AMS Board of Directors releases action statement following complaints shared on social media

Anonymous reporting form introduced for individuals to voice concerns

The Ad Hoc Committee is entirely independent of AMS executive or permanent staff.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

After Instagram account ‘AMSxposed’ launched in August to document alleged working conditions within the AMS, the Society’s Board of Directors has taken several immediate actions to address the allegations made against the AMS.

The Board of Directors released a statement to stakeholders on Sept. 2 addressing the steps it’s taking to ensure these complaints are rectified.

First, the organization has created an Ad Hoc Committee of the Board to focus on the stories shared through social media and any related concerns within the AMS.

READ MORE: Instagram account ‘AMSxposed’ documents alleged working conditions in student government

According to the statement, the Committee consists entirely of independent directors, with no executive or permanent staff.

The Board also announced the involvement of an external investigator to investigate the allegations made toward a current member of the AMS permanent staff. The investigation later found the allegations to be unfounded on Sept. 11.

The Kingston Police Department (KPD) has also been made aware of disclosures posted to social media, specifically in relation to the sexual assault allegations.

As a preventative measure for the future, the Ad Hoc Committee and Personnel Committee of the Board have made it mandatory for all future Walkhome employees to complete a Criminal Record check.

The two committees are also collaborating to make changes to the AMS Harassment, Discrimination and Violence in the Workplace Policy and Program.

“We are consulting AMS staff in this work, including the current AMS Social Issues Commissioner. External labour and employment counsel has also been engaged to provide an assessment of the policy and program,” the Board stated in its update.

READ MORE: TAPS to remain closed during 2020-21 year

Regarding financial allegations against the Society, the ad-hoc Committee and Finance & Risk Committee of the Board has agreed to review the use of student funds, the classification of management positions, and the overtime pay practices of the AMS. 

The Board also clarified it has “consistently published” its audited financial statements and will continue to do so. The statements from 2019-20 are under audit and will be released at the Corporate Special General Meeting in November.

To ensure confidential communication of issues in the future, the ad-hoc Committee has made an anonymous reporting form to allow individuals to report incidents directly to the Board of Directors.

“Individuals are encouraged to use the new anonymous reporting form to bring concerns to our attention,” the Board wrote in its statement. “The Board is committed to addressing the concerns of our stakeholders in a meaningful way and continuing to ensure that the AMS makes a positive contribution to Queen’s University.”

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