AMS year in review

Executive team reflects on their year in office

2018-19 Executive team MLM pictured.  
AMS Website

In their final interview with The Journal, this year’s AMS executive looked back on the successes and challenges of their term.

Liam Tharp, vice president (operations), said he felt the year was a success, although there was a learning curve.

“Every single year of the AMS, just due to the nature of the organization, is a year of massive growth,” he said. “I thought this was a very successful year for personal and professional growth for every single person who works here, as well as growth for the AMS.”

Miguel Martinez, president of the Society, said the Executive’s accomplishments were in long-term strategic planning for the student body.

He echoed Munro Watters, vice president (university affairs), and said changes are rarely seen overnight. However, he did name the JDUC redevelopment project as one of their term’s major successes.

Martinez said the outcome built on ten years worth of their predecessor’s efforts. Although they were excited the referendum passed, they considered student engagement in the issue an added benefit.

Tharp said increasing the number of managerial positions in AMS services was also a success, despite the Student Choice Initiative and its implications. He called the Initiative “one of the biggest storms the organization has seen in its entire existence,” because it changed the funding and structural model of the AMS.

“I think every single student government was a little taken aback,” Tharp said. “We realized we had to start making some changes.”

However, Tharp said it required them to analyze all of the Society’s operations and question what functions were being better replicated within the student body. He said this is consistent with how the AMS has moved into a more facilitative role than a provider of programming. 

Watters agreed that the SCI put them under significant pressure, she said it left them little room for error and no budget flexibility.

Martinez said it was challenging to regain students’ trust in him and retain student engagement with the AMS after The Journal’s publication of allegations against him.

The team still feels it has left a positive legacy.

Martinez said he feels as though the working environment within the Society has become a more welcoming and informal space while remaining professional. Watters wants to transition the new executive, Team AJW, in a way that ensures they care and know the value of the AMS.

“At the end of the day, the AMS is really just people, and if those people don’t have the care and the drive, it’s really hard for things to happen,” Watters said.

To the incoming Executive, Martinez said: “The work that you do would not be possible without the student body, but as well as all the staff that fall under your portfolio.”

Team MLM was grateful for the support they’ve received throughout the year from AMS staff and the University.

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