AMS Assembly recap Oct. 19

Assembly discusses JDUC revitalization, student fees

Discussions of the proposed revitalization of the JDUC and student fees levy imposed by clubs dominated AMS Assembly on Oct. 19.

JDUC revitalization project survey results

The AMS recently conducted a survey to gauge student interest in a proposed project to revitalize the JDUC. According to AMS President Jennifer Li, the JDUC is an inaccessible and old building that must be redeveloped “to meet the needs of a 21st century student body.”

Vice President (University Affairs) Palmer Lockridge said the survey saw 2000 respondents between Oct. 6 and 9. With an average response rate of 800 over a two week span for AMS surveys, Lockridge said the numbers surrounding the JDUC were unusually high.

Two focus groups were also conducted, one comprised of eight female-identifying individuals, and another of nine male-identifying individuals.

With only one accessible entrance to the building and one elevator within the building, results showed that accessibility to the JDUC is a significant concern for students. Moreover, students hope to see things like improved services and increased 24-hour study space in the JDUC.

While 94 per cent of respondents expressed support for the project, 52 per cent also said they expect the University to pay at least 50 per cent of the redevelopment costs.

Li said she’ll be bringing these student recommendations forward in negotiations with the University to ensure the project remains “student-driven.” The executive will be holding town halls in the near future to hear what students want out of the project and will be launching a website to document updates on conversations.

Student fees discussion

Assembly approved the decrease of the mandatory ReUnion Street Festival student fee from $12.50 to $12.25. The festival just completed its fourth annual year of operation and has “grown to be something that’s more than just the concert,” Li said.

The AMS executive justified this decrease, not only because of the increased sponsorship from external and local stakeholders, but also the continued success of the event since its inception. Both the AMS and the University see less risk and concern with festival funding because of these factors. 

Following the approval, a motion to approve the establishment of an opt-out fee to support the Queen’s Space Conference prompted conversation surrounding the validity of certain student fees.

ASUS Vice-President Stefan Negus raised concern about Queen’s students paying fees that go towards conferences open to students from other institutions, as he feels these fees should primarily go back to Queen’s students.

Li confirmed that a thorough auditing process is conducted to determine fees are used appropriately and Lockridge noted that last year some clubs did in fact lose their fees through this “effective process.”

All four representatives of the Commerce Society opposed a motion to approve the Queen’s Space Conference fee after expressing that conferences should rely more on sponsorship than opt-out fees — the motion passed regardless.


Lockridge announced his involvement with the upcoming Student Voices on Sexual Violence Climate Survey in his written report. According to Lockridge, the Ministry of Advanced Education will conduct the survey between February and March of 2018.

It will give over 650,000 Ontario students “the opportunity to provide feedback on the topic of sexual violence on and around their campuses,” Lockridge wrote.

ASUS President Jasmine Lagundzija wrote in her report that ASUS has formally introduced the Arts and Science Undergraduate Research Fund (ASURF). Now accepting applications, ASURF is a partnership between ASUS and the Faculty of Arts and Science that assists in funding undergraduate research projects.

ASURF is funded through a $3.75 ArtSci opt-out fee, the cumulative total of which the faculty has agreed to match in funding. According to Lagundzija, if 70 per cent of students opt-in, ASURF could collect $60,000.

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