March 16, 2017

KINGSTON, ON – Today, Tyler Lively, AMS President, Dave Walker, AMS Vice President (Operations), and Carolyn Thompson, AMS Vice President (University Affairs) issued the following statement:

“We regretfully announce that the Peer Support Centre, Academic Grievance Centre, and Housing Resource Centre will be closed until further notice due to unbearably cold temperatures in the service spaces.”

“Due to the construction on the new Innovation and Wellness Centre, the spaces have become too cold to continue to serve students. These issues started in January and have been ongoing since then.”

“We brought this to the attention of the University in January and many times since, yet have seen no sustained improvement of the situation. Given the continued cold weather we can no longer continue to ask our volunteers to work in these conditions.”

“We are extremely disappointed in the University for their failure to address these issues. It is unacceptable that our volunteers have had to wrap themselves in blankets and wear winter jackets over the past three months.”

“The AMS is working to find an alternative space for the Peer Support Centre. Its services are too valuable to be shut down, especially as we approach exam season. In the interim, we would direct students seeking support to contact peersupport@ams.queensu.ca.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Peer Support Centre, Academic Grievance Centre, and Housing Resource Centre offices are all located along the east wall of the JDUC. In the Innovation and Wellness Centre construction project, the west wall of the PEC was demolished. The wall provided insulation to the JDUC, and demolishing it eliminated any insulation against cold temperatures.
  • The AMS first notified the University of heating issues on January 11th. Various measures have been attempted including installing space heaters and a heating blanket. None of these measures have had any sustainable improvement.
  • The AMS installed digital thermometers in affected spaces. Temperatures in the rooms over the past two days have dropped as low as 12.3° The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that offices be kept at a minimum temperature of 18°C.

Please direct all media inquiries to Bianca Balazic, AMS Director of Communications, at communications@ams.queensu.ca or (613) 533-6000 x 75850.

BACKGROUNDER

Alma Mater Society (AMS) – http://www.myams.org

The central undergraduate student government at Queen’s University, the AMS represents over 17,000 students and is the oldest student government in Canada. The AMS provides opportunities for over 1000 student volunteers and 500 paid staff each year.

The Peer Support Centre (PSC)

The Peer Support Centre operates as a confidential, non-judgmental drop-in service in room 34 of the JDUC. Staffed from 12 – 10pm every day of the week by 74 student volunteers, the Centre acts as a critical peer-to-peer support service.