What the F*%k is the AMS
By now you may have seen Facebook pages, booths, videos and pamphlets flying around campus with the start of 2017-2018 hiring season happening now. Yet the only question people seem to have is “what the F*%K is the AMS”? This post will hopefully inform and update you (the students) on who/what the F*%k everyone in this organization does. If you’re a visual learner like myself, here’s a nifty map to follow along with!
The Alma Mater Society (AMS) is Canada’s oldest undergraduate student government. The AMS in simple terms, can be thought of as the manager of a sports team. They are pretty much in charge of the performances, appearances and capabilities of the entire team without getting on the field themselves, that’s up to the players (the students involved). The AMS provides many services to the student body that have a huge impact on everyday student life and involvement.
Strong student governments help produce solid institutions such as Queens University and overall, a better and more positive experience for you as an undergraduate student!
Government VS Corporate
Hey! Did you know there were two sides to the AMS? If you answered no, then you are one of many students who has no idea what the F*%k is going on, and that’s okay. So here is the “official” 411. There are in fact two sides of the AMS, Government and Corporate, that are in charge of everything the AMS provides to Queens students. The Government side is managed by the VP of University affairs. They directly manage the Academic Affairs Commission, Campus Activities Commission, Office of the Secretariat, Municipal Affairs Commission, the Social Issues Commission and the Clubs Office! On the flip side, we have the Corporate arm which is managed by the VP of Operations. These include campus favourites such as the Student Life Centre, Common Ground Coffeehouse, P&CC, Walkhome, TAPS (QP and the Underground), StudioQ, Tricolour Outlet and the Queens Student Constables. Not so confusing anymore is it?
THE EXECUTIVE TEAM:
As the title suggests, this position is the chief/overseer of the entire AMS. They are in charge of the external representation to alumni and to the University Administration.
Vice President (Operations)
This position oversees the “day-to-day” financial and operational tasks involved within the AMS focusing on student services. They directly supervise the Director of Retail Services, the Director of Hospitality and Safety Services, the Director of Media Services and the Directors and the Managing Director of the Student Life Centre. If that wasn’t enough, the Vice President of Operations aids with important on-campus services such as the AMS Health & Dental Plan, the Bus-it program and the budget of the AMS as a whole.
Vice President (University Affairs)
The Vice President of University Affairs oversees the commissioners as well as being accountable for policy and research development, internal academic issues, political and administrations affairs. They also oversee the clubs office which supports the 275+ clubs we have at Queen’s. There are hundreds of student volunteers who fall under this VP!
There are four different commissions that represent a variety of student life on campus. They basically ensure that their activities and associations fulfil and respect the AMS policies while carrying out various events, conferences and weekly outreach. Under these commissions, there are deputy commissioners, committees and volunteers to aid in all aspects of #YourQueensExperience.
Academic Affairs Commissioner
This commission is in charge of education quality and financial accessibility here at Queens. They advocate for students within the university and on a provincial level to provide services to help students with academic problems. If you are having any academic problems come in and speak to the commissioner!
Campus Activities Commissioner
This is an events based commission that organizes and leads Queen’s events to enhance school spirit! This commission is full of student leaders putting on interesting conferences from Kingston to Ottawa. They also play a huge role in Orientation week which has been a long standing student run tradition here at Queens.
Municipal Affairs Commissioner
This commission lobbies for Queens students at a municipal level. The MAC creates cool opportunities for Queen’s students to get involved within the Kingston community, provides resources on housing related issues and aims to better the University District for all students.
Social Issues Commissioner
Through education, dialogue and engagement, the Social Issues Commission pursues issues related to equity, identity and anti-oppression. They strive to represent the diverse student body by raising awareness and advocating for social justice and change.
The clubs office oversees over 275+ clubs and acts as a resource for members and the executives of every club we have. They act as a liaison between the AMS and the clubs community to ensure that clubs are receiving ongoing support such as marketing events, budgeting, grants as well as hiring advice.
These three positions oversee the correct administration of each service on a day-to-day basis. This includes financial management, evaluating personnel and implementing AMS policies which are endorsed by the Vice President of Operations which get approved by the board.
Hospitality and Safety Services Director
This person oversees all operations, finances and tactical management of the AMS Pub Services (TAPS), Common Ground Coffeehouse (Cogro) and the Queens Student Constables (QSC/StuCons). They offer support for the managers of each respective service working closely to ensure that the services are running smoothly. They also work closely with the AMS Board of Directors.
Media Services Director
The Media Services Director is in charge of the operations, finances and management of Studio Q, Walkhome and The Queens Journal. This person again will support the managers of each respective serves and bridge the gap between the services of the AMS and the AMS board of Directors.
Retail Services Director
This director will oversee the operations, finances and management of the Tricolour Outlet and the Publishing and Copy Centre (P&CC). This person again will support the managers of each respective serves and bridge the gap between the services of the AMS and the AMS board of Directors.
Human Resources Office
As the title suggests, they serve as a primary resource to all AMS employees and volunteers who may need assistance with hiring, training and/or recruiting staff. They are in charge of the uniformity of employment practices within the AMS and seek to ensure that there are rightful opportunities for all who wish to be involved.
For the AMS, this office acts as the head of public relations that deals with press releases, communication with external media outlets and the management of any online content/social media and marketing research. They also act as promoters for clubs and societies who want to relay information, media or campaigns to the student body.
Information Technology Office
The IT department works within the AMS on a government and corporate side to safeguard the function of their equipment and services. As well, they develop databases for AMS services and supply troubleshooting support. The Director is in charge of any new websites as well as ongoing website development.
The Advancement Office
The Advancement team is in charge of making sure the AMS has a unified approach to fundraising, sponsorship and engagement with AMS alumni. They build and maintain strong relationships with these sponsors and the rest of the Queens alumni community. The Director also oversees the annual Reunion Street Festival that happens on homecoming weekend!
I hope this gives you a better understanding of what the f&%k the AMS actually does because as you can see it does a lot for students! Hopefully you now have a better picture and will even consider applying like I did!
Written by the Marketing and Communications First Year Intern, Danielle Barish Con-Ed’20