Council Summary – April 27, 2022

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of April 27, 2022, the last one of the current Council and Executive:

Appointments: Council reappointed Neal Cameron to be Speaker of Council for another year and named Alec Lee to be the new AMS Ombudsperson.

Executive Goals: The Executive reflected on their goals for the past year, including dealing with the pandemic, improving community engagement, embarking on a new strategic plan, proceeding with an equity plan, advocating for affordability, mask mandates and vaccine requirements, lobbying the federal and provincial governments, improving communications, supporting clubs, increasing the mental health benefit, and creating a more understandable budget.

Auditorium Project: President Cole Evans told Council that the Auditorium Project has been reduced in scope but is still going ahead and people will be able to use the venue.

Code and Policies: Council renumbered and recategorized its policies, and removed some Code sections (about prizes and transitions), adding policies to replace them.  It also passed a Code amendment requiring Councillors to attend Orientation.

Transitional Honorarium: Council increased the transitional honorarium for outgoing Executives from $1200 to $2500.  Councillor Julia Burnham said supporting incoming Executives also needs to be looked at.

Preliminary Budget: VP Finance Mary Gan said the Finance Committee needs more time to go over the preliminary budget, and Council agreed to postpone it till the meeting after next.

RBC Divestment: In response to a question from Councillor Avery Chan, VPAUA Eshana Bhangu said that the incoming and outgoing Executives had met with Climate Justice UBC about working to get RBC to divest from fossil fuels.  Although the AMS supports the principle, she said, it is beyond the mandate of the AMS to lobby companies, and AMS resources and personnel hours need to be devoted to issues such as student housing, club support, and UBC’s Campus Vision 2050.

Campus Security Director: New Councillor Thomas Dunsmore asked how the UBC Campus Security Director got hired, given the recent revelations about his tweets.  VP Bhangu said it was troubling that this wasn’t caught in the vetting process; she said none of this came up during the process.

Masks: In response to a question fromCouncillor Mathew Ho, VP Bhangu said the KN95 masks obtained by the AMS were all approved and certified, and not counterfeit.

Israel-Palestine: In response to a question from Councillor Ho, VP External Saad Shoaib said no geopolitical issues have been brought up at UCRU (the association of Undergraduates at Canadian Research-intensive Universities).  He said the Israel-Palestine issue is not within the mandate of UCRU, which is focused on advocating for high quality, affordable, and accessible education.

Grad Class gifts: Council was told that this year’s gift will in part contribute to paying for last year’s (the outdoor learning program).  There will also be money for a digital wall installation in the Life Building and for an Indigenous language project in the Nest (to translate AMS signs).

Councillor of the Year: And the award went to Arts rep Kamil Kanji.

Next meeting:

The next regular Council meeting will be May 10 at 6 pm in the Michael Kingsmill Forum, fourth floor of the Nest.  This will be an unusual Tuesday meeting.  Meetings will resume on Wednesday after that.

Sheldon Goldfarb Archivist & Clerk of Council

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