Darts & laurels 2013-14

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Darts

Men’s Issues group poisons debate: If the Men’s Issues Awareness Society hoped to foster intellectual dialogue on gender issues, they failed. The speaker MIAS invited, Janice Fiamengo, misrepresented feminism and only served to polarize debate and inflame tensions.

The Underground rebrand: The Underground rebrand has failed. The AMS didn’t consult students, only introducing a student survey after changes were made. It’s unclear why the AMS thought a superficial rebrand would be effective when one had already been attempted the year before.

Men’s rugby team of the year snub: A five-person panel voted to give men’s rugby the Jim Tait Trophy for varsity team of the year, but Queen’s Athletics then struck a new panel, naming women’s rugby the winner. Despite their claims, Athletics hasn’t been transparent about why this happened.

Low turnout for Fall Referendum: The miserable 16 per cent turnout for the Fall Referendum speaks to a lazy and apathetic campus. Worthwhile publications missed out on a fee, meaning that Queen’s students won’t get the most out of their extracurricular activities. The AMS, the student body and the clubs should do more to promote student involvement.

Queen’s plan to pay the City of Kingston for Homecoming costs: Queen’s administration set a bad precedent when they agreed to cover Homecoming policing costs. This decision was made in the aftermath of a comparatively tame weekend, making it all the more bizarre.

Union Gallery loses fee: Fine Arts students consistently get the short end of the stick at Queen’s. The Union Gallery’s reduced budget means that Queen’s most creative will have fewer opportunities to display their work. It’s a shame most students don’t see the potential in this institution.

Queen’s professor receives hateful threats: In July, Queen’s history professor Karen Dubinsky and her partner received a letter threatening them with violence simply because they are a gay couple. What happened next put the cowards who sent the letter to shame: Kingston’s gay community and their allies rallied around the couple and restored our faith in humanity.

Kingston’s two-bit Mayor: Mark Gerretsen’s social media missteps include false assertions about student apathy and outright sexism. Gerretsen’s “not good” commentary was unnecessary. Kingston’s mayor doesn’t mind alienating students as long as it makes for good politics.

Long winter of our discontent: This year’s winter was compounded by the City of Kingston’s halting attempts to keep streets clear. Queen’s was similarly negligent as campus walkways remained treacherous for too long. These conditions are genuine threats to students with disabilities.

Increasing enrolment: Queen’s students should be wary about increases in enrolment. It’s not clear the administration is handling the coming influx with the interests of students in mind.

Laurels

Student media wins at the Annual General Meeting (AGM): The Journal, Queen’s TV and CFRC each won fee votes at AGM. The drawn-out evening was a victory for the student experience.

Scott Mason’s reaction to his alleged identity theft: Scott Mason reacted admirably when his name was dragged through the mud during AMS elections. It’s a shame that students have to deal with these dirty tactics; they only turn people off student politics. Those responsible should be ashamed.

Our beloved Rector: Nick Francis made the Rector position relevant to students and brought a sense of professionalism that was necessary after the Nick Day chaos. His approachability and focus on mental health endeared him to students. Mike Young has big shoes to fill.

$10 million promised for Richardson Stadium: Funding for Richardson Stadium was necessary. Queen’s football is a central part of our tradition and this investment will carry the program into the future. Some more wealthy alumni need to step up and help build a hockey arena.

Homecoming 2013: This year’s Homecoming went off with few hitches, despite the protestations of Kingston’s Mayor. The football game was the most exciting of the year and saw the Gaels eke out a thrilling overtime win. The weekend was capped off with another team effort as students cleaned Aberdeen St. from top to bottom on Sunday morning.

Ontario Municipal Board appeal: The City of Kingston’s dastardly attempt to discount students from census data and rob them of representation in municipal government was thwarted by the efforts of the AMS, the SGPS, the Sydenham District Association and Kevin Wiener. Student leadership put their necks on the line for their constituents and demonstrated that political apathy is foolhardy.

New Indigenous Studies minor: The new minor is a timely addition. First Nations people are determined to have their voices heard and conscientious educational institutions should equip students to understand contemporary issues.

PSAC’s victory: Queen’s post-doctoral fellows and those who organize them should give themselves a pat on the back. Post-docs deserved more compensation and benefits and we can count on the union’s leadership to advocate for its members.

The AMS Commission of the Environment & Sustainability’s (CES) efforts to green campus: The CES has undertaken many worthwhile initiatives this year. From tree planting and composting to organizing lectures and discussions, the commission has done its part to inform students and keep our university sustainable.

Sodexo staff: Queen’s has some of the best food options of any Canadian university and we are privileged to interact with the hard-working people who keep our bellies full. Rumors about “prison food” should cease; they stigmatize Sodexo staff.

- Journal Editorial Board

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