AMS discusses EDI framework at November Assembly

Offices and services to move to temporary space during JDUC construction

Walkhome service operating hours to begin at 7 p.m. daily.
Journal File Photo

On Nov. 18, the AMS gathered for the November Assembly.

Megan Divecha, President of Queens’ Student Alumni Association, opened Assembly with a presentation on Queen’s Connects Career Network for Students & Alumni. Created in 2014, Queen’s Connect is a LinkedIn group that allows students and alumni to network, Divecha said.

President’s Report

AMS President Zaid Kasim spoke on the progress of the JDUC redevelopment project. With construction starting soon, the AMS will be moving to a temporary space in the LaSalle building.

“Over the past weeks, I’ve been engaged with a lot of conversations with Queen’s University, the main project stakeholder that’s actually in charge of the project,” Kasim said.

According to Kasim, the AMS and its affiliated tenants will be split between the LaSalle building, which previously housed Student Wellness Services, and the Rideau Building, which currently houses Physical Plant Services (PPS).

“PPS is moving to hopefully the newly completed St. Mary’s on-the-lake project,” Kasim said.

He added that while construction projects are “never on time,” it’s important to note he’s been involved in conversations regarding the move.

Kasim also provided updates on the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award—the highest tribute that can be paid to a student for valuable and distinguished service to the University in non-athletic extracurricular activities.

With no rector to run the nominations process, Kasim has stepped in as co-chair.

READ MORE: Sole rector candidate dropped out Sept. 30

“It’s a great way to really highlight some of the incredible things that our students have done throughout their time at Queen’s,” Kasim said.

Vice-President (Operations)’s Report

Tiana Wong, Vice-President (Operations) highlighted a change to Walkhome’s operating hours.

“[Walkhome] has now been extended to start at 7 p.m. to account for daylight savings,” Wong said.

With Charity Month in full swing, Wong reminded everyone the AMS is still accepting donations for the Kingston Youth Shelter.

“If you have any old clothes that you’re looking to donate, please drop them off.”

Vice-President (University Affairs)’s Report

As exam season approaches, Ryan Sieg, Vice-President (University Affairs) discussed reopening study spaces for students.

“We’ve been circulating our […] reopening plan of everything through the SLC [Student Life Centre],” Sieg said.

Team RTZ has been in conversation with the Risk and Safety Office on new guidelines to open more spaces on campus.

Other Reports

Samara Lijiam, AMS social issues commissioner, delivered a presentation on AMS equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Last year, the AMS released EDI commitments to promote transparency around equity work and address student concerns.

“One of these goals is to release these commitments annually. We really want to strengthen this report and our institutional framework around equity,” Lijiam said.

According to Lijiam, the AMS EDI goals are in response to concerns brought to light by the Stolen by Smith and AMS Exposed Instagram accounts.

“We’ve tried to be really intentional about collecting data and information. We sat down with all members of senior management to talk about how they felt about equity work,” she said.

Lijiam added the AMS has created a feedback form for open to all students on their website. They’re also developing internal feedback mechanisms for AMS employees.

“We’re in the middle of creating a whistleblower policy to allow for people to be able to speak out and critique the AMS without fear of retribution or losing their job,” she said.

Lijiam said the AMS is still in the process of collecting ideas and information to incorporate EDI frameworks into the AMS constitution.

“We really want to make sure that we’re getting much information as possible and want to hear from members of assembly and also students at large.”

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