Council Summaries Council Meeting Summary, March 15, 2017

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

 Election Results! The Elections Administrator, Max Holmes, announced the AMS election results, making them official.  The winners were:

Alan Ehrenholz (aka the Engineers’ Cairn), President

Daniel Lam, VP Academic

Alim Lakhiyalov, VP Finance

Pooja Bhatti, VP Administration

Sally Lin, VP External

Referendum results too!  All three referendums passed.  The students voted to amend the AMS bylaws, to authorize the sale of four artworks from the AMS art collection, and to pay a new fee for a recreation facility.

Other results: Jeanie Malone and Kevin Doering were elected to serve on the University’s Board of Governors.  The five student senators elected were: Jakob Gattinger, Daniel Lam, Ian Sapollnik, Kevin Doering, and Simran Brar.

Turnout: At 20.7%, turnout was the fourth best result in recent history.

Election recommendations: The Elections Administrator said his successors should be required to report to Council regularly.  He also recommended an overhaul of the Electoral Procedures to make electronic voting the default system.

Voter Funded Media: There was discussion about the usefulness of the VFM system.  Only two outlets took part this year.  There was some sentiment for getting rid of it.

Trees: Student at large Julian Del Balso recommended that the campus go in for coniferous trees instead of deciduous so the trees would be alive during the winter when most students are here.

Pi(e) Day!  Actually a day late, but the Engineers showed up to pie Councillors for charity.  The meeting recessed for half an hour.

AMS Strategic Plan: AMS President Ava Nasiri informed Council about plans to develop a three-year plan covering engagement, representation, support structures, and internal operations.

UBC Strategic Plan: AMS President Nasiri noted that the steering committee for the University’s plan does not include any representation from AMS Council, which she said was a concern.

Art Sale: In the wake of the successful referendum, Council was informed about possible next steps towards selling four artworks, including reaching out to art experts, striking an ad hoc committee, and having a staff member research the issues involved.  There was also talk of possibly renting out some of the works.

Book: Council approved a contract with Heritage House to publish the AMS history book, which may retail for $32.95.  Publication will not cost the AMS anything, and if there are profits, the AMS will get a share.  Publication is expected in the fall.

RBC interest rate swap: As part of the refinancing of the Nest by switching the AMS loan from UBC to RBC, and saving the AMS $62 million, Council passed a motion to sign an agreement with RBC.

Volunteer Avenue and Services Reviews: Council officially discontinued the Volunteer Avenue service and passed a Code rule requiring that reviews of the AMS Services take place every three years.

Committee Chairs: In a revision of last September’s assignment of all committee chairships to Executives, Council passed new Code specifying that some committee chairs will be chosen by Council.  This was followed by appointments of the following chairs:

Advocacy Committee, Sally Lin; HR Committee, Hannah Xiao; Student Life Committee, Lorenzo Lindo.

Transit Advocacy: Council approved a new policy on transit, focusing less on the Broadway line.

Representation on Council: Pursuant to the Bylaw changes that reduced the number of members on Council, steps will be taken to revise the constitutions of certain Constituencies.  These revisions may be done by AMS Council, since it will be difficult for the Constituencies to hold internal referendums.

Arts Undergraduate Society constitution: AUS representative Liam Simpson told Council that Arts may ask Council to make broader changes to its constitution, since it has proved hard for Arts to reach quorum in the past.  AMS President Ava Nasiri said that perhaps the only change AMS Council would have to make would be to lower the quorum number in the Arts constitution, thus allowing the AUS to conduct an internal process and engage its members in making other changes.

The New Recreation Building: With the fee referendum having passed and given that students will be paying half the cost of the building, AMS President Ava Nasiri told Council that the AMS will be pushing for students to get a say in what goes into the building and to get 50% representation on the building management committee.  The AMS will also ask that prices be no higher than those charged in the current Bird Coop facility.

Next regular Council meeting: March 29, 2017 in the Forum in the Nest at 6 pm.

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