Council Meeting Summary, May 9, 2018

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of May 9, 2018:

 

Committee Appointments: The new Council met for the first time and filled its committees.  The following are the chairs of the AMS committees:

Advocacy Committee: Max Holmes

Brewery Committee: Max Holmes

Finance Committee: Kuol Akuechbeny

Operations Committee: Chris Hakim

New SUB Committee: Chris Hakim

Steering Committee: Marium Hamid

Student Life Committee: Marium Hamid

SHAPE (Sale of Hatch Art Planning & Execution): Marium Hamid

HR Committee: Hannah Xiao

Governance Committee: Dylan Braam

 

There are still vacancies for students at large on several of the committees.

 

Council also made appointments to outside committees and boards (e.g., the board of CiTR, the Health and Dental Plan Committee, the University’s Ombudsperson Advisory Committee).

 

New People: Marium Hamid, the new AMS President, welcomed Councillors and informed them that work is underway to hire a new Communications Manager and a new Policy Advisor.  She also said that a posting is up to hire a new Ombudsperson.

 

Departure of UBC’s VP Students: VP Academic Max Holmes bade farewell to Louise Cowin, saying she had always been a champion for students and will be very much missed.

 

Code change: Council amended Code to make the Student Services Manager responsible for reporting twice a year on data collection and analytics.

 

Next meeting:  The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm on May 30, 2018 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, April 25, 2018

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of April 25, 2018:

 

Farewell to the Speaker: Mohamed Shaaban announced that this was his last meeting as Speaker of Council.

Restructuring: Max Holmes explained a restructuring of his office as VP Academic & University Affairs.  The aim is to focus more on the Academic side of the portfolio, providing support to the Student Senate Caucus and undergraduate societies and working on issues such as academic concession and the Fall reading break.

Council later approved job descriptions for the new positions in the office of the VP Academic & University Affairs as well as positions in the offices of the VP External and the VP Finance.

Business Forecast: Managing Director Keith Hester said the forecast is for a contribution of $862,313 from the businesses, up from $650,432 last year.  There will be menu revisions and other small changes, but no renovations.  The Pit Pub will shift its focus to become more of a sports bar again.  The hot dog cart is coming.

Executive Goals: The Executive reported on their year’s goals, saying:

  1. It had been decided not to go forward with a strategic plan.
  2. A Constituency Handbook was produced.
  3. The Academic Experience Survey received a high response rate.
  4. The Operations Committee took over from SAC.
  5. July 15 is the occupancy date for AMS clubs etc. to move into the renovated basement of the Old SUB (aka the UBC Life Building).
  6. Connections were built with the provincial government.
  7. The cancellation of the 480 bus was stopped.
  8. Fund managers were hired under the new investment policy.
  9. Nest refinancing was completed, saving students $70 million.
  10. Two new food outlets were created (Porch and I Wanna Taco).
  11. A data collection system was introduced in the Services.

Farewell from the Executive: The outgoing Executives said farewell and also announced:

Councillors of the Year: Cameron England (Arts) and Julian Villafuerte Diaz (Land & Food).

Hoodies and Photos: Councillors were also promised hoodies and a copy of the group photo taken of them by Artona.

Housing Action Plan: Student Board of Governors rep Jeanie Malone reported that the Board has passed the plan, which VP Academic Max Holmes had a lot of input on.

UBC Strategic Plan: Council was told that the many suggested additions to the plan made by Student Senators, including one about sexual violence, had all been approved by Senate.

Expulsion Policy: Council approved a revised version of the policy, which was produced by the Operations Committee after concerns were raised about an earlier version.

SDSS: VP Administration Pooja Bhatti announced that the old Lighter Footprint Strategy is being renamed the Student Driven Sustainability Strategy and expanded to include social sustainability, financial sustainability, and biodiversity and climate.

Our Turn: Council voted to become an official signatory to the Our Turn Action Plan on campus sexual violence.

Selling art: Council informally agreed that the committee on the Sale of Hatch Art Planning and Execution (SHAPE) should look into revising its terms of reference, under which it was supposed to complete its work by April 30, 2018.

 

Next meeting:  The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm on May 9, 2018 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

 

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Council Meeting Summary, March 28, 2018

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

 

Updates: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz, though absent, sent an update to Council about ongoing issues, including the agreement concerning the MBA Society, which is up for renewal, University Capital Prioritization, Faculty Cup, the All-Presidents Dinner and Just Desserts, interviews for a new Communications Manager, and the UBC Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office. He also noted that his Engineering team finished second to Dentistry in the Storm the Wall competition, and he built a wall as part of the competition.

More Updates: VP Academic Max Holmes told Council about a productive meeting of the Sexual Violence Advisory Committee, VP External Sally Lin reported on an e-petition on international students, and Managing Director Keith Hester said a planned slack line event was being deferred to the fall because of insurance concerns.

No to Constituency Reports: Council had one of its most vigorous debates of the year on a motion to restore reports by Constituency representatives to Council.  The vote was a resounding No, with Councillors saying there were better ways to encourage their participation in meetings.

Subcommittees: Council amended Code to allow Committees to create Subcommittees for long-term work and Working Groups for short-term projects.

Health and Dental Fee: Council voted to invoke the provision approved in the last health and dental fee referendum to allow the fee to increase 5% in September.

 

Next meeting:  The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm on April 25, 2018 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, March 14, 2018

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of March 14, 2018:

Health and Dental: Council heard a presentation from Bahareh Jokar of Studentcare, saying there were over $3 million in claims for medical expenses last year (mostly for drugs) and over $4 million for dental expenses.  She also noted the introduction of the Empower Me counselling service, which had 500 cases. Law rep David Khang said coverage is not as extensive as in other plans.  Bahareh said that was the nature of student plans: they provide the basics.

Common Energy: Council approved an agreement to provide funding to the student-run Common Energy sustainability group.

Elections: The Elections Administrator announced the results, making them official.  Turnout was 11,410, or 20%.  The newly elected Executives are:

           Marium Hamid, President

           Max Holmes, VP Academic & University Affairs

           Kuol Akuechbeny, VP Finance

           Chris Hakim, VP Administration

           Cristina Ilnitchi, VP External

Referendums: The vote to continue the U-Pass passed, as did the referendum for a fee to subsidize sustainable food at the Agora Cafe and Sprouts.  The referendums to restructure AMS fees and abolish Student Court failed for lack of quorum.

Student Services: Student Services Manager Marium Hamid reported on the Services.  Safewalk continues to take up the biggest part of the budget.  Speakeasy use is down.  Vice’s workshops are popular, and it trained 210 people in the use of the anti-opioid Naloxone.

Budget Reforecast: VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov reported that business revenues have been 30% higher than predicted, and various AMS events made money: SUDS, Welcome Back Barbecue, and First Week.  Had predicted a surplus of $111,000, but now it looks like it will be almost $553,000.

GSS Referendum: In response to a question from Arts Councillor Ella Klein, VP Academic Max Holmes said the attempt to create an AMS-GSS advisory group on the referendum had not succeeded.  (The referendum is to be on whether the GSS stays in the AMS.)  AMS President Alan Ehrenholz said there have been discussions with the GSS.

Block Party: Managing Director Keith Hester said 3600 Block Party tickets have been sold, or 55%, which is slightly ahead of where ticket sales were at the same time last year.

When Women Rise: Council approved an MoU to allow the completion of the 2013 Grad Class Council gift, the statue When Women Rise.

Music fee: Council voted to provide notice to the Board of Governors to increase the fee for students in Music, in accordance with a referendum held by the Music Undergraduate Students Association.

Ubyssey space: Council approved an agreement on space for the Ubyssey newspaper offices in the Nest.

Talking the Talk: VP Academic Max Holmes asked what could be done to get Councillors to participate more in Council discussions.  Should the Executive be bringing more information forward?  There was discussion of improving onboarding.  Also of the learning curve in becoming a Councillor.  It was suggested that Constituency Reports be reinstated, and an informal vote on this idea passed 15-5-1.  Another informal vote supported the idea of the Executives bringing more presentations to Council.

Committee Meetings: Land & Food Councillor Julian Villafuerte Diaz noted that Code requires committees to announce their meetings on the website, but this is not being done.  He said this and other steps might be taken to ensure transparency and engage students at large.  It was agreed that committee chairs would send notice of meetings to the Archives assistants who will post them.

Next meeting:  The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm on March 28, 2018 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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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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Council Meeting Summary, February 14, 2018

Here are notes from the special AMS Council meeting of February 14, 2018:

 Election rules: After hearing a presentation from the Elections Administrator (Filza Raza), Council passed a new Code rule restricting what sitting Executives can do during elections: Executives can no longer make public endorsements or assist candidates publicly (but they can still assist in private).

Council also passed a rule requiring assistants to the Executives and other student staff to sign campaigning agreements before assisting in election campaigns.

Election Appointments: Council appointed the members of the Elections Committee: Urvi Sardesai (Chief Returning Officer), Galyna Zaria (Events), and Elena Mabrito (Communications).  Also two poll clerks as at large members: Andrew Dyadin and Ava Lanoway.

Referendums: Council called three referendums, to take place at the same time as the elections in early March.  Students will vote on the following questions:

  • Extending the U-Pass at its current price
  • Approving a fee restructuring under which certain old AMS fees will have to come up for renewal (fees for Athletics, the Resource Groups, Campus Culture, the Bike Kitchen, etc.).  Also, the fee for Sexual Assault Support Services will go up from $3.55 to $7, and the Graduating Class fee will come down from $7 to $3.55.
  • Abolishing Student Court.

Services in the Referendum: Council authorized the AMS Student Services to take part in the referendum campaigns and also declared that the AMS will take a Yes position on all three questions.

Expulsion Policy: Adrian Pang, the Music rep, raised concerns about the recently approved Expulsion Policy.  VP Administration Pooja Bhatti said the Operations Committee is looking at the policy again.

Next meeting:   The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm on February 28, 2018 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

 

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Council Meeting Summary, February 7, 2018

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of February 7, 2018:

 Birthday Fees: VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov, whose birthday it was, presented Council a restructuring proposal for student fees under which some would have to come up for renewal every three years.

Appointments: Council appointed Arts Councillor Ella Klein to fill a vacancy on the HR Committee and appointed VP Academic Max Holmes to the University’s Student Development Awards Committee.

When Women Rise: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz told Council that the 2013 graduating class gift of a statue called When Women Rise is coming closer to actually going up: a draft agreement for it has been made.

Student Rental Housing: VP Academic Max Holmes said it looks like student rental housing will be included in the University’s Housing Action Plan, and he was happy about that.

Club of the Year: After being asked the question at a previous Council meeting, VP Administration Pooja Bhatti returned this time with the answer to who was last year’s winner: eSports (for showing huge growth, making the news, and bringing students together).

Parties: Managing Director Keith Hester announced that 2,200 tickets have already been sold for Block Party.  And there will be a Formal Ball this year.

Porch: Managing Director Keith Hester said the new vegan/vegetarian outlet is doing really well, having already developed a dedicated, loyal following.

Steering Committee: Council passed a Code change to modify the duties of the Steering Committee to have it focus on high level and long-term planning.

Expulsion Policy: Council approved a modification of the policy on when individuals can be expelled from the Nest to include the specific grounds for expulsion.

Academic Experience Survey: VP Academic Max Holmes said the survey has already been filled out by an amazing number of students, beating last year’s number, but he encouraged Councillors to share it to get even more people to fill it out.

Election recommendations: Council directed the Elections Administrator to present a report on the status of the recommendations made by Council last year.

Referendum questions: Council was presented with three questions they will be asked to send to referendum at the next meeting.  The questions are:

  1. To implement the fee restructuring proposal;
  2. To abolish Student Court; and
  3. To approve a continuation of the U-Pass.

Next meetings:  There will be a special meeting at 7 pm [note the later than usual time] on February 14, 2018 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.  The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm in the Forum on February 28, 2018.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, January 24, 2018

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of January 24, 2018:

 Winter Benefit Gala: Council heard from a student at large about a charity event to raise money for refugees.

Budgeting: VP Finance Lakhiyalov explained a modified version of preparing the AMS budget that will see it be worked on earlier.

Appointments: Council made appointments to the Advocacy Committee, the Health and Dental Plan Committee, and the University’s Student Development Awards Committee.

Council Seats Mostly Filled: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz noted that most Council seats have been filled and the number of vacancies is the lowest it’s been in a long time.

Office Hours: In response to a question from Land & Food Councillor Julian Villafuerte Diaz, President Ehrenholz said the Executive is looking for the best way to engage students, with reddit on social media being one way, and with other approaches also being considered.

Conferences and Travel: In response to a question from Engineering Councillor Jakob Gattinger, the Executives discussed the various conferences they had attended.

VP Academic Max Holmes and VP Administration Pooja Bhatti said they hadn’t been to any.  President Alan Ehrenholz and VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov said they’d attended the annual studentcare conference.

VP External Sally Lin said she’d been to Ottawa to meet with federal government officials and also to a conference on Open Educational Resources.

Student Services Manager Marium Hamid said she’d been to the annual conference of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS).

Art Catalogue: VP Administration Pooja Bhatti told Council that a catalogue has been produced for the latest show in the Hatch Art Gallery.

Mental Health and Rent with Rights: VP External Sally Lin said she has been meeting the provincial government on mental health issues, and the Rent with Rights campaign collected 900 signatures, which was close to the target of 1,000.

Block Party: Managing Director Keith Hester said the line-up for Block Party has been finalized and will be announced February 26.

World Record: Kinesiology Councillor Juancho Ramirez told Council about plans to break the world record for the number of people walking backwards, which currently sits at 1,107.

Student Services Manager: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz explained a plan that would allow the person hired for this position to stay on for an additional year.  This would help with continuity.

History Book: Archivist Sheldon Goldfarb told Council that the book launch for The Hundred-Year Trek: A History of Student Life at UBC went well and he had done interviews promoting the book, including one on CBC-TV:
http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1139949123796

Next regular Council meeting: February 7, 2018 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, January 10, 2018

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of January 10, 2018:

 Athletics & Recreation: UBC’s Kavie Toor and Gilles Lepine presented budgetary information about the University’s athletic programs and answered questions about the amount spent on Varsity Athletics as compared to the amount spent on Recreation.

Elections: Filza Raza, the Elections Administrator, announced that nominations would be open until February 16, with campaigning beginning February 26 and voting taking place March 5-9.

Reddit: William Chen of reddit/UBC said reddit was an alternative media outlet that the AMS could use to increase student engagement.

Sexual Violence: VP Academic Max Holmes told Council about the creation of a working group to review the current Respectful Environment Policy and create a new policy addressing sexual violence.

Parkade: VP Academic Max Holmes said further information from UBC has made it clear that the parkade exit and entrance will have to remain where originally planned, but steps will be taken to ensure pedestrian safety.

New tenant: Managing Director Keith Hester announced that the RBC will be opening an advice centre in the Nest.

Pit food: Managing Director Keith Hester told Council that food is returning to the Pit.

eHub: Student Services Manager Marium Hamid announced that the University is going to contribute funding to eHub, the new AMS service to support entrepreneurship on campus.

Media Policy: Council approved a policy specifying how communications shall be conducted with media outlets.

Referendum petitions: Council approved a motion directing that Formstack be the online platform for collecting electronic signatures for referendums.

Old SUB renovations: VP Administration Pooja Bhatti told Council that currently the renovations are $1.1 million over budget, but that number is not final yet and may come down.

Next regular Council meeting: January 24, 2018 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, November 22, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of November 22, 2017:

 New members: Council welcomed new members from the Vancouver School of Technology (Muse Greenwood) and Arts (Ella Klein).

Almost new members: Other recent additions to Council include Adrian Pang (Music), Alex Preiss (Architecture), Albert Tung (Education), Joella Allen (Library-Archival), and new Grad Studies reps Eric Ottenbacher and Elham Aboouei.  Council now has 35 filled seats, and AMS President Alan Ehrenholz said Nursing will be sending a rep in January for the first time in a while.

Student Leadership Conference: Council voted to approve the terms of a partnership for the 2018 conference and directed VP Administration Pooja Bhatti to seek out a long-term partnership arrangement.

UBC Recreation: UBC’s Michael Tan presented the University’s framework on recreation, seeking input from the AMS.

Executive Goals: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz and the rest of the Executive presented an update on their goals, including such issues as the AMS Strategic Plan, the Old SUB, accounting improvements, and the Rent for Rights campaign.

VP Academic goals: The new VP Academic, Max Holmes, presented his goals, including a focus on the UBC Strategic Plan, and Council approved them.

Good Financial Report: In his second quarterly update, VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov said expenditures are on track and in some cases (e.g., Welcome Back Barbecue) events that were expected to cost money actually made money.

And business was good: VP Lakhiyalov added that the businesses were doing better than expected, with Blue Chip, the Gallery Lounge, Iwana Taco, and Conferences & Catering doing especially well.

MacInnes Field Parkade: Council approved a motion directing VP Academic Max Holmes to make a submission to the University Board of Governors stating that the AMS currently opposes the design for the MacInnes Field Parkade and will continue to do so until an alternative placement for the exit and entrance is agreed upon.

New Senator: Council passed a motion recommending the appointed of VP Academic Max Holmes to fill a vacancy in one of the student at-large positions on the University Senate.

Meeting the government: VP External Sally Lin reported that she had had good introductory meetings with government ministers on a trip to Victoria.  She also took part in meetings in Ottawa organized by the newly rebranded federal student lobbying group UCRU (Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities).

Loan repaid: Managing Director Keith Hester reported that the $68 million loan to UBC for the Nest has now been repaid: the loan has been switched to RBC, which is charging us less in interest.

Food Bank usage: Student Services Manager Marium Hamid reported a 40% increase in the number of people using the Food Bank, which was good in a way but also a cause for concern because of the issue of food insecurity.

Caucuses: VP Academic Max Holmes reported that some more applicants have been found for the positions on the new Student Issues and Equity caucuses.  Applications will be kept open a while longer.

Book Launch: The Clerk of Council announced that the launch for the long-awaited AMS history book will be taking place on Monday, December 4 in the Alumni Centre at 6:30 pm.  He also thanked Presidential assistant Ian Stone for his work on the launch and said students wanting to go could apply to Ian for the special student discount code to get in free.

Council reporting: Council amended Code to modify the rules on who should report to Council and who can be asked questions.

Data collection: Council approved funding of $22,377 to purchase data management software to collect statistics that will be especially relevant for the AMS Student Services.

Next regular Council meeting: January 10, 2018 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, November 8, 2017

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

 Pre-meeting: Councillors who arrived early heard the VP Academic (Max Holmes) and the VP Administration (Pooja Bhatti) make informal presentations about the University’s Excellence Fund and the various sorts of AMS clubs.

New people and old: Once the official meeting began Council appointed Waged Jafer to be the new AMS Ombudsperson and reappointed Filza Raza as the Elections Administrator.

MacInnes Field Parkade: VP Academic Max Holmes informed Council about safety concerns surrounding the University’s proposed construction of an underground parkade next to the AMS Student Nest.  There have been discussions with the University, and the Board of Governors has directed that the concerns be taken into account, but the results have so far not been satisfactory from the AMS point of view.  Max will report again at the next meeting.

Porch: Managing Director Keith Hester announced that there will be a soft opening for the Porch, the new vegan/vegetarian food outlet, on November 15.

Steering Committee: Council approved a minor change to the powers of the Steering Committee, and Chris Hakim, the Chair of the Governance Committee, said his committee is looking into other changes to the Steering Committee.

Ad hoc committee chairs: After extended debate, Council agreed that the chairs of ad hoc committees should be paid the same as the chairs of standing committees.

Academic Experience Survey: Council approved a policy requiring that such a survey be done annually and providing guidelines forhow it should be done.  The AMS has conducted such a survey for the past five years.

Attracting volunteers: Council discussed how to attact volunteers to fill positions in the Student Issues and Equity Caucuses (new bodies that function under the Advocacy Committee).

Student Court: Council received a submission from the Governance Committee recommending that Student Court be abolished.

Next regular Council meeting: November 22, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Apply for an AMS Impact Grant

Your student society thinks the best way to make UBC a better place is to first understand the forces that shape it. The AMS Impact Grant is an initiative providing funding to UBC students interested in conducting scholarly research to build knowledge and understanding of post-secondary matters affecting UBC Vancouver’s community. The ultimate goal of the program is to create a healthier, more supportive, more successful student community.

Priority will be given to interdisciplinary and team projects. Depending on the length or scope of their proposal, applicants may receive up to $3000 for a project lasting a year. However, particularly ambitious projects may receive more funding and last longer if the applicant provides proper justifications. Most of the grant should be used to help defray the salaries of the research lead and team, but may also be used to reimburse such materials, supplies and equipment directly required to carry the research. Proposals should include a description of research to be conducted, ideas for how this research can inform positive changes at UBC by building upon existing work happening at UBC, and a realistic plan for implementing these ideas. Over the course of their year-long projects, successful applicants will spend 6 months conducting research, and the remaining 6 months implementing results while working with an AMS staff member and/or a person or unit at UBC.

Applications will be evaluated by an adjudication committee according to their relevance to the mandate of the AMS, the needs of its members, and the merits of the proposals. The committee will make recommendations with respect to the projects that should be funded and in what amount. The Executive Committee will make all final decisions with respect to selection and funding.

Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals on any topic, but potential research could include:

  • Student life (academic and non-academic)
  • Social sustainability
  • Student mental health and wellbeing
  • Open access publishing and copyright issues
  • Campus planning
  • Community engagement and consultation
  • Affordability/accessibility of education
  • UBC housing models
  • Campus child care
  • Public transit
  • Evaluation of governance at UBC

Questions?

Email Max Holmes at vpacademic@ams.ubc.ca

Deadline

AMS Impact Grant Applications are due March 15, 2018 and must be submitted by email to vpacademic@ams.ubc.ca

Application & Information

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Council Meeting Summary, November 22, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of November 22, 2017:

New members: Council welcomed new members from the Vancouver School of Technology (Muse Greenwood) and Arts (Ella Klein).

Almost new members: Other recent additions to Council include Adrian Pang (Music), Alex Preiss (Architecture), Albert Tung (Education), Joella Allen (Library-Archival), and new Grad Studies reps Eric Ottenbacher and Elham Aboouei. Council now has 35 filled seats, and AMS President Alan Ehrenholz said Nursing will be sending a rep in January for the first time in a while.

Student Leadership Conference: Council voted to approve the terms of a partnership for the 2018 conference and directed VP Administration Pooja Bhatti to seek out a long-term partnership arrangement.

UBC Recreation: UBC’s Michael Tan presented the University’s framework on recreation, seeking input from the AMS.

Executive Goals: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz and the rest of the Executive presented an update on their goals, including such issues as the AMS Strategic Plan, the Old SUB, accounting improvements, and the Rent for Rights campaign.

VP Academic goals: The new VP Academic, Max Holmes, presented his goals, including a focus on the UBC Strategic Plan, and Council approved them.

Good Financial Report: In his second quarterly update, VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov said expenditures are on track and in some cases (e.g., Welcome Back Barbecue) events that were expected to cost money actually made money.

And business was good: VP Lakhiyalov added that the businesses were doing better than expected, with Blue Chip, the Gallery Lounge, Iwana Taco, and Conferences & Catering doing especially well.

MacInnes Field Parkade: Council approved a motion directing VP Academic Max Holmes to make a submission to the University Board of Governors stating that the AMS currently opposes the design for the MacInnes Field Parkade and will continue to do so until an alternative placement for the exit and entrance is agreed upon.

New Senator: Council passed a motion recommending the appointed of VP Academic Max Holmes to fill a vacancy in one of the student-at-large positions on the University Senate.

Meeting the government: VP External Sally Lin reported that she had had good introductory meetings with government ministers on a trip to Victoria. She also took part in meetings in Ottawa organized by the newly rebranded federal student lobbying group UCRU (Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities).

Loan repaid: Managing Director Keith Hester reported that the $68 million loan to UBC for the Nest has now been repaid: the loan has been switched to RBC, which is charging us less in interest.

Food Bank usage: Student Services Manager Marium Hamid reported a 40% increase in the number of people using the Food Bank, which was good in a way but also a cause for concern because of the issue of food insecurity.

Caucuses: VP Academic Max Holmes reported that some more applicants have been found for the positions on the new Student Issues and Equity caucuses. Applications will be kept open a while longer.

Book Launch: The Clerk of Council announced that the launch for the long-awaited AMS history book will be taking place on Monday, December 4 in the Alumni Centre at 6:30 pm. He also thanked Presidential assistant Ian Stone for his work on the launch and said students wanting to go could apply to Ian for the special student discount code to get in free.

Council reporting: Council amended Code to modify the rules on who should report to Council and who can be asked questions.

Data collection: Council approved funding of $22,377 to purchase data management software to collect statistics that will be especially relevant for the AMS Student Services.

Next regular Council meeting: January 10, 2018 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

Sheldon Goldfarb
Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, November 8, 2017

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

Pre-meeting: Councillors who arrived early heard the VP Academic (Max Holmes) and the VP Administration (Pooja Bhatti) make informal presentations about the University’s Excellence Fund and the various sorts of AMS clubs.

New people and old: Once the official meeting began Council appointed Waged Jafer to be the new AMS Ombudsperson and reappointed Filza Raza as the Elections Administrator.

MacInnes Field Parkade: VP Academic Max Holmes informed Council about safety concerns surrounding the University’s proposed construction of an underground parkade next to the AMS Student Nest. There have been discussions with the University, and the Board of Governors has directed that the concerns be taken into account, but the results have so far not been satisfactory from the AMS point of view. Max will report again at the next meeting.

Porch: Managing Director Keith Hester announced that there will be a soft opening for the Porch, the new vegan/vegetarian food outlet, on November 15.

Steering Committee: Council approved a minor change to the powers of the Steering Committee, and Chris Hakim, the Chair of the Governance Committee, said his committee is looking into other changes to the Steering Committee.

Ad hoc committee chairs: After extended debate, Council agreed that the chairs of ad hoc committees should be paid the same as the chairs of standing committees.

Academic Experience Survey: Council approved a policy requiring that such a survey be done annually and providing guidelines for how it should be done. The AMS has conducted such a survey for the past five years.

Attracting volunteers: Council discussed how to attact volunteers to fill positions in the Student Issues and Equity Caucuses (new bodies that function under the Advocacy Committee).

Student Court: Council received a submission from the Governance Committee recommending that Student Court be abolished.

Next regular Council meeting: November 22, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

Sheldon Goldfarb
Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, November 8, 2017

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

Pre-meeting: Councillors who arrived early heard the VP Academic (Max Holmes) and the VP Administration (Pooja Bhatti) make informal presentations about the University’s Excellence Fund and the various sorts of AMS clubs.

New people and old: Once the official meeting began Council appointed Waged Jafer to be the new AMS Ombudsperson and reappointed Filza Raza as the Elections Administrator.

MacInnes Field Parkade: VP Academic Max Holmes informed Council about safety concerns surrounding the University’s proposed construction of an underground parkade next to the AMS Student Nest.  There have been discussions with the University, and the Board of Governors has directed that the concerns be taken into account, but the results have so far not been satisfactory from the AMS point of view.  Max will report again at the next meeting.

Porch: Managing Director Keith Hester announced that there will be a soft opening for the Porch, the new vegan/vegetarian food outlet, on November 15.

Steering Committee: Council approved a minor change to the powers of the Steering Committee, and Chris Hakim, the Chair of the Governance Committee, said his committee is looking into other changes to the Steering Committee.

Ad hoc committee chairs: After extended debate, Council agreed that the chairs of ad hoc committees should be paid the same as the chairs of standing committees.

Academic Experience Survey: Council approved a policy requiring that such a survey be done annually and providing guidelines for how it should be done.  The AMS has conducted such a survey for the past five years.

Attracting volunteers: Council discussed how to attact volunteers to fill positions in the Student Issues and Equity Caucuses (new bodies that function under the Advocacy Committee).

Student Court: Council received a submission from the Governance Committee recommending that Student Court be abolished.

Next regular Council meeting: November 22, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, October 25, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of October 25, 2017:

Sustainability: Council heard a report on AMS sustainability, including plans to revamp the Lighter Footprint Strategy and add social sustainability to environmental.

Naloxone training: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz noted that the Naloxone drug overdose training session arranged by AMS Services had received a fair bit of media attention.

Safewalk: Student Services Manager Marium Hamid told Council that the University has agreed to provide $25,000 to the Safewalk program, more than double what was provided last year.

All-Presidents Dinner: VP Administration Pooja Bhatti announced that the Alumni are donating $2,500 for the event.

Ombudsperson: Wendy Guo, chair of the HR Committee, said interviews are underway for the Ombudsperson.  Hiring for the Elections Committee will follow.

Laserfiche: VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov said Finance Committee is looking into whether Laserfiche can be used, or whether the agreement should be cancelled.

Code changes: Council approved changes to the term of the Speaker of Council and the rules for club elections.  It also provided an official time for the Student Services Manager to address Council.

Long ago and far away: The Archivist displayed the latest donation to the Archives: the official Council jacket worn by Darrel Gomery, a member of the AMS Executive in 1935-36.

Grad Student Senator: Council passed a motion recommending that Senate accept Amber Shilling as the new Grad Student Senate representative and later discussed procedures concerning another student Senate vacancy that is expected shortly.

Bike Sharing Policy: With the University looking into the possibility of bike sharing on campus, Council passed a policy about it.

AGM: There was discussion on how to increase attendance at the AGM, which fell far short of quorum.  AMS President Alan Ehrenholz said the main draw is having a hot button topic to discuss, as in 2014 when students showed up to discuss recent tuition and rent hikes.

Breakfast at the Gallery: In response to questions from Commerce rep Julien Hart, AMS President Alan Ehrenholz said the breakfast program has been doing increasingly well, with a huge increase in revenue in just two weeks.

MacInnes Field Parkade: Council discussed the implications of the parkade the University is building.  There are concerns it will obstruct access to the Nest.  VP Academic Max Holmes said he will try to have a report ready for the next Council meeting.

Next regular Council meeting: November 8, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

 

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Council Meeting Summary, October 11, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of October 11, 2017:

Training: There was training again before the formal meeting began: on advocacy and how to be an effective Councillor.

Rent with Rights: Brooklyn Rocco of the AMS External Office described the upcoming campaign to get legislation passed to cover student renters.

AGM: Akhil Jobanputra, AMS Presidential assistant, explained what will happen at the upcoming Annual General Meeting and asked for volunteers to help reach quorum (which is 515).  The meeting is at 11 am in the Great Hall in the Nest on Friday, October 20.  Food will be served.

Empower Me: VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov told Council about this new 24/7 counselling program which is part of the Health and Dental Plan.

Oktoberfest: A Councillor asked if there were concerns about AMS Oktoberfest being scheduled for the same time as another campus Oktoberfest. Managing Director Keith Hester said No, because the AMS event will be free.

Senate: Council was told that the AMS is supporting the creation of two ad hoc Senate committees (on research and diversity).

More Senate: Council approved a procedure for the Graduate Student Society to appoint one of their members to fill a vacancy on Senate.

Even more Senate: Council approved a motion directing the VP Academic to look into Senate membership rules, including the possibility of making the AMS VP Academic an ex officio member.

Personnel: Council extended the term of the Elections Administrator, Filza Raza, so she can help with ongoing Constituency elections.  Council also changed the hours for two staff members in the VP Academic Office, including the AVP Academic.

Executive Office Hours: In response to a question about what the current Executives’ office hours are, AMS President Alan Ehrenholz said he would make sure to send these out the next day.

Next regular Council meeting: October 25, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, September 27, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of September 27, 2017:

 Before the beginning: Even before it formally began, Council gathered informally for a training session on Robert’s Rules and background information on Constituencies, the Senate, and the Board of Governors.

CiTR: The meeting proper began with a presentation about CiTR, the campus radio station.

Election Results: Then came the formal announcement of the results of the AMS by-election: Max Holmes is the new VP Academic & University Affairs.  Voter turnout was 12.8%, much better than the 3.8% in the 2013 by-election for the same position.

Old SUB: VP Administration Pooja Bhatti reported on the cost situation for the renovation of the Old SUB.  The project is between $855,000 and $1.7 million over budget.  She said she will report further at the next Council meeting.

Corporate card program: VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov told Council about the corporate card program which has replaced the club finance software we bought in 2014.

Caucuses: VP External Sally Lin reported that only one person had applied to serve on the Advocacy Committee’s caucuses for equity and student issues.  Further recruitment is underway.

Blue Chip: Managing Director Keith Hester said a revamped Blue Chip coffeeshop, replacing Upper Case, will be opening soon.

Presidents Council: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz reported that the Constituency Presidents Council held its first meeting and discussed how to coordinate first week programs.

Bookmarks: Council received bookmarks advertising the forthcoming AMS history book, The Hundred-Year Trek.

Policies updated: Council approved updates to two affordability policies.

GSS Senate seat: Council discussed what procedure to follow to fill the Senate vacancy for a graduate student senator.

Canvas: Council discussed the new Canvas course management system that UBC has introduced.  Councillors were generally positive about it.

Next regular Council meeting: October 11, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, September 13, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of September 13, 2017:

 Remembering the Old Days: Or the past two years.  The meeting began with a review of recent history by the Clerk of Council/Archivist.  He also recited his poem about how to pronounce Alma Mater Society.

Training: The historical presentation was the first of several sessions planned to make up for the lack of a Council retreat, which was originally planned for this month.  Sessions on Robert’s Rules and other topics will be held in the 45 minutes before the next few Council meetings.

AMS History Book: The release date for the book has been pushed back to November, with a book launch still planned, to be held in the Alumni Centre.

Appointments!  The bulk of the meeting was taken up with filling AMS and other committees.  The following Chairs were named:

Advocacy Committee: Sally Lin

HR Committee: Wendy Guo

Governance Committee: Chris Hakim

Student Life Committee: Lorenzo Lindo

Vacancies: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz said that work is being done to fill vacant Constituency seats on Council, and we may see representatives from St. Mark’s College and the School of Population & Public Health for the first time, or at least the first time in years.

Iwanataco: AMS President Ehrenholz noted that several Councillors present were wearing Iwanataco T-shirts to mark the opening of the AMS’s new Mexican food outlet.

Textbook Broke: VP Academic Jakob Gattinger reported that over 1,000 students took part in the campaign about high textbook prices.  Next steps will include speaking to Senate committees and other interested parties.

Inactive Clubs: VP Administration Pooja Bhatti said 40 clubs have been deconstituted and another 40 are in danger of being deconstituted.

Welcome Back sellout: Managing Director Keith Hester announced that the Welcome Back Barbecue had been a 100% sellout and made money for perhaps the first time ever.

Annual General Meeting: Council passed a motion to set the date of the AGM sometime during the week of October 16

Swiftwalks: Council approved a contract with Swiftwalks for software to track data from Safewalk.

Sauder and the Pep Rally: At the request of Simran Cheema from Commerce, Council discussed the name-calling at Imagine Day that was directed at Commerce students.

Next regular Council meeting: September 27, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, August 30, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of August 30, 2017:

 By-Election: The new AMS Elections Administrator, Filza Raza (officially appointed at this meeting along with two other members of the Elections Committee), announced details of the upcoming by-election to choose a permanent VP Academic & University Affairs:

Nominations open September 4.  Campaigning begins September 12.  There will be a debate and an outreach event. Voting is from September 18-22.

The Elections Administrator said her goal is to increase candidate participation and voter turnout over the last by-election, in 2013, when 3.8% of the students voted.

Budget Update: VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov told Council that AMS businesses are doing better than budgeted, with the top performer being the soon-to-be-renamed Upper Case (it’s becoming the Blue Chip Cafe).  Spending overall is on track.  The only lagging performer is Ph Tea.

Textbook Broke Campaign: Cristina Ilnitchi, from the AMS VP Academic’s office, told Council about new approaches in the campaign to lower students’ textbook expenses.  The main aim is to encourage the University to move to using more free digital resources.

Things On Their Way: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz told Councillors they can look forward to T-shirts advertising the new Mexican food outlet in the Nest (Iwana Taco).  Also coming: the When Women Rise statue (a grad class gift scheduled to be finished in time for International Women’s Day in 2018) and an AMS Nest sign for the Knoll.

More Things On Their Way: Bookmarks advertising the upcoming AMS history book.

SUDS: VP External Sally Lin told Council that SUDS (the Student Union Development Summit) had been a huge success, with 131 attendees from schools across the country.

New Senator: After being postponed twice, the motion to recommend the appointment of a new student Senator from the Land & Food Systems Undergraduate Society was approved.

Code and Policies: Council approved changes to the rules for certain funds, notably the new fund that provides funding to seven specific clubs involved in Campus Culture and Performance.  New rules were also put in place governing reporting of metrics by Constituencies, and Council passed a policy on tuition consultations.

Job Descriptions and Pay Rates: Council approved new job descriptions for two positions, increased pay rates for student staff, and set a new, lower pay rate for chairs of standing committees.  It also confirmed a temporary increase in hours for the AVP Academic.

Sexual Violence Prevention: Council discussed the Our Turn action plan from Carleton University’s student association and seemed generally in favour of signing on.  A motion is expected next time.

Next regular Council meeting: September 13, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, August 9, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of August 9, 2017:

 Sexual Violence Prevention: AMS VP External Sally Lin told Council about an action plan from Carleton University’s student association to do with prevention, support, and advocacy related to sexual violence.  Carleton is hoping other student associations sign on.

Entrepreneurship: Pranav Menon of the new AMS Entrepreneurship service explained to Council how the service hopes to teach people to become more entrepreneurially minded.

Appointments: Juancho Ramirez from Kinesiology was appointed to the HR Committee.  Student Services Manager Marium Hamid and Science rep Wendy Guo were appointed to the Advocacy Committee.

New Councillors? AMS President Alan Ehrenholz announced that it looks like St. Mark’s College will be sending a representative to Council for the first time ever.  Also, Education is aiming to fill its seat.

Softball versus the University: Fresh off the AMS intrasquad game, the AMS Executive and other student leaders are set to take on UBC President Santa Ono and senior University staff in the inaugural Battle of the Bat softball game on Friday, August 11.

Club Appeals and Constituency Media Protocol: VP Administration Pooja Bhatti said the Clubs & Societies working group is looking into an appeals process for clubs that get deconstituted.  Also, the Operations Committee is looking into a media protocol for the Constituencies.

Mural Competition: The Student Life and Sustainability Centre downstairs in the Nest is looking for murals to decorate its walls.

Moving Forward: Advocacy Committee Chair Cameron England said the committee is working on a rubric for hiring members of its new Equity and Student Issues caucuses.  VP External Sally Lin said the new committee bringing together the fraternities and the non-student campus residents had a fruitful first meeting about issues such as noise complaints.

We Have Money for You!  VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov said there’s going to be more outreach to let students know they can apply to various AMS funds for money.

New artwork?  Through a Grad Class gift, the Nest may be receiving some artwork from Indigenous artist Connie Watts.

Athletics & Recreation: In response to a question about student engagement with Varsity Athletics, AMS President Alan Ehrenholz said the AMS would continue to encourage such engagement, but since more students engage with Recreation than Athletics the AMS is promoting student athletics generally, including recreational leagues.

The History Book: The book launch has been set for October 23, and will include a panel moderated by former Ubyssey editor Justin McElroy, who is now a reporter for CBC Vancouver.

Code and Policies: Council rescinded its old policy against cold beverage exclusivity agreements and heard about University plans to limit sugar-sweetened beverages on campus.  Council also passed a general overhaul of the electoral procedures, mainly to make electronic voting the standard and to bring the procedures in line with current practice.

Gender neutrality: Julian Villafuerte Diaz of Land & Food Systems asked about gender neutrality in the Code, and was told it was something coming in the future.

Ombudsperson: Council approved changes to the job description for the Ombudsperson in an attempt to make the positions as productive as possible.

Temporary HR changes: Council approved motions to reduce the hours of the interim VP Academic, Jakob Gattinger, and increase the hours of his AVP, Max Holmes, for the period leading up to the by-election to choose a new VP Academic.  It also changed the reporting lines for two staff members in the VP Academic’s office.

Canterbury Coffee: AMS Food & Beverage did a blind taste test.  The winner was Canterbury Coffee, and they will be the new AMS supplier.

Next regular Council meeting: August 30, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Nomination form for VP Academic and University Affairs By-Election

Hello everyone, here is the nomination form for the upcoming by elections. It has the instructions on where and when to submit it once filled. If you are unable to submit it during the specified office hours, please email the elections administrator at elections@ams.ubc.ca

VP-Academic-Nomination-form-2017-By-Election

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Council Meeting Summary, August 9, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of August 9, 2017:

 

Sexual Violence Prevention: AMS VP External Sally Lin told Council about an action plan from Carleton University’s student association to do with prevention, support, and advocacy related to sexual violence.  Carleton is hoping other student associations sign on.

 

Entrepreneurship: Pranav Menon of the new AMS Entrepreneurship service explained to Council how the service hopes to teach people to become more entrepreneurially minded.

 

Appointments: Juancho Ramirez from Kinesiology was appointed to the HR Committee.  Student Services Manager Marium Hamid and Science rep Wendy Guo were appointed to the Advocacy Committee.

 

New Councillors? AMS President Alan Ehrenholz announced that it looks like St. Mark’s College will be sending a representative to Council for the first time ever.  Also, Education is aiming to fill its seat.

 

Softball versus the University: Fresh off the AMS intrasquad game, the AMS Executive and other student leaders are set to take on UBC President Santa Ono and senior University staff in the inaugural Battle of the Bat softball game on Friday, August 11.

 

Club Appeals and Constituency Media Protocol: VP Administration Pooja Bhatti said the Clubs & Societies working group is looking into an appeals process for clubs that get deconstituted.  Also, the Operations Committee is looking into a media protocol for the Constituencies.

 

Mural Competition: The Student Life and Sustainability Centre downstairs in the Nest is looking for murals to decorate its walls.

 

Moving Forward: Advocacy Committee Chair Cameron England said the committee is working on a rubric for hiring members of its new Equity and Student Issues caucuses.  VP External Sally Lin said the new committee bringing together the fraternities and the non-student campus residents had a fruitful first meeting about issues such as noise complaints.

 

We Have Money for You!  VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov said there’s going to be more outreach to let students know they can apply to various AMS funds for money.

 

New artwork?  Through a Grad Class gift, the Nest may be receiving some artwork from Indigenous artist Connie Watts.

 

Athletics & Recreation: In response to a question about student engagement with Varsity Athletics, AMS President Alan Ehrenholz said the AMS would continue to encourage such engagement, but since more students engage with Recreation than Athletics the AMS is promoting student athletics generally, including recreational leagues.

 

The History Book: The book launch has been set for October 23, and will include a panel moderated by former Ubyssey editor Justin McElroy, who is now a reporter for CBC Vancouver.

 

Code and Policies: Council rescinded its old policy against cold beverage exclusivity agreements and heard about University plans to limit sugar-sweetened beverages on campus.  Council also passed a general overhaul of the electoral procedures, mainly to make electronic voting the standard and to bring the procedures in line with current practice.

 

Gender neutrality: Julian Villafuerte Diaz of Land & Food Systems asked about gender neutrality in the Code, and was told it was something coming in the future.

 

Ombudsperson: Council approved changes to the job description for the Ombudsperson in an attempt to make the positions as productive as possible.

 

Temporary HR changes: Council approved motions to reduce the hours of the interim VP Academic, Jakob Gattinger, and increase the hours of his AVP, Max Holmes, for the period leading up to the by-election to choose a new VP Academic.  It also changed the reporting lines for two staff members in the VP Academic’s office.

 

Canterbury Coffee: AMS Food & Beverage did a blind taste test.  The winner was Canterbury Coffee, and they will be the new AMS supplier.

 

Next regular Council meeting: August 30, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Meeting Summary, July 19, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of July 19, 2017:

Resignation: VP Academic Daniel Lam announced his resignation, effective July 28. In accordance with AMS Bylaws, Council named one of its members, Jakob Gattinger (a representative from Engineering), as interim VP Academic until a by-election can be held in September.

From Connect to Canvas: Council heard a presentation about the University’s plans to switch its learning management system from Connect to Canvas. Canvas will be rolled out in stages over the next year.

FarmAde: Council heard a presentation on the history of FarmAde, the annual event held in support of the UBC Farm.

Old SUB Finances: VP Administration Pooja Bhatti informed Council about cost overruns in the project to renovate the AMS space in the basement of the Old SUB. These mostly relate to delays in starting the construction. The plan now is to begin construction in September and finish by March or April. Attempts are being made to deal with the cost overruns.

Nest Refinancing: Council approved agreements to shift the loan for the Student Nest from UBC to RBC, a move that AMS Managing Director Keith Hester said will save future generations of students a large amount of money.

Budget: In response to a motion at the previous meeting, VP Finance Alim Lakhiyalov brought a revised budget back to Council, lowering the projections for revenue from the Welcome Back Barbecue. We’re being more conservative, he said. Council approved the revised version of the budget.

Student Services: Council heard a report from Student Services Manager Marium Hamid on the direction the Services will be taking this year, including reports on the two newest services: Vice (for addictions) and eHub (promoting entrepreneurship).

Academic Experience Survey: Council discussed the relationship between the recommendations in the survey and the goals of the Executives.

Residents and Fraternity members: VP External Sally Lin was appointed to serve on a new committee hoping to improve relations between non-student residents and fraternity members on campus. There have been tensions in the past over noise.

Sustainability Meeting: VP Administration Pooja Bhatti announced that various sustainability groups will be meeting with UBC President Ono.

SUDS: VP External Sally Lin told Council that SUDS (the annual Student Union Development Summit hosted by the AMS) is already sold out.

New food outlets: Managing Director Keith Hester announced that there will be a new vegetarian/vegan place in the Nest, called The Grove. Also a Mexican place called La Parrilla (The Grill). Also, Upper Case is switching to a classic name from the past to become the Blue Chip Cafe, and the new Food Cart will also adopt a classic name and be known as the Burger Bar.

Clubs: Council learned about the process for constituting student clubs and also learned that there is a new financial handbook for them.

The History Book: The Burnaby Public Library has already ordered six copies of the AMS history book, and the AMS Archivist and President shot a video to promote sales.

Selling Art: Council approved terms of reference for a committee to look into selling some AMS artworks, in accordance with the referendum of last March.

LFS Senator: Council postponed approval of a student senator from Land and Food Studies, but did approve a process for selecting the senator.

Code and Policies: Council approved an amendment to Code to remove the old system of “ternary reports” by the Executive (it has been replaced by a new goal-setting policy). Council also updated policies on housing and transit and rescinded policies on by-election timing and external affiliations. A proposal to rescind an old policy on exclusive cold beverage agreements was postponed until the next Council meeting.

GSS Referendum: Council informally decided to have the Steering Committee handle the issues surrounding the upcoming Grad Student referendum on whether graduate students should remain within the AMS.

Next regular Council meeting: August 9, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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AMS Announces Resignation of Vice-President Academic and University Affairs, Daniel Lam

The Alma Mater Society of UBC Vancouver (AMS) is sad to announce that Daniel Lam has tendered his resignation as Vice-President Academic and University Affairs (AUA). His resignation will take effect as of July 28, 2017.

Daniel has been an essential part of this year’s executive team. In the short time that Daniel was an executive, he was able to successfully restructure the VP AUA portfolio, hire a full complement of staff, while also generating strategic goals for his office for the upcoming year; no small feat.

Student Senator Jakob Gattinger was elected by council as the interim VP Academic until a by-election can be run; currently planned for September 22nd.

The AMS would like to express its thanks for all the hard work that Daniel has provided in getting the VP AUA office up and running over this summer and appreciate his generous offer to help with the transition.

For any questions or media inquiries, please contact Alan Ehrenholz, AMS President.

Media Contact:
Alan Ehrenholz
President
Alma Mater Society of UBC Vancouver
P: 604 822-3972
E: president@ams.ubc.ca

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Council Summaries Council Meeting Summary, June 28, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of June 28, 2017:

Budget, budget, budget! Council debated several aspects of the AMS budget at length. There was the issue of bringing back the Ombudsperson. Also questions about how the Welcome Back Barbecue would bring in the revenue being forecast for it. And then it turned out that the Finance Committee hadn’t had quorum at the meeting at which it passed the budget.
In the end the budget was approved, but Finance Committee was directed to meet and look it over again and bring it back at the next Council meeting.

Academic Experience: VP Academic Daniel Lam reported that the annual Academic Experience Survey shows that students are feeling safer on campus, but they also report an increase in discrimination, especially gender discrimination. The survey also revealed that 18% of undergraduate students don’t have a fixed and adequate night-time residence.

Athletics: The Academic Experience Survey showed a lack of growth in support for athletics, and indicated that most of the support it does get is from a specific demographic (young white males). This prompted a question about whether lobbying priorities should be changed. AMS President Alan Ehrenholz replied by saying that students had voted for the new $25 fee to build a new recreational facility, but lobbying will be stepped up to ensure that UBC’s Athletics and Recreation program better reflects student priorities.

Strategic Plan: Council was told that the plan is being reconceived to be more bottom-up instead of top-down.

Informal Learning: Julian Villafuerte Diaz (Land & Food) was appointed to the University’s Informal Learning Spaces Committee.

New Communications Manager: Council was informed that Lori McNulty has been named to head the AMS Communications Department.

AMS History Book: Council was told that the book is at the publisher’s, and planning is underway with AlumniUBC for a book launch in the fall.

Ombudsperson: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz explained that though it had been previously decided to go without an Ombudsperson this year, feedback came in saying that the position was a valuable one, and that is why it has been restored in the budget.

Ice cream! Council was informed that there is now an ice cream machine in Pie R Squared. Also, the food cart should be here by the end of July.

SAC is back (sort of): Council was told that procedures from the old SAC Policy Handbook are being edited and adapted to go in the new Clubs Handbook.

CiTR: Council approved a new space agreement with CiTR (the student radio station) to replace the old one from the Old SUB.

Code Changes: Council approved a host of changes, and passed a new Internal Policy on keeping personal information on petitions secure.
The Code changes include:
a) Making the Student Services Manager a non-voting member of Council (again).
b) Removing the non-voting Alumni seat.
c) Restoring rules on club and Constituency deficits.
d) Revamping the Elections Committee.
e) Abolishing Voter-Funded Media.
f) Creating a Presidents Council of Constituency Presidents.
g) Abolishing election endorsements by candidates.
h) Removing the requirement that Student Court function as a standing body.

GSS Referendum: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz informed Council that in accordance with a resolution passed at their 2015 annual general meeting, the Graduate Students Society will be going to referendum in 2018 on the question of whether to remain in the AMS. The GSS has struck a committee to look into this, but nothing has really started yet.
It was agreed to have a fuller discussion at the next Council meeting.

Next regular Council meeting: July 19, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

Sheldon Goldfarb
Archivist & Clerk of Council

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Council Summaries Council Meeting Summary, June 7, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of June 7, 2017:

A New Speaker: Mohamed Shaaban took over as Speaker of Council, replacing Abdul Alnaar, who had served for four years.

Sustainability Goals: Council approved priorities for the coming year, including a Mug Share program, a change in pricing practices (to separate the price of the coffee from the cup, to encourage people to bring their own mugs), a revamp of the overarching Lighter Footprint Strategy, the policy informing AMS sustainability practices, a Zero Waste Squad, and dishware rentals.

Pooja Bhatti also told Council that the Sustainability Office will be moving into the Student Life and Sustainability Centre on the lower level of the Nest.

Showpass: Alim Lakhiyalov, the VP Finance, reported on plans to replace the Rezgo ticketing system for clubs with a new system called Showpass on a one-year trial basis.  He said the Showpass system looks easy to use, has strong customer support, and is geared to clubs.

Who is Akhil? Akhil Jobanputra, the AMS President’s assistant focusing on engagement, introduced himself and told Councillors that his role is to make them comfortable and bring Councillors and Executives together.

Grad Class Council gifts: AMS President Alan Ehrenholz reported that work is being done to bring some old gifts to fruition: a statue that is to go up at the Marine Drive residences and a sign on the knoll saying AMS Nest.  The hundredth anniversary time capsule will also go on the knoll, under the sign.

A Big Thing: Daniel Lam, the VP Academic, intrigued Council by saying there would be a Big Thing coming at the next meeting.  Apparently, it is something to do with a survey.

Alas, 480: Sally Lin, the VP External, reported that TransLink has plans to eliminate the 480 bus, even though it is a highly used route.

Sex, drugs, and rock and roll: Student Services Manager Marium Hamid referred to an upcoming conference on the effect of sex, drugs, and rock and roll on mental health.

Dealing with the new government (whoever it is): Council heard from the Advocacy Committee that it is preparing for the new government and is also working on various projects, such as the rental rights campaign, for which local MLA David Eby has written a letter of support.

Consultation: The Advocacy Committee is also working on a policy on what to do when the University wants to consult with us.

Party Bus (No!): Land and Food representative Julian Diaz asked why the Executive had rescinded an earlier Executive motion to purchase a bus.  AMS President Alan Ehrenholz said the previous Executive wanted a party bus, but the current Executive is against the idea.

Executives on external committees: Council approved a list of appointments of Executives to University and other external committees.

Brewery Committee: Council approved terms of reference for the revived Brewery Committee, which is looking into bringing a brewery to campus.

Next regular Council meeting: June 28, 2017 in the Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest at 6 pm.

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Council Summaries Council Meeting Summary, May 17, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of May 17, 2017:

Appointments! The summer appointments meeting. Newly appointed chairs of AMS Standing Committees include: Cameron England (Advocacy Committee)
Mackenzie Lockhart (Governance Committee)
Wendy Guo (HR Committee)
Lorenzo Lindo (Student Life Committee)

More Appointments: To the revived ad hoc Brewery Committee (chair, Jakob Gattinger) and to external committees such as the CiTR Board of Directors, the Health and Dental Plan Committee, the University’s Ombudsperson Committee, the Aquatic Management Committee, and the Student Legal Fund Society’s board of directors.

Goals! The new Executive presented its goals for the year, both team goals and individual ones. They will be working on the strategic plan and an operational plan, and focusing on communication, engagement, and outreach.

Budget! Council approved the preliminary budget, including a forecast of a $356,000 surplus.

Job descriptions: Council approved changes to titles and hours for some positions in the VP External Office and the VP Finance office.

Next regular Council meeting: June 7, 2017 in the Forum in the Nest at 6 pm.

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Council Summaries Council Meeting Summary, May 3, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of May 3, 2017:

A New Council!  The newly elected (and much smaller) AMS Council held its first meeting and heard presentations about the new Committee structure and the online system for filling the Committees.

Remote attender: The new rules on remote attendance by Councillors in the summer came into effect, and Engineering representative Jakob Gattinger skyped in and took an active part in the meeting, challenging the chair and supplying background information on such things as where the Sustainability Projects Committee now fits in the Committee structure.

Committee restructuring continued: Council continued the process by approving a Code change to reduce the number of students at large on two committees, the rationale for which is that these two committees (Advocacy and Student Life) will be interacting with large numbers of students at large through two new groups: the Blue and Gold Society (for Student Life) and the Officers of Council (for Advocacy).

Safewalk: Council also approved a renewal of the agreement with the University on the AMS Safewalk service.

Next regular Council meeting: May 17, 2017 in the Forum in the Nest at 6 pm.

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Council Summaries Council Meeting Summary, April 26, 2017

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of April 26, 2017:

BoG and Senate reps: Council filled the two non-voting seats for student Senators and the two for student Board of Governors reps.  Sarah Park and Jaymi Booth are the Senate reps.  Kevin Doering and Jeanie Malone are the BoG reps.

BDS:  The Elections Administrator informed Council that the BDS referendum (on boycotting Israeli products) had failed: the vote was 52% No and 48% Yes.  Turnout was 5.5%.

BDS 2: AMS President Ava Nasiri reported that the AMS spent approximately $20,000 on the court case over whether to run the referendum.  The court ruling was a positive one for the AMS, with the court standing behind the AMS decision in the case, setting a good precedent.

New Services: Student Services Manager Hussam Zbeeb reported that the work of Vice, the new service on substance abuse, has been split evenly so far between drugs and alcohol.  The other new Service, eHub (about entrepreneurship), is set to start in September.

Food Cart: Council approved $20,000 for an outdoor Food Cart to be called the Burger Bar (reviving a name from the Old SUB).  There will no longer be a restaurant in the Nest specializing in burgers.

Gallery: Council approved $60,000 to upgrade the Gallery Patio and Lounge.

Farewell to the Old Executive: President Ava Nasiri and the four Vice-Presidents said good-bye.

Councillor of the Year: Jakob Gattinger from Engineering was named Councillor of the Year.

Block Party: Managing Director Keith Hester announced that for the first time Block Party had broken even.

New School: Council learned of the creation of the School of Public Policy and discussed whether to declare what Constituency its students should be in, but decided the situation should be investigated further first.

Student Services Manager: Council approved in principle a motion to make the Student Services Manager a non-voting member of Council, as they used to be.

Committee Reviews: Council directed the Governance Committee to prepare a policy on biannual committee reviews to make sure the committees remain relevant.

Standardized turnover dates: Council passed amendments to Constituency constitutions to make May 1 the start date for all Council members.

Committee tweaking: Council approved in principle minor changes to the composition of the standing committees.

Governance Review: Council discharged the Governance Review Implementation Committee with thanks.

Strategic Plan: Council approved a draft of the Strategic Plan 3.0,  with the understanding that the incoming Executive will work further on it.

Remote Attendance: Council amended Code to allow Council members to take part in Council meetings from afar during the summer months.

VP Academic Office: Council approved changes to the staff structure for the VP Academic.

VP External Office: Council approved a change in hours for a staff member in the VP External Office.

Constituency Fees: Council had it brought to its attention that some Engineering Constituency fees were not being collected or handed over to the Engineering Undergraduate Society, despite having been approved by Council and the Board of Governors.  Other Constituencies were advised to check their accounts.

Next regular Council meeting: May 3, 2017 in the Forum in the Nest at 6 pm.

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