will become their legacy.”

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