AMS Engages Federal Government on Student Issues
March 21, 2016
OTTAWA, ON—Today, Kanivanan Chinniah, AMS President, and Sarah Letersky, AMS Vice President (University Affairs) issued the following statement:
“This week, with the support of AMS Assembly, we will be in Ottawa to meet with elected officials and policymakers to ask for improvements to the Canada Student Loans Program, international student employment and immigration, and action on youth unemployment.
“The AMS does not regularly engage the federal government as it has minimal impact on student interests and we believe that the AMS should always focus on advocacy at our university for student issues. However, at a time when the new government is setting their first budgetary priorities, we have an opportunity to engage federal policymakers and elected officials on specific issues that affect student interests.
“Together with a number of student governments across the country, we have put together a policy brief with specific asks for the federal government that we will use throughout the week. We are happy to report that the recommendations we will deliver are consistent with our existing representational stances.
“We want to specifically thank President Sophie Helpard and Vice President (External) Lindsee Perkins of the Western USC, for their hard work in organizing this initiative.”
- AMS Assembly authorized the Executive to engage the federal government on international student issues, the Canada Student Loan Program, and student employment programs on March 3, 2015.
- The authorization from AMS Assembly was made with the understanding that this engagement is a one-time event and does not authorize the Executive to lobby the federal government after this occurrence.
- The AMS is in Ottawa together with other student leaders representing over 240,000 students across Canada from March 21 to March 24.
- Participating student governments include:
- Alma Mater Society (University of British Columbia)
- University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union
- University Student’s Council (Western University)
- University of Toronto Students’ Union
- Federation of Students (University of Waterloo)
- McMaster Students’ Union
- The full policy brief can be accessed here, and is consistent with current AMS representational stances.
- The AMS Executive discussed and debated all the policy recommendations with the participating student governments over several weeks, with the final product reflecting the interests of Queen’s students.
- The AMS worked to consult student leaders from a wide array of faculties and backgrounds to understand issues of importance to them.
“As an international student and a student leader, I believe that this federal lobbying initiative focuses on targeting important points that will benefit and enhance the experience for international students. Together with other student leaders across the country, I am confident that the AMS Executive will get positive results from Ottawa.”
— Max Garcia, President of the Computing Science Student Association
Alma Mater Society (AMS) – http://www.myAMS.org
The central undergraduate student government at Queen’s University, the AMS represents over 16,000 students and is the oldest student government in Canada. The constituency is represented through 10 faculty and residence societies. The AMS Council, which is made up of a three-person executive, six commissioners, and three directors, oversees all day-to-day activities within the Society, including 10 corporate services and over 50 government committees that address virtually all matters of student life at Queen’s.