Council Meeting Summary, February 28, 2018

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of February 28, 2018:

 Stellar financial performance: That’s how VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov described the third quarter performance of the AMS businesses, especially the Gallery, Blue Chip, and Catering & Conferences.  Overall, he said the budget numbers were on track.

Lighter Footprint Strategy: Council heard an update from the AMS AVP Sustainability, Adriana Laurent, on the Lighter Footprint Strategy, which is being updated to focus on waste diversion/sorting in the Nest, offering more local and organic food, advocating for climate justice and action, reducing energy, and supporting First Nations.

Block Party: Managing Director Keith Hester said 3500 tickets have been sold (or about half of capacity).

Moving and Shaking: Council heard about a Cha Cha Slide event (part of Move UBC) and about the opening of a new fitness centre (the ARC) in the basement of the UBC Life Building (the Old SUB).

Housing Action Plan: Council heard that thanks to the advocacy of VP Academic Max Holmes, the student section of the University’s Housing Action Plan has been temporarily withdrawn, to be resubmitted to the Board of Governors in April.

Biomed and Public Policy: Council passed a motion to include undergraduate students in the new School of Biomedical Engineering in the Engineering Undergraduate Society.  Graduate students in the new school, along with the graduate students in the new School of Public Policy, will be in the Graduate Studies constituency.

Minimum Wage: Councillor Ella Klein expressed discomfort with some of the comments in Executive minutes about how to deal with the coming increases in the minimum wage.  She said ideas about increasing prices, cutting staff, and raising student fees did not fit with the AMS mandate of affordability and accessibility.

AMS President Alan Ehrenholz said the AMS will have to make decisions about how to offset the increased expenses resulting from the minimum wage increases, either by finding creative ways of increasing revenues or by cutting other expenses.  He added that there is a survey going out to ask students what their priorities are and said the top priority is serving students.

VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov said AMS student services come first.  Cuts would take place in businesses before services.

Referendums: Council was reminded about the upcoming referendums on U-Pass, fee restructuring, and abolishing Student Court.  Constituency reps were asked to bring the referendums to the attention of their members.

Next meeting:  The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm on March 14, 2018 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.


Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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