AMS votes to put Food Bank fee on referendum for mandatory status

President Auston Pierce addresses fall term break survey results

AMS Assembly gathered on Jan. 16.
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The AMS gathered for the first Assembly of the year on Thursday night to discuss fall term break, the aftermath of the Student Choice Initiative being quashed, Queen’s Period, and event sanctioning.

The meeting began with a moment of silence for the victims of the Ukrainian flight PS752 crash in Tehran on Jan. 8. “At Queen’s, we are a tight community, and any loss is one in which we all feel,” AMS President Auston Pierce stated in his report.

President’s report

Pierce presented the results of a survey the AMS conducted to gain student input about the current structure of fall term break

He said the results of the survey showed the majority of students weren’t able to return home due to the current structure of the break. According to the results, 60 per cent of first-year students, 50 per cent of students in second year, 42 per cent in their third year, and 33 per cent of students in their fourth year were able to travel home during fall term break in 2019.

Pierce said a large percentage of students believed the time, along with the academic workload during the period, isn’t sufficient enough for many to return home.

“More work will have to be done in assessing how the future will look,” Pierce said.

Vice-President (Operations)’s report

Jessica Dahanayake, vice-president (Operations), provided an update about Queen’s Period, reporting the project was beginning a residence campaign in hopes of normalizing menstruation in the eyes of first-year students.

She said the campaign would include the implementation of three new posters in residence buildings, which use images of a pad, tampon and menstrual cup.

“This is something we want to post all over residence to normalize the sight of period products,” Dahanayake said.

Dahanayake also said that more than 900 period products were collected in partnership with the Student Life Centre. The products will be redistributed into bins located in restrooms on campus.

She also provided Assembly with a detailed presentation on event sanctioning, covering risk mitigation and insurance coverage, and citing the importance of safety protocols and best practices when hosting events on campus.

Ballot approvals

AMS Assembly also ratified the addition of Sam Hiemstra to the 2020 Rector election ballot, and the addition of Jared Den Otter, Alexia Henriques and Alexandra Samoyloff to the 2020 AMS Executive ballot.

This is the third year in a row that candidates for AMS executive will run uncontested.

Neither Hiemstra nor Henriques were present at Assembly, both attending a Queen’s Model Parliament (QMP) in Ottawa. Hiemstra’s campaign manager, Kaitlin Salole, held a phone at the front of the auditorium as Assembly members posed questions to him during the question period.

Den Otter cited his involvement in Queen’s Physical Health Education & Kinesiology Student Association (PHEKSA) as the inspiration behind his choice to run for AMS executive.

“It really showed me the roots to advocacy and being able to speak for students,” Den Otter said. “I kind of got to start to understand how I could be a voice for others around me.”

AMS elections are scheduled to take place Jan. 28 and 29.

Motions Passed

The AMS Assembly also passed a motion to transition the AMS Food Bank fee of $2.00 back to mandatory status from individual opt-out for the next three years. The fee became optional after the introduction of the Student Choice Initiative last year.

A motion to approve the establishment of Queen’s Students 4 Special Olympics was also passed during Assembly.

Corrections

The headline has been corrected to indicate the nature of the AMS referendum required to make fees mandatory.

The Journal regrets the error.

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