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Council Summary — February 1, 2023

Here are notes from the AMS Council meeting of February 1, 2023:

Gender affirming care: Council heard a statement from a member of the Pride Collective urging the AMS to increase the Health & Dental Plan fee to include coverage for gender affirming care.  AMS President Eshana Bhangu said unfortunately the plan is in deficit. She said there will already have to be a large increase in the fee to deal with that.

Health & Dental Plan: Sophia Haque of Studentcare, the Plan administrator, informed Council that because of a dramatic increase in mental health claims, the Plan is in a difficult financial position, requiring either an increase in the fee, a decrease in benefits, or both.  She noted that gender affirming care has been identified as a priority for students, and students do not want to reduce benefits.  At the same time affordability is an issue for students, and if a fee request is defeated in a student referendum, then there may have to be benefit reductions.

AMS President Bhangu said increased costs have resulted in a draining of reserves.  She said the Health & Dental Plan Committee is looking at the issue and it will make a recommendation to Council on what question to pose to the students in a referendum.

Campus Vision: Representatives fromUBC’s Campus & Community Planning department made a presentation to Council on the Campus Vision 2050 process, including the role of the Musqueam and such issues as affordability, the climate emergency, growth and green space, and financing.

Election Rules: Council approved a series of changes to the election rules to allow postering and to switch from the Condorcet method of ballot counting to Instant Runoff.  But Council declined to approve a proposal to ease the limitations on who can take part in referendum campaigning, sending it back to committee.

Indigenous Constituency: President Bhangu told Council of a proposed bylaw amendment that will transform the Indigenous Committee into a Constituency like Arts or Science.

Next meeting:

The next regular Council meeting will be on Wednesday, February 15 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum in the Nest at 6 pm. 

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