The Face Behind the Academic Grievance Centre Director
Check out our profile on AMS Academic Grievance Centre Director, Kate Fedchun, for an insight on her job and experience thus far. Kate Fedchun is a fourth year student in Arts and Science majoring in Sociology and minoring in Philosophy. The deadline for Chief Returning Officer, as well as other positions including deputies, coordinators and directors, are due March 2nd. For more information, visit: https://myams.org/jobs-volunteering/job-descriptions-applications.aspx .
How would you describe your position and why did you choose this particular one?
I wanted to be involved in a service that provides guidance to students who are going through stressful academic situations. The Academic Grievance Centre does just that, with ten volunteer officers who work in the office where students can drop by to discuss their academic concerns. I applied for this position because I had a very difficult experience in my second year at Queen’s. It had to do with a particular class and the assignment marking scheme. It was an extremely emotional time for me and I sincerely wish I had known about the AGC at the time. I definitely could have used some guidance and a person who was willing to listen to my personal story about unfair treatment. This is exactly what the Academic Grievance Centre provides for students, which is why I think it is an extremely important service.
Another reason I chose this job is because I did not know about it before I did some research into AMS positions, which is an injustice in my opinion. I wanted to have this job so that I could strengthen the marketing side of the AGC and get the word out about exactly what we offer to students. I wanted to increase student awareness about this service and implement marketing strategies that can be used for years to come. So far, this has been accomplished in many ways, most importantly by creating a new marketing coordinator position specifically within the Academic Grievance Centre. The marketing coordinators create events and are extremely present on our social media accounts, which strengthen our service.
What was your experience going into your position?
Before going into this position, I had no prior experience within the AMS. However, I had experience in the field of social work, working for an organization that counsels and creates events for people who are struggling in one way or another. I wanted to apply the many things that I have learned within this field to the Academic Grievance Centre. I wanted the AGC to be a place where students felt comfortable going to speak with their peers about academic concerns.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
On a day-to-day basis, I manage two email accounts – the AGC account as well as the AGC Director account. I follow along with cases that my officers are working on to make sure that things are going well and that questions are being answered promptly. I meet with my officers bi-weekly and marketing coordinators weekly to discuss specific faculty concerns and to plan events, respectively. I also meet weekly with the Academic Affairs Commissioner and the three deputies to update each other on anything we are working on and areas where we may need help or advice.
What do you get to make decisions about?
I get to make decisions about a number of things because I am the Director of the Centre. This year, I was able to create a new marketing coordinator position within the AGC. I also created a place where my officers can input grievance information so that future directors will have data that illustrates things such as which faculties have a high and low amount of academic grievances and which year of study has a high and low amount of academic concerns. I also got to make decisions this year about new furnishings in the office to make it a more comfortable place for students to visit, as well as numerous other operational decisions.
What were some rewarding things you got out of the experience?
My experience with the Academic Grievance Centre has been extremely rewarding. The AGC provides guidance to students from all undergraduate faculties, which is so amazing. I have had the pleasure of helping students from many different faculties this year, and so have my officers. It is extremely rewarding to help students get through stressful situations and provide guidance and a listening ear. I have also thoroughly enjoyed working alongside my ten volunteer officers who have all exceeded my expectations. They all have an amazing work ethic and truly want to help students succeed. Every week they volunteer their time to help other students – without them, the Academic Grievance Centre would not be the amazing service that it is.
The marketing coordinators have also dedicated a lot of their time to brainstorming ideas and having a strong social media presence. Working with these amazing volunteers has been an awesome opportunity to see what can happen when students come together for a common goal.
Overall, my experience with the Academic Grievance Centre has been overwhelmingly rewarding and I am so lucky and grateful to have had the opportunity to work for this centre this year.
Any questions regarding these positions can be directed to the Talent Acquisition Manager, Breanne Martin at . Any questions about the hiring procedure should be addressed to the Human Resources Officer, Meg Monteith at .