So you’ve definitely seen the posters, booths, and some sort of class speech? And a lot of enthusiasm. And you get it, there’s some sort of election, they’re excited, and you’re, well, you’re kind of confused. Thankfully, we’ve got your quick guide to how to navigate these elections.
First things first, let’s get a brief overview of what it is. The AMS, short for Alma Mater Society holds elections every year to choose a new executive team for the next school year. People run in teams of three which consist of a Presidential candidate, a Vice President-Operations candidate, and a Vice-President—University Affairs candidate.
This year’s voting will be conducted ONLINE through your Queen’s Email on January 28th and 29th (closes at 8pm) . When given an opportunity to have a say on how things will be run, the culture of the campus, etc. it’s important that you get your voice heard. Debates will be held at the Lower Ceilidh of the JDUC at 7PM. Monday January 20th will be the VP-University Affairs debate, Tuesday will be the VP-Operations debate, Wednesday will be the Presidential debate and Thursday, January 23rd will be the Rector Debate. If you can’t make it out, campus media outlets such as QTV, the campus radio station CFRC 101.9FM and the Queen’s Journal will be covering it as well! You can also keep up-to-date on the AMS Elections page.
Both teams have websites up so you can read their platforms, and get to know who they are. There are two teams running for the executive team: Team SMH and Team WRL. This year is a special year because in addition to the executive elections, we also have the opportunity to choose a new rector. A rector is a representative for all undergraduate and graduate students who holds a seat on the Board of Trustees and acts as a liaison of sorts between the students and the university. The three candidates running for the rector are: Aman Partap, Mike Young and Marcus Threndyle.
The President is the person who is responsible for ensuring that the AMS follow through on its visions and goals throughout the year. They are also the person responsible for governing the society and handling its $14 million dollar budget each year. The VP-Operations is in charge of the services that AMS runs – they have three directors they supervise who are responsible for retail, media, hospitality and safety services the AMS runs. They are also responsible for running the Bus-It program, the AMS Health & Dental Plan, and the consolidated budget. The VP-University Affairs deals with all internal matters that are educational or political. They oversee the six commissions of the AMS which are: Academic Affairs, Campus Activities, Commission of Environment and Sustainability, Commission of Internal Affairs, Municipal Affairs Commission and the Social Issues Commission.
In some ways universities are microcosms of society – our elections have many similarities to municipal, provincial and federal elections, and it’s a wonderful way to start getting engaged in your community from a young age. Check out their websites, stop by their booths, talk to them or their volunteers, make an informed vote, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of everything going on!
photo credit: Emma Digney