AMS to write letter to Senate on fall reading week concerns

March 3 AMS Assembly Recap: AMS, SGPS clubs offices amalgamated, AMS executive authorized to lobby federal government

AMS Assembly voted to write a letter to a member of the Queen’s Senate regarding a fall reading week, and voted to amalgamate the AMS and SGPS clubs offices at their latest meeting on Thursday.

All motions passed, including authorization for the current AMS executive to lobby the federal government of Canada on issues facing students. They plan to lobby the government on international student issues and programs that affect the employment of new graduates, such as the Canada Jobs Grant and research programs.

The AMS executive plans to visit Ottawa at the end of March to lobby Members of Parliament and other officials in the federal government. According to statements by AMS President Kanivanan Chinniah at a previous AMS Assembly on Feb. 11, the AMS will be developing specific proposals in partnership with other university organizations. 

Creation of the Clubs Caucus

Jennifer Williams, ArtSci ’16, clubs manager, called for the creation of the Clubs Caucus. The caucus would allow clubs to come together once a month to discuss topics such as AMS policies and collaborate with one another.

Alex Wood, EngSoc vice president (student affairs), asked Williams how she plans to get clubs engaged in the caucus. In response, Williams said that most clubs are already on board with the idea.

Before voting, Williams said the motion would allow the AMS to move forward with the idea and that she would present policy ideas for the caucus at the next Assembly meeting.

The motion passed by Assembly with no opposition.

Amalgamation of the AMS Clubs Office and SGPS Clubs to form the Queen’s Clubs Office

Jennifer Williams, Vice President University Affairs Sarah Letersky, and Vice President Operations Kyle Beaudry presented a motion for the amalgamation of SGPS and AMS clubs under a united Queen’s Clubs Office. This would allow any student on campus to participate in any club.

Williams began the presentation, stating that through her work as Club Manager she’s witnessed considerable barriers between undergraduate and graduate students in regards to student clubs.

Letersky added that there are only 13 graduate student clubs, while there are 290 undergraduate clubs available. The creation of a clubs office for all students will allow any student on campus to participate in any club, regardless of its status as an AMS or SGPS club. 

Beaudry said the SGPS will contribute $20,000 in funding for grants, operating and overhead costs for the Queen’s Clubs Office.

The motion was passed by the Assembly with no opposition.

Fall Reading Week

Letersky proposed a motion to express concern with the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures’ current process for implementing a fall reading week.

The motion proposed to create a letter addressed to the Chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures, Senator Jordan Morelli. According to a report to the Assembly by AMS President Kanivanan Chinniah on March 3, the December survey by the AMS on the proposed fall reading week showed that students were “seriously divided.”

The report then stated that the “Executive does not believe that SCAP has met the threshold for meaningful consultation on this issue”.

The letter would express the concerns of the AMS regarding the University’s perceived lack of consultation with the Queen’s community. Letersky clarified that she doesn’t want to reject the fall reading week proposal, but rather that the letter would ask Senate to continue to ask for feedback from students.

Wood referred to a comment made by Chinniah outside of Assembly, where Chinniah had said that writing letters on behalf of AMS Assembly to Senate doesn’t typically work. Tyler Lively, the Academic Affairs Commissioner and incoming AMS president, responded by saying the letter will be “symbolic in nature”.

The motion was passed by Assembly with little opposition.

2016-17 AMS Hiring

The AMS ratified the following hires for the 2016-17 year:

  • Bianca Balazic, ArtSci ’17, Director of Communications
  • Logan Murray, ArtSci ’16, Head Student Constable
  • Ryan Pistorius, ArtSci ’18, Judicial Affairs Director
  • Miguel Martinez, Secretariat (The Journal was unable to verify his faculty and year, as his name was not listed in the AMS Assembly agenda or on the AMS website)

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