Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of June 23, 2021 (held virtually on Zoom):
Presidential Apology: Student-at-large Haniya Syed referred to a recent video about sororities and the comments that resulted from it. AMS President Cole Evans said he was the individual who had made the comment in question, and he apologized for any uncomfortableness caused.
Genocide: Student-at-large Rodney Little Mustache spoke of genocide associated with the discovery of unmarked graves at a residential school site. He asked the AMS to take the lead in starting a movement to speak out against oppressive governments.
Restart Plan: AMS President Cole Evans described plans for returning to campus. The aim is to make student safety the top priority, to follow provincial and federal health guidelines, and to consider the diverse accessibility and inclusivity needs of AMS members. The focus will be on vaccines, not restrictions, but with a recognition that people will have different comfort levels about being in person again.
Face masks will no longer be required, beginning in September, and the aim is to have a full reopening by then.
As early as the next Council meeting (July 21) the plan is to have a partial return to meeting in person.
Executive Goals: Council approved the Executive’s goals for 2021-22, which include:
Auditorium Project (the Norm Theatre): AMS President Cole Evans described plans to transform the old Norm Theatre into a multipurpose venue for the performing arts. A grant is being sought from the Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund, which could cover more than half of the $3.3 million cost. The hope is that the AMS contribution would be no more than $650,000, with money also provided by UBC.
Sustainability Priorities: Council approved the year’s sustainability priorities, which include SEEDS projects, completing the Interactive Sustainability Centre, working towards Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2025, and creating a Waste Hub and a Thingery (a library of reusable things).
Still No Policy Advisor: Managing Director Keith Hester reported that the person who was offered the post has declined, but the search continues.
Branding Guidelines: Councillor Max Holmes questioned the emphasis in the branding guidelines reported in Executive minutes: he said there was too much on the AMS becoming a lifestyle brand and not enough emphasis on advocacy. AMS President Cole Evans said the Executive has given feedback along those lines, and revised guidelines will be coming to Council.
KUS election: Council approved a temporary Code suspension to allow the Kinesiology Undergraduate Society to conduct an election this summer without an AMS Chief Electoral Officer in place to oversee.
Remote Attendance: After much discussion, Council approved Code changes to allow remote attendance at Council meetings even when there is no pandemic, but held off on allowing Council business to be conducted by email.
Budget Delay: VP Finance Mary Gan said the Finance Committee wanted to take more time to examine the AMS history of underspending and so will not bring the budget until the July meeting.
Vaccination in Residences: Councillors had an extensive discussion on requiring vaccinations for those living in student residences on campus. The VP Academic & University Affairs, Eshana Bhangu, said the AMS will be advocating that the University require that students living in residence have at least one dose of vaccine.
The next regular Council meeting will be held on July 21, 2021 at 6 pm.
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