AMS Assembly addresses TAPS debacle & workplace harassment

Student leaders convene for first official meeting of the year

AMS Assembly on Sept. 22 included ratification of new positions and a discussion of the TAPS situation. 

“Dave, Carolyn, and I have learned more about ourselves these last few weeks than we did all summer,” AMS President Tyler Lively said, kicking off this year’s first AMS Assembly on Thursday evening.

Following this introduction, he began to address the recent circumstances around the AMS Pub Service (TAPS), and a scavenger hunt later labelled by VP (Operations) Dave Walker as hazing.

“It is a burning injustice that these activities have gone on for so long and they are dissuading students from getting involved,” Lively said.

Lively went on to note that what makes Queen’s special is its student involvement, and he invited AMS members in the room to join himself, Dave, and Carolyn in endeavoring to make campus a place where “every student with talent and commitment can get involved and have fun.”

Chair of the AMS Board of Directors, Quinn Giordano also addressed the incident, admitting that in the past week, “the Board has been focused predominantly on TAPS.”

Giordano spoke about the original decision to close The Underground and QP during Homecoming and Frost Week, saying the choice was made after the TAPS liquor license holder declared a “loss of confidence” in the establishment, threatening to remove the license altogether.

In an attempt to regain the University’s confidence, TAPS proposed a number of other solutions, including striking a special committee to investigate TAPS working culture, implementing a dry TAPS training program, cancelling all TAPS social for the rest of the year, and having an AMS representative overseeing the fall and winter hiring periods.

These proposed provisions made “a strong statement of accountability” to the board and the University, said Giordano, which ultimately allowed them to reverse the decision to close QP and The Underground during Homecoming and Frost Week.

However, regaining the University’s confidence also meant removing the TAPS head manager.

In addition to addressing the TAPS incident, a motion was passed to add a member of the Accessibility Queen’s Granting Committee to AMS Assembly and Board of Directors for the 2016-17 academic year.

The successful candidate for the position was Nursing Science Society (NSS) President Alexandra Palmeri, Nursing ’17.

Clubs Manager, Grace Kim, ArtSci ’17, addressed grants – passing a motion to replace the Clubs Assistant Manager and Clubs Manager Intern on the Clubs Granting Committee with one member of AMS Assembly and one from AMS Board of Directors.

The motion was passed in an effort to make clubs funding more objective and responsible. The successful candidate to fill this position from AMS assembly was ASUS President Darrean Baga, ArtSci ‘17.

The assembly also passed a motion to enshrine the AMS referendum in the AMS Constitution as the only way to approve all student activity fees aside from essential services, as President Lively saw this as a “fundamental cornerstone of the AMS constitution.”

The assembly also approved the addition of the AMS Harassment and Discrimination Procedures and Guidelines, which were developed by the AMS Human Resources Office, the AMS executives, the Social Issues Commission, and others in accordance with Ontario’s Bill 132.

Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, was given royal assent in March of this year. The Bill requires all workplaces in Ontario to implement a workplace harassment policy by Sept 8, 2016.

The assembly also ratified new members of the Judicial Affairs Committee, including four new deputies, the judicial clerk, and four committee members.

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