May 17th, 2021  

KINGSTON, ON – In consideration of the recent post released by the Queen’s Journal Instagram account on Sunday, May 16th regarding the ongoing Israel-Palestine events, the AMS compassionately acknowledges the personal and emotional impact this has on Queen’s students and our Queen’s community. The mandate of the AMS has always been to uphold equity, diversity, and inclusivity in all areas of student life. We are not, nor have we ever been, a political organization. We are here to support all students of all identities and opinions. We firmly believe that everyone has a right to a safe learning environment. While we recognize that the current issues distinctly affect varying groups, our hearts go out to all Queen’s students and communities that have been affected. 

The editorial autonomy of the Queen’s Journal is guaranteed by the AMS Corporate By-Laws and Constitution (Section 14.1.2) to ensure the Editorial Board is free from influence from student government or institutions. The Queen’s Journal is responsible to manage within their policies and editorial board, how they manage editorial decisions.  We are aware of concerns regarding the editorial board and publication process. Moving forward, the AMS will be reviewing whether this process was followed prior to the release of the Instagram post.   

However, the AMS is responsible for the financial oversight of the Queen’s Journal through the AMS Board of Directors. The AMS Executive assures students that no student activity funds will be used for political donations. Moving forward, the AMS Executive will be meeting with the Queen’s Journal Editors in Chief. Additionally, a discussion will be had at AMS Assembly on Thursday, May 20th, and a conversation with the AMS Board of Directors will follow. Lastly, the AMS will be tentatively re-opening the Peer Support Centre for additional support for members of our Queen’s Community. The Peer Support Centre will resume operations on Tuesday, May 18th. Please refer to their channels of communication for information on how to access this resource.  

Of course, the AMS supports safety for all students. Our official statement released on Saturday, May 15th, speaks to our commitment regarding the impact of global equity crises on our students. Please refer to our global equity crises statement and social media page, in which we have attached a variety of resources pertaining to mental health, equity, local religious services, and faculty-specific contacts. We encourage all students in need of support to access these resources. 

As leaders of your student government, we urge all students to be respectful of each other and be compassionate during this difficult time. The AMS strongly condemns discriminatory conduct among students, there is no place in our community for hate, racism, sexism, homophobia, or discrimination of any kind. Lastly, we want to assure our community that we will always prioritize the wellbeing of our students and we will continue to offer support and resources to all Queen’s students and advocate for EDII values.  

We stand with you.  

Sincerely, 

Zaid Kasim, AMS President 

Tiana Wong, AMS VP (Operations) 

Ryan Sieg, AMS VP (University Affairs)  

Students in need of support can access the following resources: 

AMS President  

Zaid Kasim – president@ams.queensu.ca 

Social Issues Commission  

Social issues commissioner – Samara Lijiam  

Peer Support Centre (PSC) 

Please refer to their hours of operation.  

Student Wellness Services 

Access cross-cultural 1:1 and group counselling at Student Wellness Services. You can make an appointment by calling 613-533-2506. 

EmpowerMe  

Empower Me is a 24/7 phone service for crisis situations and scheduled sessions that allows students to connect with qualified counselors, consultants, and life coaches for a variety of issues. The password required to access the service is studentcare. 

Good2Talk  

Good2Talk is a free confidential mental health helpline.  

Telephone Aid Line Kingston  

TALK is a confidential, anonymous, and non-judgemental volunteer-based support service. 

Queen’s Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) 

The Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC)  

QUIC offers virtual drop-in advising sessions every Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 11:00 am and 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm. 

Faith-based Chaplains on Campus 

Please direct all media inquiries to Maddie Zarb, 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 19,000 students and is the oldest student government in Canada. There are over 1,000 student volunteers and 700 paid staff.  

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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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