COUNCIL SUMMARY – NOVEMBER 27, 2019
Elections team: Council approved the appointment of the Elections Committee to assist the Chief Electoral Officer.
Executive Goals: The Executive presented the six-month update on their goals. President Chris Hakim said that in accordance with the goals, the AMS has become more data-driven and the Communications Department has been expanded. Work is still being done on improving orientations, especially for committee chairs.
The President added that work continues on sexual violence, Indigenous representation, climate justice, and affordability.
Other Executives talked of reaching out to government, pushing for the extension of SkyTrain to UBC, student engagement, sustainability, financial literacy for students, supporting clubs, and student well-being.
Student Services: Student Services Manager Ian Stone reported that there has been increased usage, especially for Food Bank, which has received big donations. There was also a huge turnout for the entrepreneurship event hosted by e-Hub. A name change may happen for Speakeasy.
Quarterly Financial Report: VP Finance Lucia Liang reported that business revenues were up in general, though there has been a decrease for Conferences and Catering. Expenditures in general were on target, except for the Welcome Back Barbecue, which had higher expenditures than expected because of a last-minute performer change.
Equity Plan: VP External Cristina Ilnitchi reviewed the history of the plan and told Council that an external consultant is being sought to help with it. This has resulted in delay, so the plan is not ready now, but will be done second term. She promised an update in February.
Governance Review: With the former chair having stepped down, Council appointed Nevena Rebic to chair the ad hoc Council Governance Committee.
Strategic Plan: AMS President Chris Hakim said close to 1,000 responses were received as feedback on the Values part of the plan, and these will be compiled into a report for Council.
Tuition Increase: The President noted that the AMS opposed all tuition increases at the latest meetings of the Board of Governors committees.
Transit Strike (not): The transit strike did not go ahead, but the Nest was kept open the night before the scheduled start of it, and Council approved funding for that.
Norm Theatre: VP Administration Cole Evans reported that the reopening event sold out and showed the potential for the location.
Clubs Resource Centre (CRC) and other Nest projects: VP Evans noted that the CRC is fully operational now and getting good traffic.
He also announced that he is looking into revitalizing the corridor that connects the Nest to the Life Building, and would like to improve the Nest bookings system.
Services Review: Responding to suggestions from last Council meeting that a Councillor be added to the working group for the review, the Senior Manager of Student Services, Abdul Alnaar, said his preferred approach is to involve Council after the working group prepares its report: Councillors will be able to become involved in responding to the report when it is brought to Council.
Student Life Committee: Cole Evans, as chair of Student Life, said there has been much discussion about the role of this committee: it may be transformed from a Council Standing Committee into a working group.
Divestment: Board of Governors student representative Jeanie Malone reported that the Board has taken the first big step towards fossil fuel divestment.
Senate: The report from student Senate member Alex Gonzalez prompted discussion about UBC’s proposed new policy on labour disruptions and also about the Senate discussions on academic freedom and equity and inclusion.
Fridge and Freezer: Council approved an expenditure of up to $5,500 from the SUB Repairs and Replacement Fund to pay for a new freezer and fridge for Food Bank.
Code changes: Council approved a change to Code to allow Students at Large to make concluding remarks when they make a statement to Council. Also a change to require the posting of the Council agenda and supporting documents on the AMS website before Council meetings. And a change to make the presentation of committee minutes and reports more systematic.
Tutoring app: Council approved a budget amendment to allow $15,000 to be spent on a new app for scheduling appointments with tutors.
Next meeting: The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.