AMS Assembly Recap Jan. 19

Assembly weighs two options for Fall Term Break layout

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Due to several AMS Assembly members taking leaves of absence for the upcoming election and some late arrivals, the beginning of this Thursday’s Assembly meeting was held without meeting quorum — or reaching the minimum number to vote.

However, motions that had been voted on before quorum was reached were reintroduced once quorum was met later in the evening to make them binding.

Election validation

Assembly began by approving a motion presented at Assembly in December to amend the AMS Constitution to allow the Assembly Speaker to run for AMS executive in the upcoming election. The motion passed unanimously this time, barring three abstentions from the current AMS executive.

Read more about Lockridge's altered eligibility here.

Assembly then ratified the two teams that will be running for AMS Executive in the upcoming election. Team MTW consists of Aniqah Mair, CompSci ’18, Landon Wilcock, ArtSci ’18, and Julie Tran, ArtSci ’18, and Team JBP consists of Jennifer Li, ConEd ’17, Brian Mackay, ArtSci ’17, and Palmer Lockridge, ArtSci ’17.

Above, left to right: Aniqah Mair, Julie Tran and Landon Wilcox of Team MTW.

Above, left to right: Jennifer Li, Brian MacKay and Palmer Lockridge of Team JBP.

Victoria Chappell, ArtSci ’19, was also ratified as the sole candidate for Undergraduate Student Trustee.

Fall Term Break plebiscite vote

Assembly engaged in a fruitful debate about a proposed plebiscite question to be included on the AMS Winter 2017 Referendum regarding Fall Term Break.

The plebiscite question presents students with the opportunity to vote on two options for incorporating a Fall Term Break.

Option one would push move-in day back by one full week, placing it on the Sunday eight days before Labour Day. Orientation Week would begin on move-in day and last for seven days, ending on the following Sunday. Classes would begin the Tuesday after Labour Day, and a four-day long Fall Term Break would occur from the Tuesday to the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The AMS identified positive aspects of the first option, including the fact that it allows the university to preserve both Orientation activities and pre-exam study days, while still providing a long enough break to better serve student mental health concerns.

Downsides of this option as identified by the AMS include that it would impose costs on the university, such as lost revenue from summer camps and other activities that use residence facilities, as well as additional costs incurred from requiring student services to be open a week earlier.

An early Orientation might also interfere with students’ ability to maintain summer employment or find living accommodations in time for move-in day.

Option two places move-in day on the Saturday before Labour Day. Residence Orientation would take place on the night of move-in day, and Faculty Orientation would run from the Sunday before Labour Day until the following Wednesday.

Classes would begin Thursday and Friday, and additional Residence Orientation days would occur on the following Saturday and Sunday. This would allow for a two-day fall break on the Thursday and Friday before Thanksgiving weekend.

The AMS identified that no additional costs would be incurred for the university should this option be implemented, and it would still allow them to maintain most Orientation Week activities.

However, the AMS acknowledged that classes on the Thursday and Friday would likely have very low attendance, and that the two-day break provided would be shorter than the majority of students expressed a desire for on the Task Force’s survey. Furthermore, this option will require the modification of some Orientation Week activities.

While the AMS put forth these pros and cons in their report, Secretariat Miguel Martinez confirmed these wouldn’t be printed on the actual ballot. However, they will be made available to students via promotional material released prior to the referendum.

In considering option one, Rector Cam Yung urged students to “think about how it might impact someone financially, how it might impact someone trying to find a house.”

All members agreed to bring forward these options to their constituents and encourage leaders to spread the word that this will be brought to a vote in the upcoming referendum. At next Assembly, members will vote on what option the AMS would like to advocate for.

AMS Committee on Inclusion

Social Issues Commissioner Lea Keren announced the formation of the new AMS Committee on Inclusion, which she herself will sit on along with Vice President (University Affairs) Carolyn Thompson, the Committee against Racial and Ethnic Discrimination co-chairs, two members of Assembly and two students-at-large.

The committee will begin by discussing issues related to inclusivity on campus, and will then transition to an implementation committee by September 2017.

Assembly voted on which of its two members will sit on the committee — the successful candidates were determined to be ComSoc Lower AMS Representative Abigail Kingswood and ASUS President Darrean Baga.

Reports

In his Vice-President’s report, Walker announced the opening of 24/7 access to study space at The Brew. He also announced the hiring of Troy Buchanan in the role of AMS Facilities Officer, effective Jan. 9.

Vice-President (University Affairs) Carolyn Thompson announced in her report that the AMS will be dissolving the Commission of Environmental Affairs

Secretariat Miguel Martinez announced that a report regarding non-academic misconduct will be brought forward to discuss at next assembly.

Winter referendum fee establishments & modifications

The following fees were established for the 2017 AMS Winter Referendum, subject to individual opt-out: a $0.50 fee to support Enactus Queen’s, a $0.25 fee to support Queen’s HanVoice, a $0.30 fee to support the NeuGeneration Conference on Neuroscience, a $1.00 fee to support the Queen’s Health and Human Rights Conference, and a $0.10 fee to support the Queen’s Correctional Services Volunteers.

The Queen’s Aero Design Team fee increased from $0.25 to $0.50, the Queen’s Baja SAE Design Team fee increased from $0.50 to $0.69, the Queen’s West Africa Aids Foundation increased from $0.30 to $0.40, the AMS Food Bank Fee increased from $1 to $2, and the Tea Room Environmental Education fee decreased from $1.00 to $0.75 to account for a surplus experienced recently at the on-campus service.

Fall equity grants

The AMS approved the following Fall Equity Grants: $500.00 to the ASUS Academics Commission, $300.00 to Good Times Diner, $350 to Queen`s Got Your Back, $300.00 to Queen`s Equity Conference, and $400.00 to QNSA as seen in Appendix Bravo.

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