Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of February 11, 2021 (held virtually on Zoom):
UCRU: Mackenzy Metcalfe, chair of the Undergraduates of Canadian Research-intensive Universities (UCRU), presented the draft UCRU bylaws, discussed the possibility of a graduate students wing, and said that though there are no membership fees in place yet, a fee structure is being discussed.
A Course about the AMS: AMS President Cole Evans said plans are underway to create a module on Canvas, UBC’s online learning platform, that can be used to onboard staff and inform the general student body about the AMS.
New Senior Manager of Student Services: President Evans informed Council that the new Senior Manager is Lorris Leung.
Off-campus jobs: Georgia Yee, AMS VP Academic & University Affairs, reported that the University has agreed to put $600,000 into an off-campus Work Learn program, primarily to serve Indigenous students and students with disabilities.
Activist Released: VP External Kalith Nanayakkara announced that Loujain al-Hathloul, the former UBC student imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, has been released. This comes after much lobbying by, among others, a coalition of Canadian student unions led by the AMS, the GSS, and the UBCO student union.
Policy Advisor: Councillor Mathew Ho raised the issue of filling the position of Policy Advisor. VP Nanayakkara said it would be a good thing. Councillor Max Holmes asked about increasing the salary for the position.
Valentine Safety: Proxy Julia Burnham expressed concern about plans for Valentine’s Day in the Gallery Lounge. Managing Director Keith Hester said all public health orders are being followed and the Gallery will be COVID-safe.
Is Tuition Consultation Worthwhile? Councillor Mathew Ho spoke of negative student reaction to the University’s consultation process. Student Board of Governors rep Jeanie Malone said it would be worse to have no consultation.
Black hiring and awards: Student Senator Dante Agosti-Moro reported that the Senate has passed motions calling for hiring of 10-15 more Black academics and for expanding the awards available to Black students. There are also plans to expand the African Studies curriculum.
Acronyms: The Clerk of Council sang a song about AMS acronyms.
Sustainability Centre funding postponed: Council voted to postpone consideration of the $26,000 expenditure on the Interactive Sustainability Centre until the relevant Executives could be present to explain it.
Election Appeal Committees: In the absence of the Speaker, who would normally chair appeal committees, Council voted to name the Ombudsperson to this position.
Faculty Senate elections: Council passed a motion calling for elections for student Senators from individual Faculties to be run by the AMS or the individual student Constituencies (this year they are being run by the University).
Referendum Questions: Council discussed which office should be responsible for providing assistance to students-at-large seeking to put referendum questions on the ballot: the VP Academic & University Affairs or the Elections Committee?
Council Composites: Council discussed how to arrange taking photographs for the annual composite picture of Council members. The two most supported options were to hold a socially distanced gathering in the Nest and to have Councillors send in their own headshots.
The next regular Council meeting will be held on February 24, 2021 on Zoom.Back to news