AMS 2021 fall referendum statements

See the full list of descriptions for student fees up for a vote at the fall referendum

The Journal provides free space in our print edition and online for parties on the referendum ballot. All statements are unedited.

This year, the fall referendum will take place on Nov. 1 and 2.

Queen’s Hellenic Student’s Association

The Queen’s Hellenic Student Association (QHSA) is a rapidly growing cultural club at Queen’s University which was originally established in 2013. Since the beginning of our time at Queen’s, QHSA has had a mission to promote Hellenic culture on campus. Our club generally holds a few events each month which aim to unify students of Hellenic descent and those simply interested in our culture. By promoting an open atmosphere and celebrating Hellenic culture, both ancient and modern, we intend to bring the true spirit of Neo-Hellenism to life amongst the members of our organization. We also hope to create and maintain a sense of community that is a great joy to participate in. Membership is not limited solely to students of Greek lineage but is open to all those who are interested in Greek culture. In turn, every member has an equal opportunity to participate in our association.

While most QHSA events are held on campus or online, and intended for Queen’s students, we also tend to help the Kingston Greek Community whenever possible. The main event that our club helps the Kingston Greek Community with is their Greek food sales. This event is hosted, planned, and executed entirely by the Greek Community of Kingston. However, QHSA helps support by purchasing food at our own disclosure, and we help market the event through our club’s social media pages. Additionally, while QHSA is not a religious group, some members may choose to attend church together to further support the Kingston Greek Community. University can be a huge adjustment for most students. Therefore, if QHSA can provide a sense of comfort and support for Queen’s students, our goal has been achieved.

Queen’s Project on International Development

Queen’s Project on International Development (QPID) is a student-run organization operating out of the Queen’s Engineering Society since 1990. On campus, QPID hosts a monthly forum which focuses on a variety of development and global justice issues and through engaging guest speakers and topics, connecting students with leaders in all fields of local and global development. In Kingston, QPID runs workshop activities in local schools and plans a two day conference for high school students, all relating to important development topics. Through these education initiatives, QPID hopes to stimulate more awareness of global problems that our generation faces and engage students to take informed action towards these issues. Through our community outreach team, QPID has an established relationship with the Kingston Youth Shelter and provides support for their organization in a number of ways. QPID runs a week-long campaign in the spring to raise awareness about youth homelessness in Kingston, and raise funds for the shelter: In previous years, QPID has raised over $12,000 to support the shelter’s operations. In Canada and internationally, QPID participates in summer internships that share a focus on collaboration between interns and host communities to fill community-identified needs. QPID has participated in over 200 grassroots community initiatives in Guyana, Ghana, Nunavut, Bolivia, Peru, India, Nicaragua, Burkina Faso, and Kingston. QPID currently participates in summer projects by sending two students to each of our partners in the Northwest Territories, Botswana, and India, the Gambia, and the Philippines. With our holistic and conscious approach to development education, QPID continues to support the local and international community. In all that we do, QPID strives to engage in critical thinking and work towards informed action.

Sustainability Action Fund

The Sustainable Action Fund is granted to students who apply to it in hopes of improving sustainability at Queen’s through relevant events and initiatives. The applicability of the fund is extremely broad and has been granted to a variety of initiatives including conferences, a greenhouse, a residence composting initiative, and a secure bike storage facility. This is an excellent opportunity to fund undergraduate projects focused on different aspects of sustainability.  

Muse Magazine

Conceived in CoGro as an ambitious dream scribbled on lined paper, MUSE Magazine emerged as the brainchild of three artistically enthusiastic students. The first issue, named “The Explosion” was launched in February 2011. Recently in 2019, the magazine celebrated its 10 year anniversary!

Our team is comprised of over 100 members across our 4 branches: Online, Business, Print, and Creative. MUSE seeks to build an inclusive and open minded community, whilst providing a medium for students to explore their creative passions through various roles from directors and heads to contributors and interns, and as readers too. 

MUSE is a tribute to the innovative, the unique, the fashion forward, and the stylistically creative. It is a nod of gratitude to those who break the mold and expose beauty in places we may overlook in our daily student adventure. Having published twenty-three print issues to date and hundreds of articles online, MUSE strives to be the go-to authority for all things creative at Queen’s. From lifestyle, fashion, entertainment, the arts to our very own ‘MUSE’INGS,’ our mandate is to highlight the creative talent at Queen’s University with diversity, inclusion, and accessibility at the forefront of our work. In addition to daily articles and content showcased on our online platforms, we release one free print issue per semester at our events, on campus, and across Kingston.

MUSE is seeking a $0.15 fee increase to their $0.50 fee in order to increase the amount of student work we can showcase in our magazine by increasing the page count, ensuring long-term sustainability.

Robogals

Robogals is an international, student-run organization that aims to inspire, engage, and empower women to consider studying engineering and related fields. Our primary activity is hosting interactive, engineering-based workshops for elementary and high school students. The Robogals chapter at Queen’s University has been making a positive impact in the Kingston, Ontario community since 2013. In the past few years, we have helped introduce over 500 young women to robotics and engineering. Many of these students have never had the opportunity to play with electronics before, let alone LEGO robots; but after a one-hour workshop with Robogals Queen’s, they become completely comfortable with programming the robots. Our curriculum also includes HTML, iRobot, TinkerCAD, and Scratch coding workshops. All students are welcome to participate!

In addition to supporting elementary and high school students, Robogals provides opportunities to the club’s executive members and volunteers as well. Every year, Robogals Queen’s is invited to the Seminar on Inducting New Executives (SINE), ran by Robogals North America. SINE is an exciting time for Robogals volunteers from across the region to come together and learn more about the broader Robogals community through workshops, presentations, panels, and team building events.

Queen’s University Blood Team

Queen’s University Blood Team (QUBT) is a group of 2 Co-Chairs, 8 Directors, 13 Coordinators, and approx. 20 General Executive members, which work alongside Canadian Blood Services (CBS) to promote blood donation and stem cell registration at Queen’s University. To promote blood donation, our club sets up blood clinics in the BioSciences Complex and runs a LifeBus, which takes groups of students to the permanent clinic on Gardiners Road to donate. We also host events for promotion of blood donation and raise awareness through social media initiatives. As well, our club runs events encouraging students to sign up for the National Stem Cell Registry and competes with other universities in the Get Swabbed Challenge hosted by CBS to get the most registrants possible. The hard work and strong community in QUBT have not gone unnoticed by CBS, who we work very closely with.

Queen’s Bands

Since 1905, Queen’s Bands have represented the spirit and traditions of Queen’s University. Queen’s Bands is Canada’s largest and oldest university marching band, with a current membership of 100 students. We are no experience necessary and should a student wish to learn a new skill we offer various workshops to teach them these skills. The Bands are comprised of six sections: Colour Guard, Bagpipes, Drum Corps, Highland Dancers, Brass Band, and Cheerleaders. We represent the university locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally. Queen’s Bands performs at home and away football games, other varsity events, Orientation Week, University Open Houses, holiday parades, alumni events, and community gatherings. Additionally, The Bands assist in many fundraising initiatives in the Queen’s and Kingston communities every year.

All Bands members pay substantial membership fees and cover many costs individually. However, these membership fees are not sufficient enough to cover all costs associated with our numerous performances, such as those listed above. Queen’s Bands is requesting a continuation of the current fee of $4.15 per student to help cover our operational expenses. AMS Student Fees are used to cover many costs, including transportation, accommodation, uniform and instrument purchase and repair, sheet music, and police escorts for community parades.

With your vote, Queen’s Bands can continue to represent our university with enthusiasm and pride. From your first tour of campus to your convocation to your 50th class reunion, whether it’s an Oil Thigh after a touchdown at a football game or an Oil Thigh at your Tamming Ceremony during Orientation Week, Queen’s Bands has and always will be there with you every step of the way.

Cha Gheill!

Levana Gender Advocacy Center

The Levana Gender Advocacy Centre is a student-funded Queen’s University organization committed to creating and nurturing a radical community of Kingston students and residents. Devoted to fighting gender oppression and advocating for broad ideas of gender empowerment for those of any or no gender, Levana operates on anti-oppressive practices. Having collected a student fee in years prior, we have developed student-led working groups and programming initiatives such as our lunchtime chat series, in which we have facilitated conversations around social justice issues relevant to the Queen’s community. With our student fee, we are able to co-sponsor panels and conferences on issues applicable to our mandate of gender advocacy such as Alt-Frosh and Alt-Frost, consent workshops, as well as our Radical Body Positivity Conference in January 2019. We also facilitate and provide equity and anti-oppression training for internal organizations on campus such as ASUS, the AMS, and EGSS. We also provide funding for equity-based student projects, and have funded and hope to continue to fund a variety of events including conference, publications, and art shows, performances.

Step Above the Stigma

SAS was founded at Queen’s University and now has over 100 volunteers working towards a fundraising goal of $1,000,000 to facilitate systemic change within the Canadian mental health care system. Our mission is to de-stigmatize, revolutionize and redefine what it means to have mental health or struggle with mental illness(es); to unequivocally demonstrate the imperativeness of self-care and self-love both when it comes to others and oneself; to educate and empower as many individuals as possible to identify when someone is struggling to provide support and direct them to potentially life-saving resources; to build a nationwide mental health community by collaborating with charities and community organizations who work at the intersection of mental health and other extremely important factors that impact quality of life such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status; and affect systemic change within the Canadian mental health care system to ensure every student, no matter their socioeconomic status, can access the help they need. 

In the last 5 years SAS has hosted 204 events and 310 campaigns both online and in person. Moreover, Ampai and her team have directly impacted 120,645 individuals, have had 724 volunteers since 2017, and have raised $102,000.  

SAS is also in the process of building BIPOCloud (Black Indigenous People of Colour - Loud) a national research-based online platform of mental health resources for BIPOC students, which will go live in 2022.  

Next year, SAS plans to host their third annual SAS summit, where mental health advocates can tune in online for a day of learning, community building, and compassionate discussion; mental health workshops; intersectional collaborations; annual car smash where we purchase a scrapped car, bring the car to the center of U and U, paint stigmatized words and smash it to raise funds; annual Coffee house that provides a platform for students to tell their stories, and methods of self-care; volunteer meetings; and programming for the greater Kingston community and local high school students. 

Friday Friends

Friday Friends is an informal group mentorship program that seeks to facilitate the social and personal development of young adults with intellectual disabilities through interaction with students from the Queen’s community.  Volunteers and participants meet on Fridays from 6 to 8PM for a variety of social activities including movie nights, bowling, baking, crafts, board games and sports. The mandate is to provide a positive social setting in which Queen’s students and young adults with disabilities can interact. 

Queen’s Students for Literacy

Queen’s Students for Literacy was established as a branch of Frontier College in 1899, making us the second oldest club at Queen’s. Queen’s Students for Literacy runs three different programs: Literacy Outreach, Math is Might and Read 4 Fun.  Each program focuses on helping different groups in the Kingston community build their literacy and numeracy skills and foster a love of learning.

Our Read 4 Fun program provides reading and homework services to elementary school students in Kingston. We offer free one-on-one tutoring program to build upon what is learned in the classroom, and to provide additional assistance and customized learning.

Our Literacy Outreach program works with children and adults staying at Lily’s Place and Interval House shelters in the  Kingston community, as well as with new immigrants to Canada through Immigrant Services Kingston and Area. While working with learners in the shelters our goal is to promote a love of reading and provide additional academic support, while also providing child supervision for parents in the process. 

This year we have also introduced a new program, Math is Might, which is designed to assist high school children in grade 9 with the new de-streamlined math curriculum. Our goal is to ensure that children who may not be able to afford math tutoring have access to tutoring services to assist them with the new curriculum.

Funds acquired through our student opt-out fee are essential to providing our tutors with transportation to our community partners in the Kingston community where our tutoring takes place, as well as provide resources, both virtual and physical, for our tutors and learners. Without our student fee we would be unable to provide transportation for our tutors, lack the funding for recruitment, hiring, club administration and miscellaneous physical and virtual classroom supply costs.

Queen’s Legal Aid

Queen’s Legal Aid (“QLA”) is legal aid clinic that provides free legal services to low-income residents in the Kingston area. 

By paying a $6.00 student levy, Queen’s University students automatically qualify for our free legal services.  Without this fee, Queen’s students would only qualify for QLA’s services if the student’s family’s income met the LAO financial criteria, which approximates the low income cut-off that defines the poverty line for Canadian urban areas.   

QLA assist Queen’s students with:  

  • Landlord/Tenant problems, including unresolved maintenance issues, interference with a tenant’s right, and illegal charges charged by landlords;  
  • Minor criminal offences, including theft, assault and mischief charges;  
  • Full representation on provincial offences, including Highway Traffic Act, Reopening Ontario Act or Liquor Licencing Act charges;  
  • Charges under the City of Kingston’s Nuisance Party Bylaw or other laws prosecuted under the University District Safety Initiative;   
  • City of Kingston Administrative Monetary Penalties;  
  • Small Claim Court claims and defences;  
  • Employment law matters; 
  • Human rights claims; and  
  • Appeals to the University Student Appeal Board.     

For Queen’s students only, we also provide a dedicated service of notarizing and commissioning documents, free of charge, including declarations and affidavits for OSAP purposes, graduate school applications or invitations to visit Canada.  A Queen’s University student who uses our services to commission just one document, or to have a single document certified as a “true copy” will save the significant cost of paying a private lawyer for that same service! 

Best Buddies

The purpose of Queen’s University Best Buddies is to promote and support friendships between Queen’s University students and individuals with special needs in the community. Best Buddies provides the opportunity for students to develop close friendships with people with developmental and intellectual disabilities with the goal of fostering respect and understanding for the diversity of people and abilities.

Queen’s University Best Buddies is a campus affiliate of Best Buddies Canada, an organization that aims to provide people with intellectual disabilities the chance to have experiences that many people take for granted. As a club, Queen’s University Best Buddies facilitates and supports friendships between students and individuals with intellectual disabilities in the Kingston community. Students are paired with a buddy and are responsible for contacting their buddy regularly and meeting their buddy biweekly for a one-on-one activity. These friendships are intended to be similar to any other friendships and time spent together may include going for coffee, watching movies, going to the mall, attending a local sporting event, engaging in physical activity, or another mutually enjoyable activity. At least once a month Queen’s University Best Buddies hosts chapter-wide group events where everyone is invited to socialize with other buddy pairs and enjoy refreshments, crafts, dancing, and various other activities.

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