AMS Report #4

Initial thoughts: Oh please don’t be a long meeting. I have to wake up early tomorrow.
Cups of Black coffee during the meeting: 4
Food: pizza! And salmon lox…mmmm
Themes: Standing up during talking, the DIEHARD movie, reports
Start: 6:15ish
Finish: 9:00ish (again, an early one)

It’s that time again! That time when we sit down, take a deep breath, and learn about what the Alma Mater has been doing this past council meeting. While the meeting was short by my standards, I was happy to see everyone there, and I actually enjoyed the longwinded and often unnecessary comments.

So, turn off that blackberry/iPhone, close the gmail window, skype, twitter, put down that non-fiction book about leadership/innovation/global trade/hedge funds that you’ve been reading and enjoy:

CASA CONFERENCE REPORT: TIMBerLAKE

Both Blake and Tim attended the CASA conferences: The conference a few weeks back and another just this past week and during this meeting, we were given a presentation on CASA and their opinions given the conferences. While I cringed every time I saw a slide- runner lacking, whole paragraphs and an awful colour scheme- I was glad to have gotten more information on the conference and on CASA in general. What’s CASA? CASA stands for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and in its most basic sense, CASA is a FEDERAL lobbying group that strives to represent the interests of its student members. It “takes pride in results and considers itself to be a very effective organization” (http://www.casa.ca/index.php/what-is-casa.html) …or so it says. The AMS currently sits on CASA as an associate member, meaning we are not full members with a vote and only pay half of the fee (which are about $20 000 for membership and $30 000 for conference fees) and suffice it to say that our relationship with CASA has been rocky at best.

Some concerns raised by Tim and Blake are: the non representative voting system, the general assembly structure, the lack of public outreach through campaigns, the non transparent and haphazardly constructed budget, discrimination issues with regards to French speakers, equity issues, questions as to who really drives the organization, the Atlantic Schools banding together as a voting block, the lack of CASA supporting our objectives such as childcare, the lack of a provincial wing, the amount of power given to so few people etc. In essence, Tim-Blake were not pleased with CASA, proving that “mi CASA no es su CASA” anymore. It was evident that the one-sided presentation was tinged with frustration, but council wanted more information since no issue is ever simply one-sided. Council wanted to know about CASA’s accomplishments to fully understand the extent of this issue. Therefore, council requested the executive to reveal more information, particularly a letter written in April from CASA that addressed the above concerns. The question of where do we go next currently looms over the AMS. Hopefully though, open disclosure of highly important documents to all the execs and members of council will assist in making conscientious and effective decisions. As for you, the members of my constituency, take the time to research CASA and decide for yourself if the money we spend is worth it. (value-added?)

PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS REPORT

Tim presented on the Provincial Elections campaign and gave council a final budget (yippee!) totalling $36,000. He mentioned many obstacles this year with regards to the election, but was happy to see that we were able to register 500 new voters on campus and get significant media coverage. The council scrutinized the expenses, especially the whopping $18, 000+ for 24HR newspaper ads and questioned the role of the AMS with regards to elections. Tim was able to lobby individuals who later became MLA’s, and he hopes to attack… errr….talk to them now that they are elected officials. Just a point of information: the Hon. DR Moira Stillwell is now our Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development (http://www.gov.bc.ca/aved/).

UPDATES (I’m afraid not as poetically beautiful as the last posting)

Quarterly reports seem all the rage
Updates, platforms, stories from page to page
Blake wants more appreciation
And involving constituents in decision creation

Tim’s up to his knees in Upass subsidies
Translink’s plan and external policies
Johannes wants engaged communities

TA Training, Olympics, student court
Remodelling the office, IKEA support
Crystal only talks about the SUB
And helping club after club
Tom thanks the staff who are great
And says he’s sorry his report was late
An HR manager soon…as luck would have it
Too bad for the $350 000 deficit!

MOTIONS

We made extreme progress when it comes to internal pay equity last meeting as we adjusted the Connect Internship Position, the Connect Assistant position, and the Assistant Advocacy
Coordinator so that all positions are paid $11.54/ hour

OLYMPICS

Because the Olympics are coming whether we support them or not, and because the event will be absolutely huge, council passed a motion inviting the Director of the UBC 2010 Olympics and Paralympics Secretariat to present to and engage in a constructive dialogue with the AMS Council at the meeting of July 8th, 2009 for about an hour. I look forward to learning more about the Olympics and I invite all to attend the next meeting for that presentation. If you have any concerns/questions you would like to be brought up during that discussion, please feel free to e-mail me at amsrep@cus.sauder.ubc.ca

AND THAT’S IT! Again, if want to be on the mailing list/need more info feel free to shoot me an e-mail. Now you are free to go back to your excel spreadsheets!

Memorable Quotes:

“It seems like this conference was a giant clusterfuck”-Jeremy
“Everyone going to student conferences likes to have sex”- Bijan
“It’s kind of an Oxbrige, a mix of Oxford, Cambridge and Harry Potter”-Geoff