Commissions: What Have We Been Up To This Year?
All the commissions fall under the Vice President, University Affairs. Here is a summary of the projects that they have been working on!
If you are interested in any of these projects, we are now hiring for the 2017-2018 school year! All job descriptions are available at www.myams.org/apply .
Academic Affairs Commission – Commissioner of Academic Affairs, Leah Brockie
OUSA Policy Papers: This year I have written two policy papers for our provincial advocacy body, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. The first paper was written about Ancillary Fees, and advocating for greater regulation surrounding what types of fees may be levied on Ontario students. That was passed, and has since informed our lobbying efforts. This semester I am writing a paper on International Students, calling for regulation of international tuition, for greater financial assistance options, and more effective international student supports.
3 Minute Thesis Competition: I am partnering with Inquiry @ Queen’s to host our first ever undergraduate 3 Minute Thesis competition this March. This competition has been popular for graduate students around the world, but we’ve never seen an undergraduate competition! This is a great way to encourage undergraduate research in all faculties at Queen’s. Students can share their research, and practice their presentation skills!
Campus Activities Commission – Commissioner of Campus Activities, Greg Kurcin
QPOP! Music Festival All Ages Venue: This was the 3rd year the QPOP! Music Festival was featured on campus and with it we sought ways to make the event more inclusive to all Queen’s Students. Based off of student feedback received in the previous year, we decided to create an all ages venue to allow underage students to have the opportunity to listen to high caliber live music. Hollerado performed in the historic Grant Hall and we hope that this desired addition to the festival is something that will continue to grow and evolve in the future.
MyIsabel Grant: The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts is an incredible venue for campus groups to hold events in. However, the cost of renting these spaces is high which can be a deterrent for many. For this reason, throughout year I have been working with the Isabel to establish a Grant that will allow for campus groups to apply to use a set amount of spaces for free each semester. The process is almost complete and we are very excited to be able to offer this opportunity to students.
Increased Collaboration between University Days Orientation & ORT: There are currently 10 different Orientation Bodies on campus, however only 9 of them collaborated together underneath the Orientation Roundtable. In order to increase student collaboration and bolster the Orientation voice, this year the University Orientation Days Coordinators have become a part of the Roundtable Community and will attend all Rountable Meetings. This will improve communication, efficiency, and advocacy and we are very excited aboutMuSoci uniting all of the Orientation Bodies this year.
Environmental Affairs Commission – Commissioner of Environmental Affairs, Liam Dowling
Environmental Procedures Manual: The Commission has created an Environmental Proceudres Manual for the AMS. This will help guide all areas of the AMS to becoming more sustainable in our practices and events, reducing the impact the AMS has on climate change.
The Earth Centre: The centre has expanded its business with its new location in the lower JDUC! This past year they have helped divert over 1000 coffee cups from landfills thanks to their Mug Day promotions.
The Room of Requirement: The Room of Requirement has started a winter coat exchange for international students! We’ve provided free coats and winter accessories for any student who needs it.
Municipal Affairs Commission – Commissioner of Municipal Affairs, Francis Campbell
Proactive Property Standards Program: This year, we’ve developed a partnership with the City of Kingston, to have our HRC officers canvas the University District, and perform property standards inspections for our students and landlords. In an effort to work on the housing quality issues which many of our students face, we wanted an easy way for them to request faster responses to on-going issues, and develop educational resources with better distribution. This pilot project will employ a few students, and give them a chance to make some real change in the district.
University District Summit: On Saturday, February 11, 2017 – The Municipal Affairs Commission will be hosting the inaugural University District Summit. This is an opportunity for stakeholders of the UD and near-campus neighbourhoods, to come together and discussion the issues that we all encounter living off-campus. We’ve designed a series of problem-solving workshops, in which delegates will work through issues, critical thinking, and implementation programs, to design a series of recommendations going forward to the relevant parties, which will aim to fix the problems that the participants care about. This comes at a time when the City of Kingston is figuring out the place of students in the community, and we’re looking to put our best foot forward, to help make a better off-campus living environment for everyone.
Boys & Girls Club: We’re always looking for ways to expand our reach in Kingston, and provide new ways for students to volunteer in the community. Over the past few months, we’ve been cultivating an official AMS relationship with the Boys & Girls Club of Kingston; finding ways to get more of our students out helping youth. In Fall of 2017, there will be a new Boys & Girls Club committee within the MAC, where it will be handling logistics and marketing; aiming to get more undergraduate students helping with BGC programming in the area.
Social Issues Commission – Commissioner of Social Issues, Lea Keren
Sexual Violence Prevention: This year the Social Issues Commission has tried to use an intersectional approach to addressing sexual violence prevention work on campus. The Committees have been encouraged to engage with each other and this issue through their various grassroots efforts. Bystander Intervention Training was delivered to all AMS staff and TAPS staff have received additional training for assisting in prevention at our campus pubs. As a member of the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Working Group, I have helped in the development of a standalone sexual violence webpage and have gotten to play an active role in reviewing the Queen’s’ new Sexual Violence Policy. It has been so meaningful to get my hands dirty in projects that mean so much to me as well as the greater campus community, and this is just the tip of the iceberg for sexual violence prevention, awareness and advocacy.
SWS Feedback System: Queen’s students pay $62.68 every year for on-campus health services. This means that it is incredibly important that these services are meeting their needs. The AMS Executive ran on a platform that said they would use data-driven advocacy to improve student health services at Queen’s. Using the Student Wellness Services Feedback System, we were able to collect both qualitative and quantitative data from students across campus and use it to make recommendations that will seek to improve the service’s understanding of the nuanced needs of Queen’s students and how it can meet those needs as effectively and efficiently as possible.