Council Summary – July 12, 2023

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of July 12, 2023:

PC1 and PC2: Student at large and AMS employee Brandyn Marx spoke to Council about the review of the policies on respectful community and sexualized violence, saying there should be input from hourly employees and unionized staff.

AMS President Esmé Decker noted that she and Brandyn had spoken privately, adding that those doing the review will be looking to see where they can incorporate Brandyn’s feedback.

Sulong: Representatives of Sulong UBC, an organization of Filipino students at UBC, came to Council a second time to ask that UBC staff have their access to the AMS Food Bank restored.

          President Decker responded by referring to the financial expense involved, but added that she and Kathleen Simpson (the Senior Manager of Student Services) are meeting with the University administration to see what can be done.

VP Admin’s goals:  The Executive Goals of Ian Caguiat, the VP Administration, which had been sent back to the Executive Committee for further work on how they would be paid for, came back in revised form and were approved by Council, to the delight of the VP Administration.

Sustainability Priorities: The VP Administration and his staff presented sustainability priorities for the year, which the VP Administration noted are an extension of his goals.  The priorities include a Return-It Program (for container refunds), textbook recycling via a new Little Free Library, Plant-Based September (to encourage plant-based meal options), support for Climate Justice UBC, and a review of the AMS Sustainability Action Plan.

           Council voted to approve the priorities.

CASA redux?  VP External Tina Tong talked about the pros and cons of rejoining CASA, the federal student organization the AMS left in 2011 (after helping found it in the 90’s).  The pros include the fact that CASA is a formalized organization with an office and permanent staff, unlike UCRU, the organization the AMS is currently working with.

           The cons include the high cost and the one-school, one-vote model CASA uses, meaning the AMS would have no more say than small schools that pay much less.

           One possibility is joining the CASA observership program, which would cost little, but some Councillors thought it might be better to focus on fixing UCRU or on working at the municipal and provincial level.

Food Bank Renovation: Council approved $36,600 for Phase One of the Food Bank renovation, which will involve expanding the Food Bank space, installing a walk-in fridge, and removing the carpet.  Phase Two (installing a sink) will come at a later date.

Communicating with the Musqueam: In response to a question from Arts Councillor Anna Shubina, President Decker said the policy on communicating with the Musqueam is being reviewed, and one change being considered is to switch the liaison person from the Policy Advisor to the Communications Manager.

Communicating with the Fraternities: In response to a question from Arts Councillor Lawrence Liu, President Decker said she had met with someone from the fraternities to discuss relations, adding that it would be good to reconnect the fraternities with Safewalk.

Undergraduate Research: The VP Academic and University Affairs, Kamil Kanji, said he is in discussions with the University about a new program on undergraduate research.

The 480 bus: VP External Tina Tong said advocacy is continuing to restore the 480 bus.  She said TransLink’s explanation for cutting the 480 had to do with finances, but she said there were numbers to support the case for restoration.

BoG and Senate reports: Ayesha Irfan, the chair of the Governance Committee, said the committee plans to recommend a Code change to restore oral updates from the BoG reps and Senators on Council (in addition to the written reports they are currently doing) so Council will know what’s going on at the Board of Governors and Senate.

First Year Committee: Karisma Jutla, the chair of the Student Life Committee, said there are plans to continue and formalize a First Year Committee.

Death and Resignation: Responding to a question from Council Senator Mathew Ho, the Archivist talked of how many AMS Executives have died in office (none), but noted that the very first UBC President (Frank Wesbrook) died while President.  Also, the AMS has lost Executives through resignation, and several UBC Presidents have also resigned.

Next meeting:

The next regular Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 2 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum in the Nest at 6 pm. 

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

Back to news