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Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of January 23, 2019:

Indigenous Topics: Student at Large Rodney Little Mustache asked about an upcoming referendum to help mark 2019-20 as the Year of Indigenous Students.  He also raised issues about the job description for the new Indigenous Executive Assistant.  And he reproached the Executive for lobbying on Indigenous issues without involving Indigenous students in the lobbying.

VP External Cristina Ilnitchi agreed about involving Indigenous students and said she has already started to reach out to the Indigenous Committee and other Indigenous students to include them in AMS advocacy.

UNA: VP External Cristina Ilnitchi reported to Council that the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA), the body representing campus-area residents, has decided to remove AMS and UBC representatives from its board of directors.  There now will be discussions between the UNA and the AMS on creating a formalized relationship to replace the relationship that existed via having an AMS rep on the UNA board.

SASC: Council discussed the issue of ensuring funding for the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC).  Because of the increase in usage and programming in recent years, more money is needed, and the membership will be asked to approve a fee increase.

Fall Reading Break: VP Academic & University Affairs Max Holmes led a discussion about the logistics of introducing a break in the fall and a longer holiday break after Christmas.  He said 6,100 students have responded to a survey on the topic.  Councillors discussed whether the survey question was clear and unbiased.  There was also discussion about the other forms of consultation going on.

Sexual Violence and Respectful Environment: VP Administration Chris Hakim said surveys and other consultation are underway on two draft policies on these topics.  Councillors discussed various aspects of the policies and asked for clarification of the drafts.  Concerns were raised about the safety of complainants during the investigation period.

Ontario education changes: In response to a question about the AMS’s position on the changes, President Marium Hamid said the AMS is waiting to see what the Ontario student associations decide to do.

VP Academic Caucus: In response to a question, the AMS VP Academic said he is trying to get the caucus of VP Academics from the Constituencies to meet monthly, but it is not an official body and there are attendance issues he hopes will be resolved.

Student Services: Student Services Manager Piers Fleming said the minimum wage increases are having an effect.  He is trying to ensure that the services continue without paying more money.

Indigenous Committee: VP Administration Chris Hakim said he is helping the committee with furnishings and renovations for their new space.

Block Party: Managing Director Keith Hester told Council that tickets are now on sale, and 1,800 have already been sold.  The line-up will be released in February.

Employee survey: HR Committee Chair Cole Evans reported that the results of the survey were generally positive.  Employees did suggest more incentives, including money and appreciation.

Strategic Plan?  President Marium Hamid said the Steering Committee is suggesting that, because of turnover issues, the AMS adopt principles instead of a Strategic Plan, the principles to be based on the 25-year-old AMS Mission Statement, which the committee felt was still in tune with today’s AMS.

Advisory Board: It has been difficult to convene a meeting this month; the aim is now for a February meeting.

Pit Pub Anniversary: The Archivist reported that David Suzuki had shown up earlier in the day for a small gathering to mark the 50th anniversary of the Pit (which owes its name to Suzuki).

Sustainability Projects: Council passed a Code amendment to enlarge the scope of the Sustainability Projects Fund to encompass climate justice, community organizing, and student empowerment.

Campus Vibe: After much discussion about the appropriate source to fund an extension of the contract with Campus Vibe to continue the Clubhouse platform for AMS clubs, Council voted to delay the motion until its next meeting.

Professional Governance: Council passed a motion directing the VP External to consult with student groups affected by new legislation concerning professionals working in natural resources and report back to Council with updates.

Next meeting: The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm on February 6, 2019 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.

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