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AMS exec plans next chapter

When they officially assume their roles on May 1st, the incoming Alma Mater Society (AMS) executive team want to focus on modest, incremental changes rather than big-ticket items. The team, comprised of Kanivanan Chinniah (Artsci’15) as President, Catherine Wright (Artsci’15) as Vice-President (University Affairs) and Kyle Beaudry (Com’15) as Vice-President (Operations), want to refine the services the AMS already offers, rather than overhauling or creating any new ones.

The incoming AMS executive team is (l-r) Kanivanan Chinniah, Catherine Wright and Kyle Beaudry. (Photo supplied)

“The AMS is in a place now where we’ve benefitted from wells that we didn’t dig ourselves. Our predecessors have done a lot of work and we want to build on that work with small, practical changes,” says Mr. Chinniah. “Our term is 366 days, but it’s only one chapter in a broader book.”

Mr. Beaudry, who oversees AMS corporate services like the Publishing and Copy Centre and Queen’s Pub, outlined some of the changes the team hopes to bring into effect. Along with a customer satisfaction audit to improve service at all AMS outlets, they also have specific changes in mind for the campus café, Common Ground.

“We want to address the lack of seating at CoGro. We’ve heard from students that the lines are long and that they can’t find seats,” he says. “We want to restructure the seating to allow for more people, so that students can more easily find space to have a coffee and a snack.”

Speaking to some of the broader plans they want to work with the university to implement, Ms. Wright says the executive team plans to advocate for the creation of a student health and wellness centre in the Physical Education Centre and wants to see an experiential learning credit created for students.

“The credit would allow students to take courses outside of their faculty or program, but wouldn’t affect their grade point average. A credit like that would encourage students to diversify the learning experience they have here at Queen’s,” Ms. Wright says.

Before elaborating on their plans, however, the team wants to make sure they’ve allowed the student body to have their say.

“We’re committed to the consultative process and want to make sure we’re engaged in informed advocacy. We want to do that by meeting with students in focus groups, using surveys and by holding town halls,” says Ms. Wright. “When we’re at the decision-making table, we want to make sure the opinions we’re bringing are what students want.”