Council Summary – August 25, 2021
Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of August 25, 2021 (held both in person and on Zoom):
Approvals: Council approved an agreement with Simply Voting, the software company that handles the technical side of AMS elections, and also approved a lease for a new tenant to occupy the space formerly occupied by Merit Travel.
Appointment: Council approved Max Holmes as the chair of the electoral engagement committee.
Appointment rules: Council approved changes to the appointment rules for committees, and President Cole Evans urged Councillors to fill out the forms for committee positions.
Budget revision: Council approved an amendment to revise the section of the budget for SUDS (the annual Student Union Development Summit).
Policy Advisor: Managing Director Keith Hester introduced Mimi Neufeld, who will fill the long vacant position of Policy Advisor.
Campus Vision 2050: Council heard a presentation from UBC’s Campus & Community Planning about campus land use, especially in relation to engagement with the Musqueam and the inclusion of marginalized groups. Councillor Mathew Ho asked about the SkyTrain to UBC, and Councillor Max Holmes asked about creating a more bike-friendly campus.
Get Out the Vote: Erin Co of the AMS External Office told Council about plans to encourage student voting in the upcoming federal election. There will be posters, brochures, two videos, and events.
VP External Saad Shoaib expressed disappointment over Elections Canada’s reluctance to authorize a polling station in the Nest.
Masks and Vaccines: There was a motion on the agenda to revise the policy on masks in the Nest by adding provisions concerning vaccines, but because of the recent changes in provincial guidance, the motion was postponed, and instead there was a general discussion about how the new guidelines will affect clubs, when masks will have to be worn, and where vaccines will be required.
President Cole Evans said the new guidelines from the province were a big win for the AMS, which had campaigned in the media for vaccine and mask mandates, with lots of interviews done by VP Academic & University Affairs Eshana Bhangu.
VP Administration Lauren Benson announced that Tentree Masks has donated 27,000 of their masks to be distributed on campus.
Drug Poisoning Crisis: Councillor Max Holmes asked what the AMS is doing about the problem of overdosing. VPAUA Eshana said the AMS is trying to get fentanyl strips that can be used for drug testing. President Evans said the AMS is talking to the University about what can be done in the long term. There will also be Naloxone kits for treating overdoses.
Bylaw Revisions Part II? President Evans asked if Councillors had any interest in bringing bylaw changes to the October AGM, as was done last year. Councillor Max Holmes said bylaw changes should be done by referendum, not AGM’s, and he disapproved of incentivizing attendance by prizes, as was done last year. President Evans said possible changes would be minor, to do with Executive duties. There are also discussions about a change to create an Indigenous Constituency. Councillor Julia Burnham suggested using the AGM for advocacy: passing motions to condemn University or provincial actions.
Back in Person: President Cole Evans announced the next meeting will be in person instead of online or hybrid, and there will be food.
The next regular Council meeting will be held in person in the AMS Nest (4th floor) on September 15, 2021 at 6 pm.
Archivist & Clerk of Council