Students for Students partners with AMS to raise donations for low-income students

Following OSAP cuts, AMS services running October initiative to support bursary

The Students for Students team has partnered with AMS services to raise funds.
Photo by Molly Marland

As low-income students face the first semester of funding cuts from the Ontario government, a student-run bursary has teamed up with the AMS to provide some relief. 

Students for Students (SFS) is a student-run organization at Queen’s dedicated to helping raise funds for students following cuts to the Ontario Students Assistance Program (OSAP). SFS encourages students to donate their 10 per cent tuition deduction, implemented by the Ontario government in January, to the bursary to help peers in need.

Since its creation this summer, SFS has finalized the donation process and started collecting funds through the Queens General Bursary.

In a press release, the AMS announced all its services would contribute in some way to SFS during the month of October.

“The AMS services are the primary way students interact with the AMS as they play a significant and relevant role in student lives. Initiatives like these show why the services have become a cornerstone of the Queen’s student experience,” Jessica Dahanayake, vice-president (operations), wrote in the press release.

“Thousands of Queen’s students everyday print at the P&CC, eat at QP, or have a coffee at Cogro. These places are a part of our lives. The AMS and our services just want to do all we can to remove these barriers and ensure the Queen’s experience is available to everyone.”

AMS services participating in the fundraising initiative include Tricolour Outlet, which is selling limited edition t-shirts; Walkhome, which is raffling a Fitbit; and the Peer Support Centre, which will be selling “conversation starter” clothing. At the Common Ground café, $1 from every SFS-branded cookie will also be donated to SFS.

According to the press release, all proceeds from these sales will be donated to the SFS bursary.

Aimee McCurdy, ArtSci ‘20, came up with the idea for SFS.

“With the AMS, we’ve been able to make SFS [be] seen in little places every single day and people are getting more familiar with it,” she told The Journal in an interview.

“I want to emphasize the importance of actually donating to the bursary. People think the cuts only affect students, but it affects the University as well, because [after] the tuition decrease, they have less money to put into the bursary.”

McCurdy added, though, the response to the bursary has been positive overall. She said being able to reach out and connect with students has helped raise awareness of the bursary.  

McCurdy said she is unable to share the amount the bursary has raised because it’s processed through the University, and the Office of the Registrar can’t guarantee how much of the general bursary was funded through SFS donations. She added, however, SFS will receive these numbers in the future.

“It’s technically a bursary fund with the school and they cannot guarantee [the amount],” she said. “Although, this is one of the 61 bursaries they said is actually really being used.”

Despite not being able to share specific numbers from the bursary, McCurdy said SFS will continue in years to come.

“It seems like there’s few opportunities our age to participate in movements or issues that you view as very important,” Maddy Godin, ArtSci ’21 and SFS member also said in the interview.

“Donating to the bursary is the opportunity to participate in an issue that might be meaningful to you.”

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