AMS Executive adds COVID-19 pillar to platform

Team AJA looks to deliver campaign promises amidst pandemic uncertainty

Team AJA says COVID-19 changed the nature of the Society’s work “immensely.”
Credit: 
Supplied by the AMS

Though Team AJA is adapting their platform to reflect the ongoing pandemic, they’re still hoping to deliver all the promises from their January campaign.

AMS President Jared den Otter, Vice-President (Operations) Alexandra Samoyloff, and Vice-President (University Affairs) Alexia Henriques have added COVID-19 as a new pillar to their original platform to reflect the current circumstances of their term.

“There is no doubt that COVID-19 has changed the nature of our work immensely,” they wrote in a statement to The Journal. “Currently, we are going through our platform with our team to 
adapt our goals to the current situation. The safety of the student body is the main priority moving forward.”

The Society recently added a COVID-19 page to their website providing information to undergraduate students about the pandemic at Queen’s. The site includes a survey in which students can submit their concerns about a remote fall term, as well as links to various financial aid and food resources.

“We recognize the current state of our campus and community is ever changing, and with that, 
we will not be making any solidified plans to drop any initiatives,” the team said. “We hope to continue working with our team and campus partners to plan for both short-term and long-term goals that can improve our campus for the better.”

They’ve also created a COVID-19-specific email address, which students can use to ask them questions, as well as working groups to discuss specific issues students may face, including changes to convocation, residence, and orientation week.

According to Team AJA, the main focus for Orientation Week 2020 is providing student support and maintaining engagement.

“The AMS has been advocating for students and will continue to do so during COVID-19,” the team said. “We are ensuring that undergraduate interests are at the forefront of all conversations with the University Administration.”

Currently, the AMS is working to reopen its Food Bank, which was closed on March 20 due to COVID-19. The Society is hoping to resume operations at the beginning of June while complying to physical distancing protocols.

The AMS is also working with the University and their Clubs Commission to support club leaders and members, and with the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston to implement initiatives related to sexual violence prevention and response, such as a survivor support group.

In collaboration with the University Sustainability Office and Queen’s Housing and Ancillary Services, the Executive is developing their Sustainability Commission and forming a “strong mandate” for its operations.

“Although the fall semester will be very different than what we are all accustomed to, 
we are adamant on upholding our campaign pillars,” the Executive said. “We will continue to strive to support Queen’s students in everything we do while working hard to make sure we see our goals through.”

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