This year’s three-way contested AMS executive election includes Team KMV, who emphasized making students aware of AMS services right from their first year at Queen’s.
Team KMV is composed of presidential candidate Kate McCuaig, ArtSci ’23, vice-presidential candidate (operations), ArtSci ’23, Michelle Hudson, and vice-presidential candidate (university affairs) Victoria Mills, ArtSci ’23. The election is happening on Feb. 6 and 7.
KMV has experience working in student government, holding leadership roles in 2022 ASUS Orientation. McCuaig was Head Gael, Mills was the Operations Chair, and Hudson was the Community Awareness, Respect, and Engagement Chair.
KMV spoke about an AMS where all students are aware of student government, and that starts with building connections from the start.
“Through working on Arts and Science Orientation Week, you’ve seen me on campus, you talk to me, you tell me what’s going on. I hear these recurring issues and I feel like I could do more,” McCuaig said in an interview with The Journal.
Wanting to engage in advocacy in the overarching student government on campus is KMV’s goal.
First year involvement
Mills said it’s important to consider the best avenues of communication to reach certain groups, like first years. Residence outreach is one example they raised.
Upper-year students who live in residence, such as dons, are necessary in facilitating communication between the AMS and students who may not know of its existence, she added.
“This is important because these students have likely paid into either all or some kind of slate of fees to be a part of it. We would love to distribute the information to you.”
If elected, McCuaig hopes to increase advocacy efforts and listed various examples of the team’s plans.
“Something we’ve proposed with event sanctioning is the triage system. Right now, the [Campus Activities Commission (CAC)] is severely overworked, but they handle the event sanctioning process among many other amazing things on campus,” McCuaig said.
The proposed triage system involves a “stoplight system” to triage event sanctioning requests based on how ready-to-be-approved they are.
With events being the “lifeblood” of the Queen’s community, sanctioning is a top concern because it affects everyone from faculty societies to the average student running a booth in the Student Life Centre (SLC), McCuaig said.
McCuaig noted her ‘100 Day promise’ is wanting to make sure every student knows what the AMS is doing and creating cohesiveness within the student body—an ode to the team’s first pillar.
“Within the [first] 100 days, you’re basically getting the most turnover you see all year with students. Students are graduating, students are accepting,” McCuaig said.
McCuaig noted how it’s important to be more informed, no matter who you are in the University.
“I think it’s [about] getting more students in the door. These conversations, especially when it’s something that you’re not namely more familiar with [are important],” she said.
KMV pulled inspiration for actionable items from things that have been done this past year, and plan on continuing that work. Vice-president (operations) candidate Hudson named a few examples from the team’s platform.
“Something we really value in our platform is hearing all student voices, whether that be clubs, whether that be [AMS] permanent staff, whether that be just someone that we met on the street,” Hudson said.
Reducing problems, such as the line at Common Ground, is something KMV said they would tackle.
“When building our platform, a huge process of it [was] we would like to meet and hear everyone’s voices […] We really took into account what certain bodies would like to see,” Hudson said.
“One huge example is within clubs. When we met with them, a lot of them mentioned that they would love to see more transparency in how event sanctioning is done.”
She also suggested a “How To” video that would make these processes more known to the student body.
“We really looked upon certain issues, highlighted them via consultations, and really wanted to create actionable items to address those.”
Hudson also spoke on handling the StudioQ and the Printing and Copy Centre merger.
“Making sure they maintain that long history [is important]. A merge of the two definitely puts forth ideas of their combined entity.”
Vice-president (university affairs)
Raising small, but grander, actionable items on the team’s platform is a top concern for vice-president (university affairs) candidate Mills.
“In terms of actionable items, we understand within this role—because it is a transient position—we have a year; we only have a year for the goals that we want to implement,” Mills said.
Mills spoke about making the AMS budget more transparent, which includes teaching students how to read the budget to let them know where student dollars are going.
“We’re not promising that every single thing on this list is going to be checked off by the end of our term. We want to give 110 per cent encompassing effort to try and make as much as we possibly can,” Mills added.
Mills spoke about implementing the Government’s proposed Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA) legislation into the AMS.
“We want to speak to more people who have a stake in the accessibility efforts that Queen’s makes. We’ve spoken to certain individuals who have been absolutely fantastic so far,” she said.
Taking accessibility from a holistic approach is crucial when it comes to university affairs, Mills said. Team KMV hopes to tackle not only physical accessibility, but financial and mental health accessibility as well.
AMS, Elections2023, Executive, Profile
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