AMS transparency must extend to budgets


While the AMS budget for this school year looks somewhat promising compared to years past, The Journal only recently gained access to this document, and it should be public.

The AMS owes it to students to explain their budgets and make them accessible. The Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) has their budgets from the past few years organized and easy to access on their website. The AMS budget should be equally easy to find. 

It’s likely the average student doesn’t understand how the AMS budget is allocated, but that doesn’t mean students aren’t capable of understanding. The AMS executive must be financially transparent with students, regardless of whether it makes them uncomfortable or upsets the Queen’s administration. 

All students want from the AMS and the University is for them to meet their commitments. Committing to transparency means making the budget easily accessible and pointing students towards resources like The Journal, which can help them understand where their fee money goes. 

On the other hand, as students, we shouldn’t blindly criticize without understanding what the AMS does and how. It’s worth questioning their approach to transparency, though, especially with an executive that has emphasized its importance.

A lot of people don’t care about the AMS and its services, especially those students who don’t use them—or don’t realize they use them. While it’s important to make the budget available to anyone who wants to access it, students also have a responsibility to pay attention to how their government allocates funding—much of which comes from student fees. 

Many AMS-run campus services like Common Ground and the AMS Food Bank aren’t expected to be profitable this year. But since the purpose of services is to employ students and support a positive learning environment, making money isn’t necessarily a concern.

However, losing money can become problematic when a service runs too high a deficit. Fortunately, because the AMS services are considered under an umbrella, one service being profitable can open opportunities for others in financial dire straits.

There are also important distinctions to be made between fee-based services and services that are driven by their revenue. Financial transparency as it pertains to budget accessibility could do wonders to help students understand these discrepancies. 

This issue comes down to our engagement problem. Many students are apathetic when it comes to the AMS, but what the society needs is an involved student body that holds it accountable and demands adequate representation.  

For a better student experience, both the AMS and the student body must act in students’ best interest—that includes ensuring everyone knows where their money is going. 

—Journal Editorial Board

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