Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Leading undergraduates

A new AMS executive team is bringing extensive experience in student government to their new roles.

Photo of AMS executive team: Alexandra Samoyloff, Vice President (Operations); Jared den Otter, President; and Alexia Henriques, Vice President (University Affairs)
The new AMS executive team: Alexandra Samoyloff, Vice President (Operations); Jared den Otter, President; and Alexia Henriques, Vice President (University Affairs). (Supplied photo)

With a thriving culture of over 18,000 undergraduates, leading the undergraduate student government at Queen’s University is a significant undertaking. But the new executive team for the Alma Mater Society (AMS) has a wide range of experience to draw on as they work to represent the interests of their peers. Jared den Otter, Alexandra Samoyloff, and Alexia Henriques were elected as the new AMS leaders in January and began their roles on May 1.

“The AMS plays a very important role on campus, as it provides services and resources to undergraduates, oversees over 250 clubs, and works with the administration on the behalf of students. As we begin our term, we are looking forward to working with our peers to address their concerns and provide them the support they need,” says Jared den Otter, President, AMS.

Executive teams for the Alma Mater Society are comprised of a president, vice president (operations), and vice president (university affairs). And they run for election as a group, campaigning and strategizing as a team. In the new executive team, den Otter is president, Samoyloff is vice president (operations), and Henriques is vice president (university affairs).

Developing a platform

These three decided to run together because they felt they brought complementary perspectives to a variety of issues that are important to students. And they had made a connection with each other over their previous years at Queen’s through student government and academics. Before they began as the new AMS executive team, each of them had served in representative roles for several years.

As they campaigned, the new executive team developed a platform that rests on five pillars: health and wellness; sustainability; equity; external affairs; and student engagement. They decided on these pillars after speaking with many different students and student groups. All three of them also had become passionate about pursuing these strategic areas of focus in their prior work in student government at Queen’s.

Student government during the pandemic

While they still aim to pursue issues related to their five pillars, the new AMS executives have had to devote a significant amount of attention to pandemic-related issues in the first few weeks of their term. But they are doing their best to tie this work into their other overarching goals.

“In our responses to the pandemic, we’re letting the core values we outlined in our platform guide us. We’re trying to keep important issues like equity and student engagement in mind as we make decisions,” says den Otter.

As the AMS works to adapt throughout the pandemic, the executive team is letting their peers know that they are there to help them. They are actively using social media to keep undergraduates updated on their latest developments. And they will also be launching a COVID-19 web page next week to compile the latest information in one place.

“Throughout our campaign, we used the slogan ‘We’re with you,’ and we want Queen’s undergraduates to know that that is especially true right now,” says den Otter.

To learn more about the AMS visit their website