Council Summary- July 15, 2020

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of July 15, 2020 (held virtually on Zoom):


Transit Subsidy: VP External Kalith Nanayakkara told Council that the suspended U-Pass program is scheduled to restart on September 1.  In the meantime the AMS has put together a subsidy program for students taking transit in the summer.


Services: Student Services Manager Ian Stone discussed plans for the Services, including improvements in marketing and outreach and clearer guidelines for management responsibilities.


Funding Changes: Council approved a temporary decrease in the membership fee for the Commerce Undergraduate Society and also amended the AMS budget to add funding for new software for the Sexual Assault Support Centre.  It also approved spending to replace worn-out audio-visual equipment and approved an increase in the amount being spent to install air conditioning in the Nest.


Equity Plan: Council also approved additional funding for the AMS Equity Plan.  AMS President Cole Evans said he is super happy with the consultants chosen for the plan and said an implementation committee will be put in place to guide the process.


Appointments: The new Indigenous representative, Laura Beaudry, was appointed to three committees: HR, Advocacy, and Sustainability.  Paige Braithwaite was named to a position on SHAPE (the committee looking into the sale of Hatch art).


Wage subsidy: AMS President Cole Evans told Council the federal government has extended its wage subsidy till December.  VP Finance Lucia Liang said she would be seeing how this affects the AMS budget.


COVID Survey: VP Academic & University Affairs Georgia Yee told Council there have been over 7,000 responses to the survey.  The most obvious takeaway is that international students have been disproportionately affected. 


Students on campus: VP Finance Lucia Liang said there was good news about this: instead of only 5% of student residence places being filled, it now looks like the number will be 50%.  Because of this, she will be revising the projected business revenue up.


Clubs and club bookings: VP Administration Sylvester Mensah Jr. said room bookings have resumed to a certain extent.  His team is also working to help clubs pursue alternatives to in person meetings and events in the fall.


Written reports: AMS President Cole Evans said he is recommending to the Governance Committee that reports to Council (by Executives, committees, and others) be done in written rather than oral form.


Sustainability report: After discussion on setting a specific date as the target for making the Nest carbon neutral (it was agreed to specify 2025), Council passed the revised Sustainability priorities and report.


Executive goals and KPI’s: Council approved the revised Executive goals, but continued to discuss the issue of KPI’s and the difficulties of measuring Executive achievement.  It was suggested that the Governance Committee look into the issue.


UNA: Council approved a Memorandum of Agreement with the University Neighbourhoods Association about the AMS role in the UNA.  


Zoom and China: Nursing representative Jake Reznik and Phoenix Au-yeung from the Enlightenment of Hong Kong group raised the issue of students taking part in meetings and classes over Zoom.  Because Zoom data is routed through China, student safety could be at risk.


Next meeting: The next regular Council meeting will be held on August 5, 2020.  

Sheldon Goldfarb

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council

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