Candidates talk AMS commissions

Team WRL looks to promote Housing Grievance Centre, Team SMH to promote clubs on campus

Both AMS executive teams have promised to make changes to commissions, with both addressing efficiency within the AMS.

Team WRL included a review of each AMS commission in their platform, and addressed areas for improvement. Team SMH focused primarily on improving the Campus Activities Commission.

SMH’s presidential candidate Scott Mason, ArtSci ‘14, said their Clubs Initiative would include increasing the number of hours that a clubs manager would work. Currently, clubs manager Clare Bekenn works 30 hours per week.

Clubs should receive more attention and support from the AMS, he added.

“People who would like to do something different from the AMS should receive the same type of treatment from their student government,” he said.

SMH plans to add portfolios such as an Event Planning Committee, and a Financial Advisory Committee, to the Commission of Internal Affairs (CIA) so they can better assist clubs, Mason said.

“We’d have a financial advisory committee, so these individuals would be available to clubs who want help budgeting or to handle their finances,” he said.

Those financial advisors would also inform clubs about the numerous club grants that the AMS offers, so that they can apply.

Previously, some clubs have been unaware as to what they can apply for, Mason said. He said a reallocation of funding would increase club grants.

“We want to evaluate all the club funds and grants, and re-allocate based on any surplus fund that would be there, into clubs,” he said.

Mason added that SMH plans to ensure that more students are aware of the location and hours of the Academic Grievance Centre (AGC), as the location has moved each year.

Mark Asfar, vice-president (operations) candidate for Team SMH, said clubs are a selling point of Queen’s, and require more than just volunteer committees.

“[Clubs] should be getting a salaried individual whose sole job is making clubs initiatives and ideals a reality,” Asfar, ArtSci ’14, said.

SMH said they would also reorganize the Campus Activities Commission (CAC).

The team would create a committee specifically for event- planning in order to make the CAC recreation and outreach portfolio more efficient, Hasina Daya, vice-president (university affairs) candidate, said.

Daya, ArtSci ’14, said some events, such as Capture the Faculty, a campus-wide interfaculty capture the flag game, weren’t advertised enough, and an additional committee would creative more efficiency.

Philip Lloyd, vice-president (university affairs) candidate for team WRL, agreed that some CAC events like Capture the Faculty had low turnout, and said he would look into improving or possibly replacing the events if they weren’t relevant to students.

He also said his team would start selling housing security equipment at the Housing Grievance Centre and promote the service to students and landlords. The Housing Grievance Centre is run by the Municipal Affairs Commission and is located in the JDUC.

Lloyd said the equipment would be sold at the lowest prices possible.

“We wouldn’t be looking to make a profit,” he said.

The equipment could include locks for bedrooms, frosted glass for doors, brighter porch lights and bars for low windows.

“We’d really want to promote this, particularly to first years,” he said.

According to Lloyd, the team would work with residence dons to promote the Housing Grievance Centre. “They could do a pit stop [during the Orientation Week campus tour] at the HGC, and then remind students when they are doing their search and moving in,” he said.

His team will also use the Commission of Internal Affairs to better inform AMS Assembly members and students-at-large, he said.

The commission would produce two or three page briefs on issues facing the AMS and universities across Ontario, Lloyd said. The topics could include teaching methods, student unemployment in Ontario and AMS budgeting, he added.

“In terms of the budget, that’s something that in my personal opinion a lot of people don’t know as well as they should, myself included,” he said.

The commission would also create promotional videos for Assembly to update students on motions being debated.

“For example, with fraternities and sororities last year, we’d say ‘we’ve been discussing this motion, here are the pros of it, here are the cons of it, we want to hear what you think,’” Lloyd said.

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