Referendum Vote YES Campaign

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The three questions you will see on the executive elections ballot this year have been endorsed by your AMS Council. What does this mean? It means that the majority of your elected student reps on AMS Council agree that these three questions and what they entail are in the best interest of the UBC student body as a whole. You can access the specific wording of each question here. This page is dedicated to answering some common questions about the projects behind each referendum question as part of the YES campaign (you  might have seen a poster or two around the Nest with this stuff).

QUESTION 1: FITNESS SPACE FAQ

  • “What’s the difference between this new building fee and the ones I already pay”
    • The athletics fees you’re already paying fund programming and facilities, whereas this building fee will go directly towards an actual building that you can use and see.
  • “When will I have to start paying?”
    • When construction of the building starts, which will be about 2 years from now in 2019.
  • “Why should I vote for this now if it won’t be ready for so long?”
    • For negotiations to start and the project to happen at all, we need to be able to prove that students are interested in the project and that it’s a need on campus.

 

QUESTION 2: ART GALLERY SALE FAQ

  • How will you know you’re selling the art at it’s best possible price?
    • A committee of specialists from on and off campus will be formed to help evaluate and program the sale of each piece. Further, there is no deadline by which the pieces need to be sold therefore as much time as is needed will be taken to ensure a meaningful sale process if one is appropriate.
  • What kind of programming will the proceeds of the sale support?
    • With additional funding, the Hatch gallery will be able to support new programming such as having an artist in residence each term, a partnership grant to fund initiatives that bring students into the hatch for events with student groups, and funding to commission student artists to create public art for the Nest.
  • Were these pieces gifted to the AMS or purchased? Three of the four pieces being considered for sale were purchased by the AMS Art Gallery in the 1960’s. The fourth potential piece is part of a series donated by McLeans Magazine.

 

QUESTION 3: BYLAW CHANGES

The AMS hired MNP as a consulting firm and and underwent a governance review over the past year and a half. Changes to the structure of council, committees and title of the Managing Director reflect changes recommended by the consultants as necessary steps towards improving the governance and efficiency of the way the AMS operates.

Council structure change FAQ:

  • Will this mean less representation? No, this will mean more effective representation. The current 1,500 threshold was put in place when UBC had about 30,000 students. Our student population has doubled since then and AMS council has become too large to function.
  • Why Board and Senate? Senate and Board of Governor seats have fiduciary duty to UBC Board and Senate above AMS Council and eliminating their votes allows for clarity around conflict of interest without removing the updates between the governing bodies.
  • Why so hard for new schools to have seats on Council? Often, new schools or degree programs can fit within a pre-existing faculty, such as the new Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering falling under the Faculty of Engineering. In such circumstances, it may be worthwhile to have students of the new program become eligible voters in the EUS elections, and able to vote for their council representatives alongside the rest of the undergraduate engineering population.

Investment Policy FAQ:

  • How will you make sure that a rogue VP Finance doesn’t do crazy things with student money? The new proposed policy stipulates that a professional fund manager be consulted when making investment decisions, further, major budgetary decisions must be approved by AMS council ensuring a public process.