Strengthening Sustainability Throughout the AMS
Throughout the fall semester we’ve been working on a plan to incorporate sustainability throughout the AMS, a plan that will strengthen sustainability across the organization. Last night, the AMS Assembly approved our plan to close the Commission of Environmental Affairs (CEA) and redistribute the Commission’s committees and services to other departments within the AMS.
By incorporating our sustainability-focused initiatives into other departments we are going to free up resources that can be dedicated to making those initiatives better. More importantly, we are putting together initiatives with similar mandates to encourage a more collaborative approach to delivering programs and services.
For example, the Municipal Affairs Commission (MAC) will take on Youth Mentoring Youth, a committee that does environmental education in schools around Kingston. The Commission already runs programs like High School Liaison and HYPE which have strong relationships with Kingston school boards. They also have best-practices in place to handle the training and background checks required of volunteers.
Environmental education will be incorporated into our Social Issues Commission. The Commission is highly skilled at education and advocacy, and we are confident in their ability to raise environmental awareness on our campus. More importantly, the AMS will now be able to better address the how environmental issues intersect with issues of race, feminism, and a host of other social issues.
Responsibility for sustainability within the AMS services is going to be assigned to the Student Life Centre, the AMS department which manages the JDUC and the non-athletic Queen’s Centre spaces. By placing responsibility directly with the building manager, we will be better equipped to look at how to reduce waste production and utility consumption in our services.
All of our changes are taking advantage of the pockets of strength within the AMS. The Municipal Affairs Commission excels at community outreach and housing issues. The Social Issues Commission excels at education and advocacy. The Student Life Centre understands our services and the space in which they operate. Combining these strengths with a renewed focus on the environment will deliver a more sustainable AMS and a more sustainable university.
During our election campaign a year ago, we promised to deliver a Focused, Determined, and Better AMS. We said that doing so required a critical look at how we do things, and bold action. Our plan will embed a focus on sustainability across the AMS. The environment is too important an issue to be siloed into one office – it must be everyone’s responsibility.
– Tyler, Dave and Carolyn
You can see the full proposed policy changes here.
For more information please see the full report from the Executive to AMS Assembly here.