September 2nd, 2020

Kingston, ON –  The mandate of the Board of Directors is to provide strategic oversight, financial accountability, and human resources support to Alma Mater Society Inc. (AMS). Our goal is to protect the interests and advance the objectives of all AMS stakeholders, including the students of Queen’s University and the employees of the AMS. The Board has been listening carefully to the stories that have recently been shared on social media regarding the experiences of our stakeholders. We regret that stakeholders have had to turn to social media to share their stories because they were not comfortable speaking with the AMS or the Board directly. However, in response, the Board has taken the following immediate actions: 

  • An ad-hoc Committee of the Board has been formed to specifically focus on the stories shared and the related subject matter. There is no Executive or Permanent Staff representation on the Committee. The Committee is comprised entirely of Independent Directors. The committee members are:  
    • Jordan Nensi, BCom ’20 / JD ’21: Committee Chair & Student Director
    • Zoey Aliasgari, BCom ’21 / JD ’23: Student Director 
    • Ryan Campbell, MBA ’15: Community Director 
    • Patrick Kennedy, BA (Hons) ’02: Community Director 
    • David Masotti, BSci ‘85: Community Director  
    • Joseph Villamizar: Community Advisor 
  • The ad-hoc Committee has engaged an external investigator to investigate the allegations relating to a current member of our Permanent Staff.  
  • The ad-hoc Committee has made the Kingston Police Department (KPD) aware of disclosures posted to social media relating to sexual assault. The AMS & KPD encourage survivors of sexual violence to explore their options, which can be found here
  • The ad-hoc Committee and Personnel Committee of the Board have instituted a Criminal Records and Judicial Matters Check requirement for all future Walkhome employees.  
  • The ad-hoc Committee and Personnel Committee of the Board are actively collaborating on changes to the AMS Harassment, Discrimination and Violence in the Workplace Policy and Program. We are consulting AMS staff in this work, including the current AMS Social Issues Commissioner. External labour and employment counsel has also been engaged to provide an assessment of the policy and program. 
  • The ad-hoc Committee and Personnel Committee of the Board are continuing to monitor the redesigned AMS transition program and will solicit feedback on the program directly from AMS employees this Fall.     
  • The ad-hoc Committee and Finance & Risk Committee of the Board will review the use of student funds, the classification of management positions, and the overtime pay practices of the AMS.  
  • The ad-hoc Committee has made an anonymous reporting form available to allow individuals to report incidents directly to the Board of Directors. The form can be accessed here.

The Board would like to clarify that the AMS has consistently published and made available its audited financial statements as part of our annual report. Annual reports dating back to 2010-11 and audited financial statements dating back to 2008, can be found here. The annual report and audited financial statements for the 2019-20 year are currently under audit and will be made available at the Corporate Special General Meeting, regularly held in November. All students, who are AMS members, have been welcome in the past and continue to be welcome to attend this meeting.  

Finally, the Board would like to remind the community that the stories shared have consequences for the individuals mentioned within them. It is essential to ensure submissions are an accurate reflection of events and are treated with appropriate seriousness. Individuals are encouraged to use the new anonymous reporting form to bring concerns to our attention. The Board is committed to addressing the concerns of our stakeholders in a meaningful way and continuing to ensure that the AMS makes a positive contribution to Queen’s University.  

Contact:
Jordan Nensi: Chair of the Board of Directors
board.chair@ams.queensu.ca

Board of Directors Anonymous Reporting Tool
https://bit.ly/AMSBoardReports

Please direct all media inquiries to Patrice Oliveira, AMS Director of Communications, at communications@ams.queensu.ca.
  
BACKGROUNDER  
Alma Mater Society (AMS) – //www.myams.org  
The central undergraduate student government at Queen’s University, the AMS represents over 18,000 students and is the oldest student government in Canada. There are over 1,000 student volunteers and 700 paid staff. 

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Alma Mater Society of Queen's University

Queen’s University sits on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee & Anishinaabe peoples.
L’Université Queen’s est située sur les terres traditionnelles des peuples Haudenosaunee et Anishinaabe.
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