Council Summaries Council Meeting Summary, February 8, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of February 8, 2017:

BDS Referendum: Council heard a statement from a student at large saying the prospective referendum to boycott Israeli companies violates AMS Code and Bylaws.

New Recreation Fee: Council heard a statement from a student at large in support of a new $25 recreation fee to build a new recreation centre on campus.

Refinancing the Nest: Council approved a refinancing agreement which will save students almost $63 million, meaning that it will take 19 years instead of 35 to pay off the loan the AMS took out to pay for the building.  This will be done by switching the loan from the University to the Royal Bank, which offers a lower interest rate.

AMS-Constituency relationships: Veronica Knott presented recommendations from the ad hoc committee looking into this. Concerned about liability issues for the AMS, the committee recommended orientations for Constituencies, a restoration of Code provisions concerning Constituency deficits, monthly meetings with Constituency presidents, better oversight by the AMS, and standardized Constituency election dates.

Referendum questions:  Council was informed about the referendum questions that will be proposed for approval February 15.  These include a package of bylaw amendments, a request to sell three works from the AMS art collection, and a request for a new fee to pay for a new recreation facility.

Bylaw changes:  The proposed bylaw changes would:

  1. Reduce the size of Council by reducing the number of representatives the larger Constituencies have, and by eliminating the Senate and BoG reps.
  2. Eliminate SAC, the body that formerly oversaw the clubs.
  3. Allow Council to create a new investment policy not restricting the AMS to investing in bonds and other Single A investments.
  4. Change the date of the AMS budget from May 1 to June 30.
  5. Add the President and VP External as signing officers.
  6. Rename the General Manager the Managing Director and give them responsibility for “operational aspects” of the AMS instead of “general business affairs.”
  7. Change the Budget Committee to a finance committee.

Current $21 AMS Athletic Fee: Council directed current and future Executives to review the current fee and report back annually on it from 2018 through 2020.

Code and Policy changes: Council approved Code changes about the new campus culture fee and the Health and Dental Fee (based on the 2016 referendum on those fees).  It also approved an overhaul of the Grad Class Council and an update to the Expulsion policy.  And it amended Code to prohibit poll clerks from assisting in election and referendum campaigns.

Next regular Council meeting: February 15, 2017 in the Alumni Centre at 6 pm.

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