With the AMS Annual General Meeting set to take place on March 10, it is once again time to ensure that Queen’s students are informed of the significant powers each member wields at this fundamentally important meeting of the Alma Mater Society.
While usually represented by elected officials from each faculty society, at the Annual General Meeting each member of the AMS that attends is provided with both a vote and a voice with which to participate in creating transparency and upholding integrity that reflects Queen’s unique spirit. In fact, this right is enshrined at the very heart of the AMS constitution, which maintains that each member be entitled to:
(i) be present at any Society Annual Meeting or Society Special General Meeting;
(ii) speak to any motion under consideration;
(iii) move or second motions;
(iv) exercise their voting privileges.
All that is required by the members to exercise these privileges is to simply make sure that all dues and fees have been paid. If this minimal threshold is met then any Society member may place a motion on the agenda for the Annual General Meeting, provided that:
(i) there is a mover and a seconder who are both Society members; and
(ii) the motion with mover and seconder is submitted in writing to the Commissioner of Internal Affairs on or before the seventh day before the day of the meeting (March 3rd) .
(iii) a determination has not been made that the passage of the motion would constitute an egregious violation of the Mission or Operating Statements of the Society; a violation of law; a violation of contractual, financial or other obligations undertaken by the Society; or the Student Code of Conduct. Such determination must be made unanimously by the Speaker, the AMS President and the Commissioner of Internal Affairs.
What this means for students is that they have the power to create real and pivotal change to Queen’s and its community. A recent example comes from the 2005 AGM, when Queen’s students made history by approving the largest student capital contribution at that time in the form of a $25.5 million budget approval for the Queen’s Centre Project. History is similarly ready to be created this year, as the Queen’s community prepares to decide on whether or not to ratify student fees to solidify the long term stability of the ReUnion Street Festival, and continue the sustainable funding of Studio Q—the newly amalgamated service consisting of Queen’s TV, Convocation Services, and Yearbook Design Services.
In addition to the ability to weigh in on these upcoming decisions, the Annual General Meeting also represents an empowering opportunity for students to bring their own issues, considerations, and motions forward to be debated and decided upon by the AMS. Any topics that students feel are under-represented can be raised, and through dialogue can lead to the creation of significant and sustainable solutions. Moreover, the Annual General Meeting also allows members to engage each other and ensure that the most significant issues are targeted first, allowing the Queen’s community to take part in shaping it’s future to an even greater extent.
For these reasons and many more the Annual General Meeting is your opportunity to bring change to the AMS and Queen’s. On March 10 come out and let your voice be heard!
Alma Mater Society of Queen's University
L’Université Queen’s est située sur les terres traditionnelles des peuples Haudenosaunee et Anishinaabe.