Student fees no joke to Golden Words

AMS held a meeting on Dec. 1 to address new student fee policy

Student groups and AMS members met to discuss the new definition for mandatory student fees passed by Assembly.
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When Kyle Beaudry arrived at a meeting on mandatory student fees, a crowd was waiting for him.

Although the Dec. 1 meeting was slated for the AMS boardroom, an impassioned group of over 25 Golden Words writers, editors and managers forced the AMS to hold it in the much larger Wallace Hall. 

“I wasn’t expecting this kind of turnout,” Beaudry, AMS vice president (operations), said with a laugh as the group moved upstairs. 

To begin, Beaudry re-explained the events of the Nov. 19 AMS Assembly, where a motion concerning mandatory student fees was passed. 

Beaudry said the motion established a new definition for student groups seeking a mandatory student fee. Groups applying for mandatory fees must now fulfill new criteria that designates them as essential to student life.

The motion included sanctions to keep charity student fees as opt-out to reflect student choice and increase the budget transparency of any group seeking a fee or an increase.

To qualify as essential, a club must satisfy certain criteria, which can include having its own accountability mechanisms for proper management.  

A club can qualify for this if they have “extensive oversight” from student representatives. For example, the Walkhome student fee will be reviewed each year by the AMS Board of Directors, the board that reviews all AMS financial matters. 

Another possible requirement satisfier is a contribution to a university-run student service or a capital project. For these, Beaudry said, “we can’t even review it because the service can’t crumble away and fall apart”. 

This would include a project like the revitalization projects for parts of the university, such as the John Deutsch University Centre, which involve continual work over a number of years. 

 

This Friday, November 27th and Tuesday, December 1st the AMS will be hosting discussions on student activity fee policy review. If you are interested in attending please contact vpops@ams.queensu.ca.

Posted by Alma Mater Society on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

 

“We must be able to show [students] that, either directly or indirectly, the benefit is going to go to them,” he said at the meeting.

For the groups present at the meeting — including student radio station CFRC 101.9 FM and Golden Words — there were worries that the change in definition could jeopardize their mandatory fees. 

In response, student representatives from each group made a case to Beaudry that their services qualify as essential and critical services for students on campus.

The discussion began with the testimonies of representatives from CFRC 101.9 FM. 

Max Garcia, ArtSci ’17, began volunteering at CFRC two-and-a-half years ago, taking over a seven-year-old radio show that had been started by his older brother. 

“We’re the world’s — not Canada’s — oldest campus community radio station,” he said. He added that they have 290 current volunteers, 90 programs and 24/7 worldwide broadcasting. 

He said CFRC gives an opportunity for students to explore a variety of aspects of broadcasting. 

These opportunities include on-site interviews, sport reporting, PSA production, IT and technology services, music archiving, and DJing for campus events such as Orientation Week, he said.

Lauren Craik, ArtSci ’17, a representative from Queen’s International Affairs Association (QIAA), added that the radio station was extremely beneficial in terms of bolstering the reputation of Queen’s and student club life. QIAA hosts a show called Right of Reply through the radio service.  

“Clubs already have to scrape up for resources sometimes, and having a resource like CFRC so readily available is important for fostering that diversity in Queen’s clubs,” she said.

“We’ve actually brought in speakers to Queen’s because they’ve heard of us through our show on CFRC.” 

After several testimonies on the importance of the radio station, including discussions of CFRC’s role in town-gown relations, Beaudry opened the floor to Golden Words

Golden Words Editor Sam Codrington, Sci ’17, began by establishing a difference between the role of Golden Words and the role of The Queen’s Journal

“Whereas they report on fact-based news, we’re very much more a satirical newspaper and a humor outlet,” he said. 

Golden Words has the ability to “put out pieces that are more opinionated and more voiced,” than other outlets, Codrington said.

He added that Golden Words reaches far beyond the Engineering faculty, including students from a wide variety of faculties, and is distributed all across campus. 

Alex Shieck, Sci ’15, said Golden Words is an asset for first-year students during the difficult transition to university life. 

“[First year at Queen’s] is a big adjustment. For some people, coming to university can be a scary place,” he said. 

He said Golden Words is a lighthearted outlet for connecting with other first-year students and a way to feel included in the Queen’s community. 

“It’s something that I find can make people feel a lot more comfortable. It lets them see the other side of the university. As all the clubs here show, we’re not just here for academics. There’s something apart from that.”

Sam Dutcyvich, Sci ’17, agreed.

“I came from a really small community. I didn’t know anybody else at Queen’s when I came into first year. Every Wednesday there was a new Golden Words article, and it made it really easy to talk to the person beside you.”

The discussion, which ran almost two hours in length, will be condensed by Beaudry and presented to the AMS Assembly on Dec. 3. 

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