AMS President criticizes Homecoming police presence at Assembly

The agenda covered the ratification of several clubs

Step Above Stigma discussed the establishment of an opt-out fee.

On Oct. 21, the AMS held its third Assembly since May, where members discussed police presence at Homecoming, approved an increase in AMS society student fees, and ratified several clubs and club fee changes for the Fall Referendum Ballot.

President’s Report

President Zaid Kasim opened the assembly by criticizing the large police presence at Homecoming on the weekend of Oct. 16.

He recommended that the $350,000 donated by the university to the City of Kingston for covering partying costs be used towards funding social services instead of law enforcement.

“The way in which police carried themselves and operated this weekend was frankly unacceptable and the AMS is in the position to say that this can't happen again next week,” he said.  

While Kasim condemned the actions of students who broke the law or put up misogynistic signage during Homecoming, he also questioned the effectiveness of police over the weekend.  He claimed the heightened presence of law enforcement only served to scatter students to places where there were fewer patrols.

“The police presence this weekend did not work, evidently. In fact, it moved everyone from Aberdeen all over the place. It’s a lot safer if we have things like food present, water, more access to washrooms, seating areas, more first aid, just more harm reduction in general.”

Additionally, Kasim also took issue with the larger-than-usual donation the university made to the city.

“Usually, the University donates around $150,000 a year to the city for Homecoming purposes. This year, they've increased that to $350,000,” he said. “The argument there on the University’s end is all COVID-19, but most of this money is being funneled towards the police.”

“We know that from the amounts of fines were given out to students, they do not need that money. We think that money should be going towards social services.”

According to a petition created by the AMS, Kingston Police gave out over $118,500 in fines while spending $124,443 on overtime pay.

“Even with overtime pay, [Kingston Police] are essentially making a profit from fines,” the petition stated.

Vice-President’s (Operations and University Affairs) Report

Vice-President (Operations) Tiana Wong announced the renaming of PSC x CARED to BIPOC Talk. BIPOC Talk, run by the PSC (Peer Support Center), is a peer-to-peer counselling service that allows students of colour to support each other through confidential, empathetic conversations.

Vice-President (University Affairs) Ryan Seig announced an upcoming initiative from the PSC that hopes to offer a similar kind of support for 2SLGBTQ+ students at Queen’s, called QT Talk. Seig also informed Assembly that the AMS is now allowing clubs to hold sanctioned in-person events.

Motions Passed

The AMS Assembly moved to pass an increase in mandatory Alma Mater Society Student Fees from $62.11 to $78, based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustments and the predicted future growth of the AMS.

“We came about this number after a five-year exercise alongside our GM [General Manager] Lynn Perry, and that's how we arrived at $78. And then we just we worked on this budgeting exercise to budget out where we would be or need to be within the next five years, based on some of the growth that we're planning to see and new positions coming about,” said Tiana Wong.

According to Wong, the last Alma Mater Society Student fee increase occurred eight years ago.

Prior to the Student Choice Initiative, the fee was $86.63 in the 2017-18 school year.

In addition to this, five new clubs were ratified at Assembly, placing the total number of clubs at Queen’s at 344.

Lastly, the AMS motioned to approve several questions regarding student club fees to be put on the Fall Referendum Ballot.

These include an increase in optional fees for Telephone Aid Line Kingston and MUSE Magazine, an increase in mandatory fees for Queen’s Legal Aid, and the establishment new optional fees for the Queen's Entrepreneurs Competition, Queen’s Hellenic Society, Queen's Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Queen’s Space Engineering Team, and Step Above Stigma.

Discussion Period

AMS Secretariat Laura Devenny went over the new AMS constitution, which will be voted on in November.

Modifications to the constitution discussed included the addition of several new AMS positions, societies, commissions, and portfolio items to the constitution and a reworded mandate to emphasize the AMS’s focus on EDII, accountability, and equity.

A triennial review of club fees for 11 clubs was listed on the Assembly agenda but wasn’t discussed due to time constraints.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.