AMS Assembly: Assembly renews membership with OUSA

10 new club fees approved for winter referendum

AMS Assembly gathered on Friday.
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AMS Assembly gathered Friday over Zoom to discuss club fees, University operations, and its affiliation with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA).

Matthew Melon, commissioner of external affairs, presented the findings of the Special Committee on External Alignment, the committee struck to analyze the AMS’ membership with OUSA. OUSA is the organization that represents Ontario’s 150,000 students to the Province.

 Every three years, the AMS must vote to renew its membership with OUSA. The committee found some issues with the organization—the quality of external policies and the time commitment on the part of AMS staff—but agreed the positives outweighed the negatives.

Following the committee’s recommendation, Assembly voted to renew the Society’s membership with OUSA.

“We really felt that OUSA can be effective in provincial advocacy, and the lack of suitable alternatives to being a member of OUSA really pose a challenge if we were to leave,” Melon said. 

AMS Executive Updates 

Alexia Henriques, vice-president (university affairs), noted in her report that applications for the class of 2025 are up from last year. Applications from self-identified Indigenous students are up 26 per cent and applications from self-identified First-Generation students are up 19 per cent.

READ MORE: Senate: Applications up 14 per cent from last year

Alex Samoyloff, vice-president (operations), said AMS applications for the 2021-22 academic year will be opening soon. She said students who were given conditional offers this year won’t be prioritized for jobs—the upcoming period is a fresh round of hiring, and interested applicants must apply again.

President Jared den Otter reminded Assembly about the proposed changes to the harassment and discrimination policy. He said the second round of feedback begins on Feb. 22, and students are encouraged to give the school their opinions on the policy.

Student-led Advocacy  

Rector Sam Hiemstra said the Provost’s office has struck the Gender and Sexual Diversity Action Group to enact change for LGBTQ2S+ students. Their first priority is creating a gender neutral washrooms policy.

Charlotte Galvani, commissioner of campus affairs, reiterated the AMS’s support for 'International at Queen’s', an Instagram account created to share the experiences of International students at Queen’s. 

“I have been looking into ways the AMS as well as the campus as a whole can help our undergraduate international students alleviate some financial stress and the burden that they face,” she said.

READ MORE: AMS Executive & Undergraduate Trustee elections both contested

Club Fees

Following these reports, Assembly voted to add various club fees to the 2021 Winter Referendum. Should students vote in favour of the establishment of these fees at referendum, they will become a part of each student’s ancillary fees, subject to individual opt-out.

QWAVE, the music production club on campus, had their $0.69 fee approved. The Queen’s Protecting Animal Welfare Society (QPAWS) secured a $0.15 fee, Women in International Security Queen’s secured a $0.75 fee, and Queen’s Applied Biotechnology Club secured a $0.15 fee.

Queen’s CODE, the first University chapter affiliated with the Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE), also secured a $0.15 fee. Similar to the WE Foundation, CODE supports children’s literacy.

Assembly also approved a $0.10 fee for QUCrafts—the club dedicated to building Queen’s campus on a Minecraft server—a $0.05 fee for Queen’s Squirrel Watching Club, a $0.50 fee for Queen’s Asian Students’ Association, and a $0.75 fee for Queen’s Television. 

Finally, Assembly approved a $0.50 fee for the Queen’s American Sign Language (ASL) Club, which provides ASL courses and workshops to Queen’s students, taught by a deaf instructor. 

Assembly will next convene on Feb. 25.

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