COUNCIL SUMMARY – NOVEMBER 6, 2019
A busy meeting: Discussing the lobby trip, the records policy, the Nursing election, the IFC Report, and governance.
Lobby Trip: VP External Cristina Ilnitchi reported on the trip, noting that it was the second time the AMS had gone to Victoria with the BC Federation of Students and the Simon Fraser Students Society.
There were meetings with MLA’s in all three parties and with the relevant ministers and Opposition critics. There was a good response to the three asks of the trip:
a) a needs-based upfront grants system for students,
b) support for international students, and
c) a follow-up on sexual violence policies.
The only negative was the last-minute cancellation of several meetings by Opposition MLA’s.
AMS Strategic Plan: AMS President Chris Hakim said his office has been conducting consultation on what values to base the plan on. This follows the creation of an AMS Vision Statement. Next steps will include the creation of goals, core areas, and strategic actions.
Norm Theatre: VP Administration Cole Evans announced that the grand reopening will be on November 15.
Speakeasy: Student Services Manager Ian Stone told Council that there are plans to rename the Speakeasy peer support service to make it better understood.
Services Review: Councillor Michelle Marcus asked how Council will be involved in the upcoming review. AMS President Chris Hakim said there would be consultation with Council. Councillor Max Holmes suggested there be a Councillor on the working group conducting the review.
Nursing election: Council declined to allow the Nursing Undergraduate Society to be exempted from the rule that all members of a Constituency must be allowed to run in elections. The Nursing president, Haddon Rabb, had requested the exemption because Nursing students in their final year are away most of the time on practicum.
Records policy: Council passed a new policy concerning disclosure of records after some debate about whether the policy should include an appeals process. The Governance Committee Chair, Katherine Westerlund, said the aim was to make the records as accessible as possible.
New table: Council approved $1,700 to buy a new table for one of the main Nest meeting rooms. There was talk of finding a system to avoid bringing such small expenditures to Council.
IFC (the Inter-Fraternity Council): As directed by Council, VP Administration Cole Evans reported on the AMS relationship with the IFC and recommended that the IFC no longer be an AMS club. Instead, there could be an MoU between the AMS and the IFC.
Janet Teasdale: Council approved honorary AMS membership for Janet Teasdale, in recognition of her 28 years of service to the University community, most recently as Managing Director of Student Development and Services. The motion to honour Teasdale came in the wake of her dismissal by the University as part of an administrative reorganization.
Advisory Board: With the Advisory Board still missing members, Council once again suspended the Code section that would have required the presentation of a report by the Board this month. AMS President Chris Hakim said his office is now working on finding people to fill the vacancies, and defended the importance of the Advisory Board as a body that can provide an external, professional perspective on such matters as finances and HR.
Governance: Council approved a Code change to have Committees submit reports earlier. Governance Committee Chair Katherine Westerlund said this was meant to encourage Committees to actually submit them. Council also created an ad hoc committee to look into Council governance. It will be chaired by Councillor and student Board of Governors representative Max Holmes.
Next meeting: The next regular Council meeting will be at 6 pm on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 in the Michael Kingsmill Forum on the fourth floor of the Nest.