An FAQ on the Resignation of an AMS Executive Member

Following Peter Green’s resignation as the incoming Vice-President Operations for the AMS, there have been some important and very valid questions asked by students. Below are answers to those questions. For a formal release on this matter, as well as the details on the special Assembly,  click here. 


Q: What happens when a member of the Executive resigns?
The AMS Constitution outlines policy surrounding the AMS Executive. According to Section 2.02.03, in the case of a resignation, the remaining Executive members are charged with nominating a candidate. The nominated candidate is subject to the approval of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of AMS Assembly. If the nominee is rejected, AMS Assembly may appoint a candidate or task the remaining Executive members with proposing alternative nominees.

[toggle title=”Section 2.02.03 + 04 in full” state=”close” ]2.02.03: In the absence or unavailability of any one member of the Executive, or in the event that any one of the three Executive offices becomes vacant, the remaining Executive members may appoint a replacement, who is a Society member, subject to the approval of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Assembly present and voting at a meeting where notice of a motion of approval has been duly given. Should the nominee of the remaining Executive members be rejected, the Assembly may make an appointment, or it may require the remaining Executive members to propose alternative nominees. 2.02.04: Should the Assembly decide that the exercising of its authority to nominate candidates is undesirable, it shall call an election within a month to be held in accordance with the Society Policy on Elections and Referenda.[/toggle]

Q: Section 2 does not explicitly refer to the “Incoming Executive”. What does that mean?
While the AMS Constitution does not specifically use the term ‘Incoming Executive’, Section 2 still provides a strong framework for how an Executive member can be replaced. The resignation of an Executive member is unprecedented, but it is the opinion of the current and incoming AMS Executive that the spirit and intent of this Constitutional provision is transferable. It is an established practice that when an issue is not specifically addressed by AMS policy, that the spirit of policy existing policy be interpreted and applied. There is no other provision that speaks to this issue, but the spirit of the policy is that a new election to replace a single executive member is not preferable, and that the elected members of Assembly may act to approve a new candidate to fill the vacant Executive office.

This being said, it is the role of AMS Assembly to act in good faith and in the spirit of the Constitution, and members of AMS Assembly will be tasked with voting on this matter.

Q: What would another election look like?
This is difficult to answer, as there is no policy surrounding a new Executive election, especially one in the spring. The following policy constraints would need to be considered, assuming the election would follow all existing election guides and time-lines as laid out in Policy Manual 1:

  • The nomination period would have to last at 10 days
  • A campaign period of 11 days would follow
  • Two voting days would follow

This would result in a completely new hiring period. If a new election were called immediately, the election would likely conclude at the very end of this semester. This would leave 7 non-exam days to interview approximately 150 people for 40 full-time positions.  Part-time hiring for the next academic year would most likely have be conducted during exams. There would also be less than one month to transition all staff, many of whom having highly technical positions.

Q: What is a ‘special Assembly’?
A special Assembly is a meeting of Assembly convened to deal with issues deemed urgent and important to the Society and its members. It can be called by the President or through 10 signatures of AMS Assembly members. The agenda for a special Assembly must be sent out 48 hours before the meeting is scheduled to start.

Q: Who can be nominated to fill an vacant spot on the Executive?
Any member of the Alma Mater Society, in good standing (has paid all student fees and is currently enrolled at Queen’s), can be nominated by the remaining Executive members or AMS Assembly.


Q: Who has the Incoming Executive nominated to be the 2013-14 Vice-President, Operations?
Eril Berkok, President-Elect, has submitted a motion to this Sunday’s special Assembly to ratify Nicola Plummer as the 2013-14 Vice-President Operations. Ms. Plummer is the current President of the Commerce Society and was a VP Operations candidate in the 2013 AMS winter election. The motion will be seconded by incoming Vice-President, University Affairs, T.K. Pritchard. In a statement released by the incoming Executive, they stated that:

“Nicola Plummer has shown dedication and integrity in her time as a student and as President of the Commerce Society. Having stood in the AMS Executive election in January and placed second, she is the obvious, most qualified, publicly-vetted candidate for this position.”- Eril Berkok, President-Elect

Q: Will there be any effect on positions where hiring has already concluded?
The incoming Executive has expressed its utmost confidence in the Commissioners, Directors and Officers who were hired in in the weeks following their election. Hiring decisions in the AMS are made collectively through a hiring panel comprised of the incoming Executive as well as permanent staff. Incoming Commissioners and Directors are also subject to AMS ratification, and were approved by AMS Assembly and the Board of Directors respectively.


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