AMS Annual General Meeting discusses future of services

The Journal faces financial probation, Society corporate side talks decrease in service managers

The Journal will face a significant deficit next year.

AMS General Assembly

At the AMS Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Mar. 11 in Wallace Hall, Society President Miguel Martinez spoke to Assembly about the state of the AMS and shared his hopes for where it will go next. 
“The Annual General Meeting is an opportunity to celebrate all of our successes in the past year, as well as to reflect on our setbacks,” he said. 
Martinez listed rising housing costs, OSAP and tuition cuts, and Kingston’s recent declaration of a climate emergency as significant challenges facing the AMS, and the JDUC redevelopment as a new opportunity.
Additionally, Vice-President (Operations) Liam Tharp discussed the Student Choice Initiative’s impact on the future operations of The Journal.
“The Queen’s Journal is currently facing a rather significant deficit, as a result of the Student Choice Initiative,” he said. 
The Journal currently projects a deficit of approximately $70,000 to $80,000 and garners approximately $150,000 in revenue from mandatory student fees.
Following the Student Choice Initiative, Tharp said the paper is anticipating an opt-out rate of about 40 per cent, which will increase the deficit to somewhere between $130,000 and $150,000. 
In the 2019-20 academic year, The Journal will be on financial probation, requiring them to make changes to their operations. The terms of probation will be “mutually agreed upon” by the current Editors in chief of The Journal and the AMS Board.
“The AMS is well-aware of its responsibility for transparency, and will continue to make sure The Queen’s Journal does continue on, but, in the coming year, The Queen’s Journal will have to make some significant changes,” Tharp said.
Jamil Pirani, Sci ’19 AMS representative, inquired about the possibility of making The Journal a paperless operation, with no print issues. 
Tharp pointed out that The Journal receives revenue from paid print advertisement but said it’s an option the paper is visiting. 
“There is discussion as to that, however, there are many things that have to be taken into account when it comes to the print issues. The Queen’s Journal has been publishing for the past [146] years,” Tharp said. “Completely removing the print paper would be a large change and there would have to be future discussion about this.”

AMS Corporate General Meeting 

Following the AGM, Mikela Page, chair of the Board of Directors, led the Corporate General Meeting (CGM). 
The meeting commenced with Student Director elections, where the AMS sought to select two Board representatives for a two-year term and two for a one-year term. 
As the only candidates running for the position, Zoe Aliskeria, Com ’21, and Alexia Tecsa, Com ’22, were elected as the representatives for the two-year term.
Three candidates campaigned for the one-year position of student representative on the Board, including current Vice-President Tharp, Eng ’19, Mark Sinclair, Arts ’19, and Nic Ouellette, Com ’20. The AMS elected Tharp and Ouellette. 
After the elections, Tharp overviewed the guiding principles and financial structure of the AMS. 
His presentation touched on the major changes made across AMS services, including the implementation of payroll, scheduling and accounting system Ceridian, and management restructuring.
With expected reduction in student funding, Tharp touched on the financial situation of Common Ground, the Print and Copy Centre, The Queen’s Journal, Queen’s Student Constables, Studio Q, AMS Pub Services, Tricolour Outlet, and Walkhome.
Some services are experiencing greater changes than others, including Common Ground, The Journal, Queen’s Student Constables, and AMS Pub Services.
The AMS has reduced the number of managers at Common Ground from seven full-time workers to three for the 2019-20 academic year, and is introducing four new supervisor positions to ease the workload.
In addition, AMS Pub Services experienced a decrease in clientele throughout the academic year, contributing to a significant deficit. In response, the AMS has reduced the number of managers from six to three for the next year, with the introduction of supervisors. 
The Society will meet again next Monday. 

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