Council Summaries Council Meeting Summary, February 15, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of February 15, 2017:

BDS Referendum: Council heard statements from students at large both for and against the prospective referendum to boycott Israeli companies.

Website update: Communications Manager Kris Anderson told Council about plans to redevelop the AMS website. The new site would include a responsive (mobile friendly) design, better user experience, improved information architecture, and an updated look and feel that would include real (not stock) photography. Council approved $45,000 for the project.

Budget reforecast: VP Finance Louis Retief reported that business revenues are up and expenditures are down, so he is now predicting a surplus of $561,000.

Election endorsements: Council suspended Code to prohibit candidates in the upcoming elections from endorsing other candidates.  There was talk of this being just a form of slate-like behaviour, which is banned in the Code.

Referendums: Council approved and endorsed three referendum questions to go to the student body in March:

  1. A Bylaw Amendment package, including a reduction of the size of Council.
  2. A new fee to pay for a recreational/fitness facility.
  3. Authorization to sell up to four pictures from the AMS art collection.

Services Review: Hussam Zbeeb, the Student Services Manager, reported on the just conducted review, saying:

  • Safewalk will bring back walking and have only one vehicle, to avoid abuse of the service.
  • Volunteer Avenue will be discontinued because it overlaps with services offered by the University.
  • There should be an off-campus housing service.
  • Textbook services are not feasible.
  • The AMS should lobby the University to improve their career services.

Entrepreneur Hub: Council approved the creation of a new Service, the Entrepreneur Hub, or eHub, to assist students interested in entrepreneurship.

Financial Transparency: VP Finance Louis Retief proposed a new budgetary timeline with quarterly updates to let Council and the public known where student fees are going.

Old SUB renovations: VP Admin Chris Scott said these have been delayed till December because of the need to remove hazardous material.

Election stuff: Council amended Code to remove the provision allowing poll clerks to have their stipend taken away for violating impartiality.  Two members were added to the Elections Committee.  The Elections Administrator’s hours were increased.

Stop abstaining!  AMS President Ava Nasiri and student Board of Governors member Veronica Knott urged Councillors not to abstain on motions or at least to explain why they were abstaining.  The Speaker said Councillors have the right to abstain.

Next regular Council meeting: March 1, 2017 in the Forum in the Nest at 6 pm.

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