AMS State of the Union 2015

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    24-Dec-2015

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  • Team WRL ran on comprehensive platform covering the pillars of: Broader Learning Environment; Health, Wellness, and Safety; Academic and Professional Development; and Infrastructure and Campus Resources.

    LEGEND

    PILLAR 1: BROADER LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Tricolour Festival

    The ReUnion Street Festival occurred on October 18th, the Saturday night of Homecoming weekend. The event was a tremendous success, with an estimated 10,000 attendees. Students and alumni connected in an informal setting, and city partners were extremely supportive of the result. The AMS is putting forward a student fee at tonights AGM to secure the future continuation of this event.

    Improved Distribution Process for Homecoming Tickets

    Following difficulties with Homecoming football ticket distribution last year, the AMS communicated extensively with

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  • Athletics and Recreation to ensure distribution methods were fair and clear. After examining the issues that arose last year, it became clear that the issue arose as a result of miscommunication around the mechanism for ticket distribution. As such, the AMS partnered with Athletics and Recreation to ensure students were aware of the process, resulting in a much smoother distribution period. Beyond this, the AMS lobbied to ensure students would not be charged for football tickets in the new Richardson Stadium. Following questions around revenue generation for the capital project, the AMS was engaged in discussions that ended in assurances that the current student activity fee for Athletics and Recreation would continue to cover ticket costs as long as it is in effect.

    Liaising more Effectively with Clubs on Campus

    The Clubs Office went through a complete overhaul this year, with policy changes addressing the inadequate support and guidance provided to that Office. New procedures for ratification, grant allocation, and administrative accountability will ensure greater effectiveness of the AMS and its relationship with clubs. The addition of an Assistant Clubs Manager dedicated to financial and space auditing and overseeing the event-sanctioning process will undoubtedly fill a glaring hole in the AMSs fiscal,

  • legal, and insurance responsibilities. All changes were completed with a desire to improve the level of customer service provided to clubs on campus. The newly formatted club executive workshop was well attended and the Tricolour Open House ran more smoothly this year, taking into account past feedback.

    Fostering an Inclusive, Supportive, and Spirited Orientation Week

    Orientation was once again a highlight of the academic calendar. The newly created Leadership Director position proved instrumental to ensure high quality leader training and support to benefit the incoming class. There continued to be strong collaboration and cooperation amongst the various weeks and an effort to share best practices. Students played an integral role implementing the changes made to the new policy governing the Senate Orientation Activities Review Board, and have proactively addressed concerns that arose this year, including developing a more effective communication framework to ensure that all information disseminated is timely and accurate.

    Tricolour Sponsorship with Athletics and Recreation

    On March 26th, all proceeds from sales at Tricolour Outlet will go to the Varsity Leadership Council in support for student athletes.

    Improved Arts Council

    Arts Council improved incredibly useful to foster a strong relationship with the new Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Concerns surrounding the initial management

  • of the Isabel were raised through the Arts Council in a professional way and led to a number of productive and effective discussions. Arts Council will continue to serve as a valuable resource for the Commission as it begins to play a larger role in the performances that take place at the Isabel.

    Campus Pub Crawl

    This year, the AMS introduced QPop! Music Festival in the Fall Semester, with a follow-up event occurring in the Winter. This music festival brought together Clark Hall Pub, The Underground, Grad Club, and Common Ground Coffeehouse into a one-weekend event showcasing campus venues and local talent. The AMS will be institutionalizing QPop! as an annual event under the Campus Activities Commission.

    PILLAR 2: HEALTH, WELLNESS, AND SAFETY Walk-In Clinic

    The AMS has been engaged in discussions with DrugSmart pharmacy and several units across the university on an ongoing basis since February 2014. Given the unique challenges posed by introducing a clinic onto campus that operates independently from the university, we have spent a great deal of time with legal council, the Director of Risk Management, and experts in the public health field. We are currently in the process of finalizing a potential model that could be applied in the space, and look forward to updating Assembly

  • once a decision has been made. In addition, the AMS has been involved in discussions surrounding the redevelopment of the Physical Education Centre as a student health and wellness centre. Our hope is that this could provide a new home for HCDS as well as other health-related services, further enhancing the supports available on campus and near the University District.

    Peer Support Centre Enhancement

    The Peer Support Centre hit a record for the number of students it has supported this year. Marketing & Outreach for the Centre proved extremely successful, with Queens TALKS and PSC CARES Week attracting lots of positive attention. ASIST (Assisted Suicide Intervention & Skills Training) was expanded to include all the PSC managers this year and CoGro gift cards were provided to volunteers to grab coffee and a muffin while on shift.

    Accessibility of Walkhome to Faculty Societies

    This year, Faculty Societies were provided with information about Walkhome and how it can provide satellite sites at their events. A mechanism was established to request Walkhome at faculty society events and was distributed at the beginning of the year.

    Integrating the Marketing of Telephone Aid Line Kingston and Walkhome

    Marketing for Telephone Aid Line Kingston (TALK) was integrated into service provision at Walkhome through the distribution of pamphlets at the kiosk at any time the service was open, and through staff training

  • around what the service could offer. Gluten Free at The Brew

    The management team at Common Ground undertook a testing period to decide which gluten free options were most desirable for students. Based off of the results, gluten free banana loaf and quinoa salad were added to the menu. A product survey followed to ensure students continue to receive gluten free options that meet their needs.

    Tricolour Fitness App

    After a number of discussions around creating a responsive website that would provide information around capacity, fitness classes, fitness tips, and the Gaels schedule, difficulties in integrating the varsity and recreation back ends of the website with the provider, Sidearm, were prohibitive. At present time, the AMS is waiting on a quote from a different developer to solve some of the challenges with feeding information from the 2 website structure.

    Promoting Safety and Security in Student Housing

    The Housing Grievance Centre is now equipped with light timers, for sale at cost. The Municipal Affairs Commissioner has been an active member of the Campus Safety Working Group, prioritizing more effective marketing and communication methods. The University District Brite Program, developed by the MAC and the Commission of the Environment & Sustainability, will work to install new energy efficient light bulbs across 100 porches in the UD which will simultaneously allow for the

  • streets to be better lit at night. Grocery Delivery Service

    Grocery Checkout is ready to implement their grocery delivery service in the University District next Fall. At present time, we are finalizing an outstanding space requirement with the objective of allowing them to begin trials over the summer.

    Health and Dental Plan Communication Strategy

    A couple years ago, the AMS decided that Studentcare would take over all marketing and communications of the plan with a small cost per plan. This year, Studentcare will be implementing a survey to understand how students view and interact with the plan, with no cost to the AMS. From this analysis, we will be able to guide Studentcares communication strategy in future students in a way that works for Queens students in particular. Essentially, this will create a custom communication plan for Queens.

    PILLAR 3: ACADEMICS AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

    Expanded Summer Courses

    The number of summer courses offered at Queens has increased from 37 in 2013, 44 in 2014, and 46 for 2015, with 10 of those courses significantly redeveloped. Credit is due to the Faculty of Arts & Science, Jill Scott, Vice Provost (Teaching and Learning), with strong advocacy by our Academic Affairs Commission.

    SOLUS Updates

    SOLUS has undergone system updates to enhance its ability to meet student needs. Moving forward, the AMS will continue to work with the

  • Registrars Office to make the course registration process as simple as possible.

    Establishment of Courses without Prerequisites

    Under the universitys new budget model, many departments and faculties are looking to introduce new courses or certificates that can be taken by students across the university without the requirement of program-specific prerequisites. In particular, many of these initiatives have stemmed from the School of Business and across departments in Arts and Science, and an undergraduate law class has been introduced as well. The creation of new programs has occurred with heavy involvement from the Academic Affairs Commission, and the AMS has advocated for the expansion of opportunities for interdisciplinary study across the university. Moving forward, the AMS will be engaged as the university pursues other avenues for course development, including further online courses available across the province or expanded opportunities through the recently created Arts and Science Internship Program. The AMS has also worked towards the establishment of course credits and internships that are established around existing AMS opportunities.

    Electronic Course Packs

    The P&CC worked with Access Copyright to introduce electronic course packs under a trial period.

  • This project was set up with one course as a pilot, and each student in the course received an electronic version of their physical course pack for free. At the end of the semester, students were surveyed to determine whether or not they saw value in this offering.

    Library Text-It

    The AMS successfully partnered with the library to introduce an app that allows you to text yourself a call number when searching for a book in the stacks.

    YDS Workshops

    A position was introduced into YDS this year that created the capacity to host workshops for students looking to improve their Photoshop skills as well as all YDS staff. Beyond this, YDS undertook a comprehensive effort to recreate their office as a hub for creativity and artistic innovation. As a result, the space has become the perfect location for teaching, learning, and discovery.

    Career Services Enhancements

    The Academic Affairs Commission partnered with Career Services to develop the It All Adds Up Campaign, designed to encourage students to not think of their university interests as disjointed from a career path, make the resources available more visible, and ease the stress that often accompanies such a large decision.

    Innovation Crowdfunding Platform

    The AMS has worked with the Office of Advancement to devise a tool that would facilitate the congregation of crowdfunding sites for Queens start-ups and ventures. This would allow

  • them to be more easily pitched to alumni who may be willing to provide seed funding or mentorship for each initiative. Recognizing the heavy usage of platforms such as Kickstarter for this purpose, the AMS is in the process of establishing a Queens University Kickstarter community on the site. This will allow investors or interested alumni to browse Queens-based innovations, but will not require the creation of a separate platform to use.

    PILLAR 4: INFRASTRUCTUE AND CAMPUS RESOURCES

    Via Rail Discounts for Students

    Via Rail has agreed to provide discounts for AMS members during busy travel times such as Thanksgiving, Winter Break, and Reading Week. We are currently in the process of confirming the details of this deal, to be implemented by the end of our term. Beyond this, we are working with the university to make a number of travel options available to students, which would include a smaller Via Rail discount throughout the year.

    Queens-Wide Energy Management Strategy

    The university worked with Honeywell in the establishment of a strategy examining large-scale infrastructure changes that could make the university more energy-efficient. Beyond this, a lighting project is underway across the university, with the JDUC incorporated. The AMS also establishing an Energy Management and Sustainability Working Group

  • under the SLC, and it has undertaken a number of initiatives including running the entire JDUC with Bullfrog Power for a week.

    Open Government

    At present time, the AMS website is not equipped with the infrastructure required to host Open Government information online. That said, the AMS has consulted heavily with the universitys Ethics Review Board, and has added the necessary requirements for an Open Government page in the Project Requirements Document for a revitalized AMS website. Once the new website is developed, all the legwork has been accomplished to get this feature up and running.

    Cell Phone Boosters

    Queens ITS has worked hard towards the implementation of cell phone boosters across campus at no cost to students or the university. The AMS has worked with Queens ITS in the identification of areas of high need through a survey disseminated to the student population. While not all boosters have been installed as of yet, implementation will continue starting with the areas identified as being of highest need by students.

    Introduction of New Services to the JDUC

    The AMS is in the process of negotiating a contract with a dental service provider following their successful bid at public tender for the performance lounge space in the JDUC. We will have the contract signed by the end of the term, with construction occurring over the summer for a Fall start date.

  • Dynamic Furniture and Charging Stations

    New tables have been purchased for the Common Ground Coffee Shop and the lower ceilidh of the JDUC to assist with flexible learning, and new charging stations have been installed through the SLC. In addition, the charging stations available at the Queens...

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