TAPS will remain closed until further notice

COVID-19 has “gravely” affected AMS job opportunities 

The JDUC reconstruction has been delayed until May 2022. 

When the AMS hired its Senior Management team for the 2021-22 year, one service was missing from the list of new hires: The AMS Pubs Service (TAPS).

“TAPS will remain closed until further notice,” Alex Samoyloff, AMS vice-president (operations), wrote in a statement to The Journal. 

TAPS, which operates the Queen’s Pub and the Underground, was closed ahead of the 2020-21 year because of COVID-19 public health guidelines and University restrictions which prevented the John Deustch University Centre (JDUC) from opening to the public. TAPS is housed inside  the JDUC.

“TAPS reopening is contingent on COVID-19 safety protocols and the ability to break even. Likely, TAPS will remain closed until the new JDUC building is complete as we have not been given access to a suitable interim pub space during the renovation,” Samoyloff added.

The JDUC renovation was postponed by a year until May 2022 because of difficulties associated with securing the required funding for the project during the pandemic.

Donna Janiec, vice principal (finance and administration), said the JDUC will remain open and in use until close to the planned construction start. 

“It is possible that some uses may transition to alternate spaces prior to the start of construction, but those details will be communicated closer to the start of the project,” Janiec wrote in a statement to The Journal. 

“The JDUC will re-open for operations as public health conditions allow for activities to resume safely.”

Many buildings on campus, including the JDUC, are currently closed or have limited access based on public health guidance and the four-week province-wide shut down that went into effect April 3.

“The pandemic is the only reason TAPS closed this year,” Samoyloff wrote. “Because of this, and the uncertain fall 2021 semester, it was imperative to remain cautious when considering re-opening the operations.”

The fiscal uncertainty regarding the pandemic and the decline in sales seen at the Queen’s Pub and the Underground over the past five years were also factors in the decision, Samoyloff said. TAPS might have faced an “even more substantial deficit” if it were to reopen.

“Because TAPS relies solely on revenue, the decision was made as this investment, using student dollars, would not make sense,” Samoyloff wrote. “All the revenue based AMS services have taken a huge hit this year because of the pandemic—to operate the services, we need to be able to cover the operational costs such as rent and wages.”

“The AMS is unable to run a pub service with the current Campus Operations Group guidelines.”

Principal Patrick Deane confirmed Wednesday morning that Queen’s is planning for a return to in-person learning in the fall term, based on direction from public health officials. However, he acknowledged that not all campus operations are likely to return to their pre-pandemic state at that time.

Should buildings be permitted to open by Queen’s and Public Health, Samoyloff said the Society plans to reopen access to the JDUC for students. 

While TAPS is a source for many student jobs on campus, the AMS created additional positions as part of a society-wide restructure in January. 

“The AMS remains obliged to student dollars to ensure we spend responsibly—this year is riddled with financial restrictions as COVID-19 protocols have immensely affected our typical revenue numbers; while we remain dedicated to providing student employment opportunities, the pandemic has gravely affected our ability to do so,” Samoyloff wrote. 

“The AMS is always looking to add fair and sustainable jobs for the student population […] [I]f we find any areas that are viable for new positions, we will take those into consideration.”

New waged and honorarium AMS opportunities are available through the Environmental Sustainability Commission, the Social Issues Commission, the External Affairs Commission, the Clubs Commission, the Marketing Office, The Journal, and the AMS Food Bank.


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