Hi everyone, I’m Palmer Lockridge, the Vice-President (University Affairs) for 2017-2018! I oversee and support the activities of the four AMS Commissions and the Clubs Office, which together make up the bulk of the “government-side” of the AMS.  

The hard-working student volunteers and staff members of these various departments make enormous contributions to student life by administering services like the Peer Support Centre, Academic Grievance Centre, Housing Resource Centre, and countless other initiatives. These services make a direct impact in students’ lives by contributing to a caring and supportive campus culture. But we know that there are more ways to build the kind of Queen’s that students want to see.  

Many students have told us in the past few months that they want us to place a greater focus on sustainable advocacy and environmental action, especially after the integration of the committees and services of the former Commission of Environmental Affairs into the other Commissions of the AMS. That’s exactly what we have done, and I want to let you know some of the sustainable initiatives we have planned for the coming year.  

By working hand-in-hand with our partners in the University and the City of Kingston, we were glad to support the introduction of dockless bikesharing in Kingston last month. The encouragement of active transportation is not only a great way to reduce our carbon footprint, but also makes Kingston a more vibrant and accessible place for everyone.  

We are also excited to announce the creation of the AMS Sustainability Partnership, a roundtable that will bring together student leaders with other stakeholders to address environmental issues at Queen’s and beyond. Its tasks will include helping us structure our sustainability study for the coming year, directing our advocacy efforts, and awarding recognition for student leadership in sustainable innovation and awareness.  

While we are proud to have taken these steps, my fellow AMS Executives and I recognize that student leadership happens across campus, and is not restricted to the AMS. As we announced today, we will no longer be directly administering Bikes and Board as a corporate service under the AMS. Instead, Bikes and Boards will become a student-led club. It was determined, after a process of review and reflection, that this would better serve its mandate and allow it to thrive going forward.  

The new Bikes and Boards club will inherit all the assets and inventory of the AMS service—plus a $2,500 grant from the AMS Board of Directors—and will operate out of the same location in the JDUC going forward, with no rent charged to them in the coming year.  

Lastly, I wanted to take a moment to advertise the Sustainability Action Fund, which provides financial assistance to student-run projects that increase campus energy efficiency, reduce waste, and educate the Queen’s community on sustainability-related issues. We take applications three times a year, and the next round is due on October 6th. You can get download the (paperless!) application form right here.

Remember that you are always welcome to drop by our offices to chat about sustainability, student support, and anything else! I can be reached at vpua@ams.queensu.ca and I can’t wait to see you again in September.

Palmer Lockridge is Vice-President (University Affairs) in the AMS.