Online students seek opt-in to AMS membership fee

Health Sciences Society advocates for students at AMS Assembly

Some online students wish to opt-in to the AMS health and dental plan.

Some online students—particularly Health Sciences students—are speaking out about their relationship with the AMS fee slate.

Undergraduate online students cannot currently opt-in to the AMS membership fee meaning they do not have access to the AMS’s health and dental insurance through StudentCare, mental health counselling, free transportation through Kingston Transit, or other benefits.

Part-time on-campus students can opt-in to the AMS fee slate to access these benefits, an issue brought up at AMS Assembly held on Jan. 26

In a statement to The Journal, Health Sciences Society (HSS) President Haleigh Schreyer said all Queen’s undergraduate students face this issue. She said it’s especially prevalent for online students who take advantage of the ability to complete 12 credits on campus per year.

She said the HSS is advocating for online students to be able to opt-in to paying for the AMS health and dental plan, as well as to opt-in to the entire AMS membership fee.

“The Health Sciences Society Online Representatives have spearheaded advocacy on this issue since 2021 with support from the BHSc program office,” Schreyer said. “This advocacy is occurring by circulating a petition to the student body in order to raise awareness on the issue.”

Overall, according to Schreyer, the HSS and AMS teams have been working together to better understand the issue both logistically and equitably. The HSS has been meeting with AMS executive candidates to ensure that they are aware of the situation.

At Assembly on Thursday, Schreyer emphasized it’s not just Health Sciences students being affected, but online Arts and Science online students as well.

“We’ve obviously heard that there is a desire [for online students] to be in the AMS, to have the option to be in the health and dental plan, and to have access to a lot of the other services that we provide,” AMS President Eric Sikich said at Assembly on Thursday. “We're trying to evaluate now what that looks like for us to accomplish.”

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