COUNCIL SUMMARY – MARCH 27, 2019
Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of March 27, 2019:
Statement from Student at Large: Rodney Little Mustache called for an Indigenous seat on Council and also called for the creation of an ethics committee to look into issues arising from the extension of the AMS election campaign period.
Max Holmes, the VP Academic & University Affairs, responded by noting that the extension was introduced because of issues associated with the timing of the Senate and Board of Governors elections, which are University elections not run by the AMS.
As to a seat on AMS Council, he said there are discussions ongoing with the Indigenous Committee about how to change AMS structures. If they ask for a seat, the Executive will expedite that.
Move UBC: Representatives of Move UBC made a presentation, which consisted of getting Council members to stand up and move around. They then asked Council for help in contacting professors and department heads to facilitate introducing physical activity on campus to get the University community moving and make it more healthy.
Emergency Response: Council heard from a group seeking assistance in establishing an emergency response team on campus.
Election Results: Elections Administrator Halla Bertrand announced the election and referendum results, making them official. The new AMS Executive, as of May 1, will be:
Chris Hakim, President
Julia Burnham, VP Academic & University Affairs
Lucia Liang, VP Finance
Cole Evans, VP Administration
Cristina Ilnitchi, VP External
Referendum Results: The following referendums passed:
- An increase in the sexual assault support services fee to $9.30
- A decrease in the graduating class fee, from $7 to $3
- A U-Pass extension
- A 95-cent fee for an Indigenous Student Fund
- A 95-cent fee for a thrift shop
- A change of the rules for accessing the Campus Culture and Performance Fee.
The referendum to amend the AMS Bylaws failed for lack of quorum.
Election Observations: The Elections Administrator noted some positives from the election (turnout of 21.7%, lots of candidates so that all positions were contested, an Indigenous-centred event), but also pointed to some negatives: poor spirit at the results party, a lack of diversity, problems communicating with the affiliated colleges, lack of a contract with the University to run Senate and Board of Governors elections, lack of training for her, low pay, and too many petty complaints, especially about posters.
Constituency Elections: The Elections Administrator noted that she had been able to get many more Constituencies to use the AMS electronic voting system (Simply Voting). She was also able to recruit new Councillors for Council from places like Social Work and St. Mark’s.
Sustainability: Michelle Marcus, the AVP Sustainability, reported that it had been an awesome year for sustainability, with the University taking some good steps and a groundswell of support being seen for climate initiatives around the world. At the AMS she highlighted the Mugshare program, the Climate Art Competition, and the revamp of the Sustainability Projects Fund. Next year the focus will be on phasing out single-use plastic, creating a new waste hub depot for e-waste and soft plastics, and lobbying the University on divesting from fossil fuels.
Academic Concession Policy: Max Holmes, the VP Academic & University Affairs, updated Council about the University’s review of its policy on academic concession, which will embed principles in it about compassion, flexibility, and transparency.
Sexual Violence and Respectful Environment: VP Administration Chris Hakim reported on the latest version of the new policy on sexual violence and the revised policy on respectful environment (which is being renamed Bullying, Harassment, Discrimination, and Violence). He said changes have been made based on previous feedback from Council, including measures to deal with at-risk situations during and after an investigation. A summary and a flow chart will also be added, in the interests of clarity.
Psychology coverage: VP Finance Kuol Akuechbeny reported that the Graduate Student Society has approved the 5% increase in the Health & Dental Plan fee, allowing the increase in psychology coverage to go forward.
New Student Services Manager: Council was told that the new SSM will be Ian Stone.
Advisory Board: Cole Evans, the Chair of the HR Committee, announced that the reconstituted Advisory Board will be having its first meeting next Tuesday.
New Elections Administrator: Postings went up for the position which will now be called the Chief Electoral Officer, but not many have applied so far.
Blue and Gold: Jerome Goddard, Chair of the Student Life Committee, said he hopes to revive the Blue and Gold Society component of the committee, which deals with campus life and student spirit.
Grad Class Gift and the Goddess of Democracy: Jerome Goddard announced that the Grad Class Subcommittee of the Student Life Committee is looking for gift suggestions. Zak Vescera of the Ubyssey suggested that money go to repair the Goddess of Democracy. VP Administration Chris Hakim said this is already being looked at.
Norm Theatre: Chris Hakim as chair of the New SUB Committee said that a lot of time has been put into looking into whether the Norm can be used for live shows as well as movies, but it looks like doing that might be too expensive.
Contingency Fund: Council approved a new Contingency Fund to be used for unplanned expenditures.
Student Court: Governance Committee Chair Dylan Braam said that with the failure for the second year in a row of a bylaw amendment to abolish Student Court, it might be worth considering whether Council should fill the positions on it.
Next meeting: The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm on April 3, 2019 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.
Archivist & Clerk of Council