Council Summary – June 24, 2020
Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of June 24, 2020 (held virtually):
Indigenous Seat: Laura Beaudry became the first person to fill the new Indigenous seat on Council in accordance with the bylaw amendment passed in March and a Code amendment approved tonight.
Other Code Changes: Council also amended Code to clarify what is meant by distance education students and to change the terms of reference for the Presidents Council. Before the meeting, by email vote, Council had also amended the Code to exempt students registered during COVID-19 from paying the $21 AMS Athletics & Intramurals fee.
And a Policy Change: Council approved combining three old policies (on travel, alcohol reimbursement, and cellphones) into a single policy on Executive reimbursement.
Executive Goals Postponed: After a discussion focused on the presentation of KPI’s, Council asked the Executive to come back with a revised goals document including quantifiable statements wherever possible.
AMS Budget: Council approved the budget, with the understanding that a revision would be coming in August because of the uncertainties associated with COVID-19. Managing Director Keith Hester said business revenue had declined dramatically because of COVID, and some Councillors asked for more business details.
VP Finance Lucia Liang said there would be no cuts to Student Services, and Council passed a motion asking the Finance Committee to look into wage increases in the Services.
Advisory Board: AMS President Cole Evans announced that the Advisory Board had finally met after being unable to for a long time.
UBCO Violence and anti-Black Racism: AMS President Cole Evans expressed solidarity with a statement from the student union at UBC Okanagan concerning the violent actions of an RCMP officer against a UBCO student. He added that the AMS is committed to developing programs around anti-Black racism.
VP Academic & University Affairs Georgia Yee said the AMS is asking UBC to review its relationship with the RCMP. She added that discussions are underway with the UBC Black Students Union and external organizations like Black Lives Matter Vancouver.
VP External Kalith Nanayakkara said he will be advocating for race-based data collection.
Board of Governors representative Max Holmes reported on the resignation of the Board chair, Michael Korenberg, over his online behaviour and noted that the Board had reaffirmed its commitment to anti-racism.
Fee suspensions: Councillor Chris Hakim asked if other AMS fees besides the $21 Athletics & Intramurals one would be suspended. President Cole Evans said other fees had been looked at, but it was decided that the $21 fee should be the main one targeted. VP Finance Lucia Liang said there have been conversations about a refund of part of the Health and Dental fee and about making subsidies more accessible. VP Academic & University Affairs Georgia Yee said the AMS is also asking the University to reduce its athletics fee.
Sustainability Report: After debate over whether the priorities in the report were ambitious enough, Council directed the Executive to bring back a new report at the next Council meeting.
Next meeting: The next regular Council meeting will be held on July 15, 2020.