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Council Summary – November 24, 2021

Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of November 24, 2021:

Hatch Art Gallery: Council heard a statement from a student at large, speaking for students in Visual Arts and Art History, expressing disappointment over the failure of the Hatch Art Gallery to open this term and calling on the AMS to hire a director and assistant director for the gallery.

AMS President Cole Evans said the concerns were 100% valid, resulting from circumstances he could not comment on, but he was dedicated to making the Hatch flourish and wanted to give credit to the students in Visual Arts and Art History for putting on their own exhibition in the space.  He added that postings were now up for the director and assistant director positions.

Elections Committee:  Council appointed a Chief Returning Officer (Varsha Gangadharan) and other members of the Elections Committee.

Health and Dental Plan: Sophia Haque from Studentcare, the administrator of the Health and Dental Plan, reported that with the expansion of psychology benefits there has been an upsurge in psychology claims.  She also described a new tele-medicine product which would allow quick access to health practitioners.

Get Thrifty and the Auditorium: Council approved an expenditure of $337,000 from the Capital Projects Fund for expansion of both the Get Thrifty thrift store and the lobby area in the Auditorium.

International Projects Fund: Council approved expenditures of $2,500 each for a SASC event with an international focus and for purchasing culturally diverse food items for Food Bank.

Budget amendments: Council approved an increase in the budget to fund the OER Champions program and to support student candidates in the UNA election.

Nursing Fee: Council approved a fee increase for the Nursing Undergraduate Society.

Election Code Changes: Council approved a reduction in the number of people needed to nominate someone for an Executive position from 50 to 25 and also transferred the responsibility for validating referendum petitions from the VP Academic & University Affairs to the Chief Electoral Officer.  On the subject of lifting the ban on election posters, Council directed the Elections Committee to investigate further.

Strategic Plan Working Group: Council created a working group of Council members to assist the Strategic Plan consultant.

VP Administration: Lauren Benson, the VP Administration, has gone on a leave of absence until January 9.  During her absence, President Cole Evans will carry out her duties.

Credit card issues: In response to a question from Emily Reid in Engineering, President Evans said it is hoped that the new system being introduced will eliminate the credit limit problems being encountered.

COVID and deregistration: Council was informed that Senate has passed a motion that would deregister students who fail to comply with the University’s regulations on vaccination and rapid testing.  VP Academic & University Affairs Eshana Bhangu said she would be pushing the University to introduce similar consequences for faculty and staff.

Safety audit: VP Bhangu said the AMS campus safety audit is underway, and when it is complete, she will be pushing the University to rectify the issues identified.

Labour shortage: Managing Director Keith Hester said the reason that Pie R Squared, the Porch, and the Flavour Lab are now closed is because of a lack of applications

Brewery! The brewery idea may not be dead, said President Evans.  Discussions are underway about having a brewery in the Nest.

Little Town Hall: Arts rep Romina Hajizadeh said the Arts Caucus is planning to host a town hall with AMS Executives to allow students at large to ask them questions.

Next meeting:

There is a special meeting of Council on Wednesday, December 1 at 6 pm in the AMS Nest (4th floor).

The next regular Council meeting will be on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 6 pm.

Sheldon Goldfarb

Archivist & Clerk of Council


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