COUNCIL SUMMARY – August 21, 2019
Presentations: A busy meeting for presentations, three of them by the VP Academic & University Affairs (Julia Burnham): on the Academic Experience Survey, the Stadium Road Neighbourhood Plan, and the Textbook Broke campaign.
Academic Experience Survey: This was the seventh annual survey, covering how safe, involved, and comfortable students feel on campus, how long they expect to take to finish their degrees (more than four years, say most undergraduates), how satisfied they are with their university experience, and why they chose UBC.
The survey also found that many students suffer financial hardship and food insecurity, and one in seven report being sexually assaulted.
Sexual Violence Policy: Council approved a policy on sexual violence as the culmination of a nearly two-year process of consultation on the issue. Council also approved a replacement for the old Respectful Environment Policy, now to be called the Respectful Community and Workplace Policy, to deal with bullying, harassment, discrimination, and violence.
Stadium Road Neighbourhood: VP Academic Burnham brought Council up to date on the plan to create a new neighbourhood on campus near the stadium that will replace the old Thunderbird Stadium. The plan includes new housing projects, prompting a petition from some residents against towers and development. However, the AMS is launching a counter-petition in favour of more housing.
Council asked questions about consultation with Indigenous groups and ecological effects.
VP Burnham said the idea behind building towers is to mitigate the ecological effects by building up instead of out. She added that the Musqueam are involved in the discussions. AMS President Chris Hakim said the project will not go ahead without Musqueam approval.
Financial update: VP Finance Lucia Liang reported on first quarter finances, noting that the largest amount of revenue came from Conferences & Catering.
A complete first quarter report will have to wait until the Resource Groups and other groups receiving student fees can submit reports to the Finance Committee, but the Executive wanted to submit as much information as it could to Council at the earliest opportunity.
Textbook Broke: VP Academic Burnham, reporting on her favourite campaign, told Council of plans to combat soaring material costs by urging adoption of Open Educational Resources (free online course materials). This year’s campaign will include an open letter to faculty members and an award for faculty members who shift from textbooks to Open Educational Resources.
Brewery Committee: Council changed the name of the Brewery Committee to the Fermentation Lab Committee and appointed Kelvin Au as its new chair.
Another Name Change: The VP Academic Caucus is becoming the Academic Caucus to better reflect the diversity of names in the various Constituencies.
And Yet Another: VP Administration Cole Evans announced that the old Clubs Resource Centre, which was going to be renamed the AMS Student Lounge, is now going to be called The Commons.
Signage and Clubs Days: VP Evans also announced that signage in the Nest will be updated and that Clubs Days will take place this year not just in the Nest but in the Life Building next door.
Welcome Back BBQ: Managing Director Keith Hester told Council that the line-up has been announced and 3,800 tickets have been sold, well ahead of the pace last year.
Annual General Meeting: Council set the date for the AGM as October 23.
Arts Senator: Council approved a procedure for choosing a new senator to represent Arts students.
Code changes: Council approved a requirement that outgoing committee chairs transition their successors and also approved rules for joint committee meetings, a rule requiring Constituencies to submit their governance documents to the central AMS, and a modified rule on how appointees to external committees should report to Council.
Alcohol Consumption Policy: Council repealed the alcohol consumption policy, on the grounds that nothing in it is still followed. It is all covered by provincial law.
Student Life Committee: A proposal to make changes to the committee was referred back to the committee.
Advisory Board: Council suspended the Code provision requiring a report from the Board because the Board has still not met; it is still missing a member. The HR Committee is looking for one.
Next meeting: The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.