Council Summaries Council Meeting Summary, March 1, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of March 1, 2017:

Health and Dental Plan: Sophia Haque and Bahareh Jokar made the annual report to Council on the health and dental plan, noting that the plan now includes a pharmacy network offering extra savings to students.  They also mentioned a new legal services plan that the AMS might be interested in.

Loan interest reduction: VP External Kathleen Simpson reported that the government has reduced the student loan interest rate.

BDS Referendum: VP Academic Samantha So announced that 1,000 signatures have been verified on the petition calling for a referendum to boycott Israeli companies, and the referendum will take place March 27-31.

Block Party: Managing Director Keith Hester announced that the Block Party line-up has been released and 3,500 tickets have been sold so far.  AMS President Ava Nasiri later told Council about the Block Party video.

Steering Committee: In response to a question about the feasibility of the committee, AMS President Ava Nasiri said she would be happy to make a report.

AMS History Book: AMS Archivist Sheldon Goldfarb said negotiations with the publisher have resulted in a contract, which will probably be brought to Council next time.  Also, former Prime Minister Kim Campbell has written her Preface.

Student Services: Council approved in principle the recommendations for the Services put forward by Student Services Manager Hussam Zbeeb.  One of these is for the discontinuation of Volunteer Avenue.

Lab fees: Council members representing Engineering made a presentation about lab fees and other additional fees charged by the University.  For a new program in Bio-medical engineering students will have to pay an extra $750 in lab fees.  The Engineering members recommended that the AMS take a stand against such fees.

Standardized election dates: Council approved a recommendation from the ad hoc committee on AMS-Constituency relations to standardize Constituency election dates to facilitate orientations.

Constituency deficits: Council approved a recommendation from the AMS-Constituency committee to bring back rules requiring approval by the VP Finance, the VP Administration, and the Budget Committee for Constituency deficits over $1,000.  Credit card reimbursements over $5,000 would also be subject to Budget Committee approval.

Referendum involvement: AMS President Ava Nasiri encouraged Councillors to get involved in promoting the three AMS-endorsed questions in the upcoming referendum: on Bylaw amendments, a fee for a new fitness facility, and authorization to sell four AMS artworks.  There will be T-shirts, posters, and flyers to distribute; also a campaign rally and a vote party.  The President also announced that there will be a referendum video.

Elections: Elections Administrator Max Holmes reported that work is being done to ensure that students at the affiliated colleges (Regent, VST) can vote through the electronic system, but if that doesn’t work out there may have to be paper ballots.

Executive and Staff involvement in Elections: Board of Governors member Veronica Knott introduced a discussion about Executives and student staff taking part in election campaigns.  AMS President Ava Nasiri suggested not allowing endorsement of candidates by current Executives and their staff and also not allowing them to lodge election complaints.  VP External Kathleen Simpson wondered if this prohibition should be extended to all Councillors as well.

Next regular Council meeting: March 15, 2017 in the Forum in the Nest at 6 pm.

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