AMS seeks to reinstate jobs lost after Student Choice Initiative

Financial responsibility not expected to fall on student shoulders

Pending Board approval, AMS seeks to restore student jobs.
Journal File Photo

Following the loss of 100 jobs due to the Student Choice Initiative (SCI) last September, the AMS is looking to restructure and reinstate those positions, pending approval from the board of directors.

The SCI, a mandate that deemed ancillary student fees non-essential and allowed students to opt out of them, was unanimously ruled unlawful by the Divisional Court of Ontario last November. The decision has since been appealed by the Province, but according to AMS President Auston Pierce, the uncertain future of the SCI won’t affect the operation of these jobs in the 2020-21 year, nor will the required financial support fall on student fees.

“We want to build the AMS in a responsible way,” Pierce said in an interview with The Journal.

According to Pierce, the financing of these jobs won’t fall on the shoulders of students through an increase in student fees. He said the AMS could run a year-long deficit to fund these positions, but a large number of the roles would be self-sustaining.

Pierce added the AMS isn’t seeking to prioritize the reinstatement of positions that would bring higher revenues than others, but that the goal is to enable more experiential learning and job opportunities for students.

“The experience that you develop here is unmatched in the province,” he said.

Re-instating the jobs hinges on approval from the personnel committee of the AMS Board of Directors, but the AMS has anticipated restructuring the internal structure of the Campus Activities Commission to accommodate the potential re-establishment of jobs. Despite the logistical manoeuvres, Pierce emphasized the student-oriented focus of the project.

“Our goal of the AMS is always to support students,” Pierce said. “We think that the future of the AMS is in that supporting role.”

Pierce said the AMS was seeking to extend hours for organizations like the Peer Support Centre (PSC) to provide better mental health support for students, an issue he said was an important focus of the AMS team.

“We want the AMS to be as student-driven as possible,” he said.

Pierce said prospective positions for re-instatement included a marketing manager and a reservations manager at the Student Life Centre. He also said the Society hopes to implement a full-time marketing director and communications director.

According to Pierce, the final Board meeting to determine the future of these positions will be at the end of January, in time for the hiring period in February.

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