Queen's University — Since 1873
16th March 2007

Low student turnout at AGM

Lack of quorum means students can petition to overturn motions passed

AMS VP (UA) Meghan Teuber speaks at the AMS Annual General Meeting Tuesday.
AMS VP (UA) Meghan Teuber speaks at the AMS Annual General Meeting Tuesday. (Jeff Kloosterman)

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The AMS’s Annual General Meeting failed to meet quorum Tuesday, when only approximately
65 of the 100 people needed were in attendance.

Adam Rose, AMS speaker, said the AMS constitution sets quorum for general meetings at 100 members. “If there isn’t quorum reached, the meeting still goes ahead and its decisions are binding unless any member of the society disagrees with decisions made and presents a petition within two weeks with 100 signatures,” he said. If a student collects 100 signatures, the AMS holds a new AGM. If the new meeting still doesn’t have quorum, the original decisions are binding.

If there is quorum, however, a new AGM goes ahead and if the decisions change, then those new
ones are binding. “There are two more assemblies coming up … this term, so there is still plenty of time to have other motions passed,” Rose said. James Macmillan said he would have loved to see more people at the AGM.

“Obviously this time of year and the various commitments that people have, I guess people couldn’t
find time in their schedules to do it.”

Macmillan said the e-mail telling students about the AGM was originally sent out on Friday, but students only received it on Sunday due to IT issues. “The e-mail doesn’t come straight from my account; it has to work its way through ITS first,” he said. “It wasn’t able to get out as soon as we would have liked.”
He said better advertising and communication would help encourage better attendance in the future.

“The communication didn’t go out until late,” he said, adding that communication needs to emphasize
that students can put forward their own motions at the AGM.
“They don’t just have to come and listen to what we have to say,” he said.

At the meeting, two changes were put forward, but one, which proposed providing alternative choices when students vote on whether to stay with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance this fall, was pulled by Aaron Lemkow, who had originally put it forward, in order for it to be reworded.

It’s now slated to be discussed at the March 29 assembly. Lemkow also put forward a motion that the AMS Assembly endorse the establishment of a community garden on campus.

Lemkow said he has been discussing the idea with students from the Farmer’s Market, Tracey Taylor of OPIR G, and Blake Anderson, the current AMS sustainability co-ordinator. Lemkow suggested the space next to MacGillivray-Brown Hall— on the Southwest corner of Earl and Barrie Streets—as a possible site for the community garden. “We just think it’d be a good idea to kind of compliment what’s going on there,” Lemkow said, referring to the fair trade co-op and Earth Centre.

He added that the garden can be used as an educational tool as well as show the importance of the
project as urban agriculture. Lemkow said the motion, which doesn’t ask for any specific commitments or monetary remuneration from the AMS, is a first step to garner support.

“We’re hoping that over the summer we can work out the details with the University to get it through … to get the momentum going behind getting this done,” Lemkow said.

If the garden becomes functional, Lemkow said, it could act as a great community involvement project to reach out to Kingston members as well as Queen’s students.

The annual corporate general meeting, held before the Annual General Meeting, made three amendments to AMS corporate bylaws.

One motion changed several CFRC bylaws. Sayyida Jaffer, CFRC operations officer, said the CFRC board was looking over the bylaws and realized there were a number of things that needed tweaking. Among these was the radio station’s complaints policy.

“We wanted to give staff an adequate amount of time to discuss a response and a course of action [to complaints],” she said. “It used to be three days and three days isn’t long enough to discuss as a staff … and to reply to it adequately.” Jaffer said they will also add a student from the School of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) to the CFRC board. “SGPS students pay fees so they should have a representative on the board.”

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