AMS Assembly creates new PIP judicial appeals process

Nov. 2 AMS Assembly recap

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On Nov. 2, AMS Assembly debated and passed a motion to create a new judicial appeals board for internal AMS policy infractions called the Policy Infringement Protocol Appeals Board. 

The meeting concluded with a closed session, during which assembly members debated the contents of their letter to be submitted to the Board of Trustees and Senate regarding Daniel Woolf’s potential re-appointment as Principal.

Motions 

AMS Assembly passed a motion forming a new committee to deal with appeals coming from the AMS Policy Infringement Protocol (PIP) called the Policy Infringement Protocol Appeals Board (PIPAB). 

AMS policy defines PIP as “the system for dealing with alleged violations of AMS Policy and/or the AMS Constitution, with authority derived from the Constitution.” In the case that a student infringes AMS policy, their case would be handled by the Judicial Affairs Office of the AMS.

Judicial Affairs Manager Seema Sidhu told assembly the appeals board is meant to fill a gap in the AMS judicial process. Sidhu said the new appeals board will ensure there hasn’t been “a clear and definitive bias in [the PIP] ruling.” She added that it’s a “matter of procedural fairness.” 

“A student should be able to appeal their ruling if they think there was a miscarriage of justice,” remarked Sidhu.

According to her report in the assembly agenda, this new appeals board is meant to mimic the system implemented by the University in cases of Non-Academic Misconduct (NAM). 

“As the AMS Judicial System currently stands, an individual is able to appeal a decision on the matter of a Non-Academic Misconduct case to the University Student Appeals Board (USAB),” Sidhu wrote.

“It is the opinion of the Judicial Affairs Office that a party to a Policy Infringement Protocol proceeding should also be able to appeal a matter that is internal to the society.”

The new committee will be chaired by AMS President Jennifer Li and will include the Student Senate Caucus Chair and the Student Trustee. 

Concurrent Education Students’ Association (CESA) President Liam Dowling voiced concerns about the potential conflict of interest in having President Li chair the appeals committee.

Dowling said he struggled to think of a situation in which a conflict of interest wouldn’t arise with Li as chair, given PIP appeals will deal specifically with infringements within the AMS.

Sidhu reassured the assembly that if a conflict were to arise, Li would recuse herself from the matter and a stand-in would take her place. 

Reports

In his written report, Vice President (University Affairs) Palmer Lockridge said he and the executive team attended the OUSA General Assembly at Laurier University earlier this week. Along with eight other delegates from universities in Ontario, the Queen’s team met to “debate and approve policy papers,” regarding Indigenous students, accountability, system vision and open educational resources.

Lockridge said the policy papers will “form the basis” of their advocacy efforts at the provincial level, “especially during the Lobby Conference,” in late November at Queen’s Park.

As well, Lockridge highlighted the efforts of OUSA, the College Student Alliance, the Council of Ontario Universities and Colleges Ontario in drafting a “framework for the future design and funding of mental health systems” on university campuses in Ontario. 

Released on Thursday, Lockridge explained this report aims “to inform the creation of party platforms ahead of the 2018 Provincial election.” 

Commissioner of Municipal Affairs Stefano Hollands wrote in his report that planning for the 2017 University District Housing Fair is underway. “The Housing Fair is an open-house event that brings landlords and resources together to guide students as they enter the world of tenancy,” Hollands wrote.

According to Hollands, the purpose of the fair — to be held in Wallace Hall — is to create an environment where students can look into housing options “while becoming educated on their rights as tenants.” 

Last Friday, the “Appreciation Not Appropriation” campaign wrapped up its five-day long awareness and education campaign. Social Issues Commissioner Ramna Safeer wrote in her report that the on-campus discussion was a “resounding success.” 

Sexual Violence Awareness Week will kick off on Nov. 20. The campaign will feature Robin Doolittle, a reporter for the The Globe, set to deliver a keynote speech on Nov. 22. The week will also feature “key players” in sexual violence prevention and response across campus. 

Safeer also announced the creation of the inaugural Black History Month Grant. The grant has allocated $2,500 through the SIC and has been matched through Deputy Provost Teri Shearer’s office, totalling $5,000. The grant will be awarded to Black Student Groups hoping to organize events for Black History Month this year. 

In his written report, Commerce Society President Emlyn Folkes announced that several ComSoc assembly executive members will be “conducting a study” over the next few months to understand mental health in the Commerce Society. 

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