Council Summary – October 13, 2021
Here are notes from the regular AMS Council meeting of October 13, 2021 (held in person in the Nest):
Mask Policy: Council approved an amendment to its mask policy to allow for the removal of masks in the Nest during high and low intensity workouts.
Sensory Room: Council heard a presentation about plans to open a quiet room in the Life Building for people who feel overwhelmed and need to self-regulate. The room will be especially intended for disabled, autistic, and neurodiverse people.
Financial Report: Managing Director Keith Hester reported that the AMS made a $5.5 million surplus in 2020-21, largely because during COVID there was less use of the Health & Dental Plan and because expenses generally were down. Also, investments did well, and there was a government wage subsidy. There is still an overall deficit of $3.9 million, however, which the aim is to eliminate by 2026.
Only a small part of the surplus could be used on the deficit, because most of the surplus was in Health & Dental and must remain in the Health & Dental reserves.
Fees and Funds: VP Finance Mary Gan said the Finance Committee will be reviewing AMS funds and fees, and trying to come up with a plan to spend the surplus money in AMS reserves.
Reimbursements: In response to a question from Engineering rep Emily Reid, VP Gan said reimbursement delays are partly the result of staff turnover. A new accounting system is being brought in which may help.
Strategic Plan: Council approved funding for a new Strategic Plan after hearing from Nicolas Romualdi on the history of strategic plans at the AMS.
Council Meeting Length and Order: Medicine rep Emily Gubski introduced a discussion about the length of Council meetings, saying they have been going too late. She also suggested reordering the standard agenda to move the Discussion Period higher up. President Cole Evans said just such a change is in the works.
Appointment: Council appointed Oscar Yu, the Chief Electoral Officer, as chair of the ad hoc Committee on Election Engagement.
Safety Audit: VP Academic & University Affairs Eshana Bhangu said she is planning to do a campus safety audit as the AMS used to do in the 90’s. This is in response to the concerns about lighting raised in the wake of the accident on Northwest Marine last month.
UNA elections: VP External Saad Shoaib said the AMS is developing a campaign to support students running for positions on the board of the University Neighbourhoods Association, the organization that oversees the residential neighbourhoods surrounding campus.
SUDS: VP Shoaib announced that SUDS, the Student Union Development Summit, is back after a year’s hiatus because of COVID. Delegates from student societies across the country will gather at UBC over the weekend for the annual AMS-hosted event.
Gallery Furniture: Managing Director Keith Hester said plans are underway to restore and replace the furniture in the Gallery Lounge and eventually do a general renovation.
The next regular Council meeting will be held in person in the AMS Nest (4th floor) on October 27, 2021 at 6 pm.
Archivist & Clerk of Council