COUNCIL SUMMARY- JUNE 3, 2020

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of June 3, 2020 (held virtually):
 
AMS Strategic PlanCouncil heard a history of attempts to create a plan, which stretch back almost 20 years, and was presented with various options for going forward, but the consensus in discussion was that this was not the time to proceed because there are higher priorities to do with COVID-19.
 
Will We Ever Meet Again?  Councillor Mathew Ho asked if Council would ever meet again in person.  AMS President Cole Evans said he was sure it would happen eventually, but it was hard to say when: perhaps in the late summer.
 
Anti-Black and Anti-Asian Racism: VP Academic & University Affairs Georgia Yee said it was not enough to make statements (as the AMS did); work must be done to acknowledge the systemic problem.  There will be community engagement (a Town Hall), education.  She is working on a bystander intervention program.  VP External Kalith Nanayakkara said it could be useful to start collecting race-based data.
 
COVID Survey: VP Georgia also said the COVID survey asking students about how they’ve been affected has just gone out.  There are also plans for a digital meal donation program.
 
BC Budget: VP External Kalith said the two asks would be for open education resources and more funding for postsecondary institutions.
 
Hatch Art Gallery: VP Administration Sylvester Mensah Jr. said the Hatch is trying to figure out ways to remain active during the virus.  The new Hatch manager is working on an online display of the permanent collection.
 
Interactive Sustainability Centre: VP Sylvester said consultation is being done before bringing a plan to Council.
 
Software Provider: Student Services Manager Ian Stone said he is working with his team to explore data collection options because Olivewood, the company we’ve been using, is shutting down.
 
Reopening: Managing Director Keith Hester said three outlets are now open in the Nest (Blue Chip, Honour Roll, and the Gallery), and they’re seeing about 200 customers a day.  Students are using the building for studying while maintaining social distance.  He said plans are being made for what to do if things get better and what to do if things get worse.
           VP Administration Sylvester Mensah Jr. said there will still be no bookings until further notice.
 
Advocacy Committee: Joshua Kim, the new chair, said the committee has decided to discuss climate change and recovery after COVID.
 
Club membership fees:  VP Administration Sylvester Mensah Jr. said some club members are facing financial strain, and clubs are being advised to be mindful of this.
 
UBC Sexual Violence Policy: Board of Governors rep Max Holmes said dissatisfaction had been expressed to the Board over the fact that SASC (the Sexual Assault Support Centre) is not represented on the committee reviewing the policy.
 
Fall Reading Break: Student Senator Alex Gonzalez said Senate had approved the Fall Reading Break for 2021 by attaching two extra days to the Remembrance Day break.
           Also Senate is working on wording for a COVID-19 statement to go on student transcripts.
           Senate is also renaming student evaluations “student experience of instruction.”
 
SASC Expansion: Council approved an allocation of $218,380 for the project to expand the office of the Sexual Assault Support Centre.
 
UNA: At the request of the Executive, Council voted to reject a proposed memorandum of agreement with the University Neighbourhoods Association and directed the Executive to seek an agreement with the UNA that ensures adequate student representation on the UNA Board.
 
U-Pass: VP External Kalith Nanayakkara presented information concerning the temporary suspension of the U-Pass.  A subsidy fund is being set up for students who have to use transit.  The issue of reinstating the U-Pass is being looked into. 
 
COVID-19: Student Senator Chris Hakim and Board of Governors rep Max Holmes asked the Executive to present updates about planning for the COVID crisis.  Let Council see the various options being explored, they said.
 
Next meeting: The next regular Council meeting will be held on June 24, 2020.  
Sheldon Goldfarb
Archivist & Clerk of Council