Date: July 29th
Called to order: 6:03 pm
First Impressions: Blake is wearing a pepsi shirt, both commerce execs are wearing polo shirts, there is AC (yes!), and they are serving my favourite type of pizza
While my uncanny wit and charm is severally affected the heat, I hope you’ll enjoy this short report somewhere cool, air-conditioned, with an ice cold drink and Michael Bubblé playing in the background. I absolutely love writing these and I only hope that you enjoy!
ART GALLERY MOTION: “Be it resolved that on the recommendation of the Renovations Planning Group, up to $23,000 be spent from [the] CPAC [fund] for upgrades to the security system and functional items in the Art Gallery”
As a big lover of fine art, this motion was extremely important to me. Although most of the presentation by Jeremy, the Art Gallery Commissioner, was in camera and thus cannot be reported here, it suffices to say that the AMS holds an extensive art collection that is not being utilized to its fullest potential. Art needs to be cherished and properly taken care of and displayed, and the current gallery represents a significant barrier to this. Renovations would include increasing security equipment, climate control and improving lighting, and the current amount asked from council represents only a part of the full renovations (the other amount will come next council meeting). I was particularly glad that the Art Gallery Commissioner presented his case himself as that added a much needed personal touch that I really appreciated. You see, I am a big fan of personal touches (ahem). The motion passed.
Increase the Speakeasy training budget to $10,732.50
Speakeasy “provides information, peer support, and crisis services to the UBC students and community [awkward wording on the site]”. Basically, it is a line that offers counselling and resources in case you ever need someone else to talk to. While I personally feel that UBC Counselling is a better alternative to AMS Speakeasy, I see the benefit of students helping students as well as I see that the training will provide volunteers with valuable skills long after they’re done with their term. There is a significant stigma, I feel, attached to getting any sort of counselling and having services easily accessible to students helps to alleviate this.
Increase the Voter-Funded Media (VRM) prize to $8,000
The VFM prize acts as an incentive for media outlets (such as blogs), to raise awareness and to ultimately increase voter participation during the AMS student election. Prizes are awarded based on the quality and coverage of the election. According to Code, this prize total must be $8,000 and this year, it was budgeted to $3,500. This total used to be funded by an external public interest project headed by Mark Latham but not anymore. For more information about voter media, a “public interest project for improving the policies of the world’s organizations (governments, corporations, unions, nonprofits etc.) by developing better voter information systems”, check out their website: http://votermedia.org/
Both budget amendments passed
EXECUTIVE UPDATES: (IN attempted HAIKU)
Blake: Too busy with code,
You can book McInnis Field
Thanks to us students
Johannes: Book store now open
The Sunday before school starts
First Year Engagement
Crystal: Planning Deans Debate
And Clubs Days is going well
No doubt SUB renew
Tom: HR Director
Meal Plan consolidation
One card for students
Pavani: Raising Awareness
Tim: Sixteen Million gone
Cut to student aid funding
Campus Planning Work
New rule for venues
“Senate is on hold
I have nothing to report
Refrigerator” – Geoff
Whereas UBC Conferences staff have been internally directed to recommend only the use of Wescadia (UBC Food Services) catering services;
Therefore be it resolved that Council direct the AMS Executive to work with UBC to ensure that UBC Conferences reverts to the prior practice of presenting AMS Catering as a catering option
Catering has been a big source of revenue for the AMS this past year. Three months ago, UBC Conferences and Food services underwent a major internal restructuring process resulting in their merger. Since then, every time a conference comes to UBC, AMS catering is not promoted, despite the fact that it is cheaper and better. This motion will help us during negotiations with UBC and last meeting it passed.
SOUND POLICY MOTION:
Whereas UBC Campus and Community Planning has drafted a policy controlling event noise and hours of events held by all organizations on campus; and
Whereas this draft policy limits event noise to 55 decibels (the level of a normal conversation); and
Whereas this draft policy limits the hours of events to between 7:30 AM and 7:30 PM; and Whereas this draft policy requires a damage deposit for all events held on campus, which would be financially impossible for some student-run organizations; and
Whereas UBC Campus and Community Planning has not pursued the proper channels to develop this draft policy;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council reject the adoption of the proposed event policy that strictly limits the sound level and hours of any on campus event and requires a damage deposit from any group wishing to hold an event on campus.
What?! You’ve got to be kidding right?! Actually, it turns out that this draft document is not intended for students but for external bodies such as film crews, and it is not even close to being anything official. With that said however, it carries the faint odour of somebody’s personal agenda on it. It definitely smells fishy and my fear lies with its vague wording which can potentially harm students. In addition, it is ill-considered since film sets do end up giving money to the university and if the Wolverine set this past year is any indication, some movies need to be filmed at night. This motion was referred to the Campus Planning and Development Committee for consultation.
WHISTLER LODGE PRICING:
Upon the recommendation of the Business Operations Committee, we should capitalize upon the Olympics and price our AMS Lodge accordingly. We must use this capitalization to fully jumpstart our organization and provide exceptional value to our clients. You see, we’re at a fork in our revenue road and we need to be NPO leaders to fully survive in the future. Will we be followers or will we take the road less travelled and succeed? (Sorry, that was me going a bit too far. This is what happens when you do not participate in case competitions for long periods of time) Anyway, the lodge, for those of you who do not know, is located ten minutes by car from Whistler village and has 42 bookable bunk beds. Normally, students book these beds, but seeing the potential business opportunity in allowing public bookings, the AMS passed a resolution for lodge pricing during February of 2010:
Student Price / night: $30
Market Price / night: Between $149 and $199, uniform rate for all market-price guests,
final price at discretion of AMS Business Operations Management.
# of student beds / night: 21
# of public beds / night: 21
Note 1: All other peripheral pricing and booking policies shall remain in effect (ex. Vending machines, internet access, coin laundry) excluding parking, which needs to be decided pending further review of all variables.
Note 2: Max # of nights restriction removed for Market Price guests.
Note 3: Student Price guests can purchase up to 6 bed nights (as per current booking policy for reading break and other peak times).
Note 4: Student Price beds selected in lottery system. Students not selected in lottery will have first chance to book Market Price beds.
Note 5: Bed nights are not transferable beyond initial booking list.
Note 6: Guests caught scalping their tickets will lose their booking privileges. Guests must submit all names at time of booking in an effort to prevent scalping.
Note 7: No refunds
So if you would like to book a bed, make sure you book early and be prepared to not receive your bed. This motion will bring in projected revenue in the hundreds of thousands instead of the normal thirty thousand or so for that period. In turn, that revenue will be reinvested into the lodge and other student services, such as getting lights and cameras installed near the hot tub (cameras?! Ok, maybe not cameras near the hot tub).
CONFLICT OF INTEREST MOTION:
Few can doubt that the AMS has grown to be a powerful student union, heavily dealing with external bodies, legal issues and lengthy contracts involving large sums of money. To ensure the utmost protection of the organization, there was a proposal to amend code so that any director that sits on council who is also a director of another entity be“required to remove himself or herself from the in camera session in which the issue is to be discussed, unless specifically invited to stay by a Two-thirds (2/3) Resolution of Council”. In addition, “a Director shall also be [automatically] considered to be in a conflict of interest if that Director serves as a director of another entity with which the Society is conducting business.”
Now what does this actually mean? Take the representatives from the Board of Governors as an example, if SUB Renew negotiations with UBC are discussed in camera during a meeting, they would be asked to leave that session because they sit as directors on another entity, the BoG, and might be in a conflict of interest. And for directors who actually sit on committees where they would be in a potential conflict of interest, they would have resign from that particular committee.
This motion did not pass and was instead referred to the Code and Policy Committee. This was because it lacked sufficient consultation with the speaker and other people on council, and while a motion protecting the AMS is probably a good idea, said motion needs to take into account not only directors but also other people who may be in a conflict of interest while ensuring all stakeholders have had their say.
ICE CREAM SANDWICH BREAK!!! YUMMY!! Who says AMS council meeting aren’t fun?
ELECTORIAL CODE EXTENSION REQUEST: Passed
AHRERC ENGAGEMENT LEVY AND COMMITTEE APPOINTMENT
No, AHRERC is not some sort of pirate lingo; instead, it stands for the Ad hoc representation and engagement reform committee, a committee newly re-recreated this past meeting. There are spots open for members-at-large and if you are interested, e-mail me your name, year and a short 150 word paragraph saying why you would be a good candidate before next council meeting.
The Engagement Levy is something I am particularly interested in. In its most basic form, it is a five dollar fee for all students that is reimbursed if the student votes. This acts as an incentive to vote and the money generated by this levy would become a self-regulated fund that can be used to fund vote-related activities (such as VFM) in the future. However, considering my last iced-latte was a cool six dollars, I have a feeling that five dollars would not be enough to encourage voting, and that it needs to be higher. This past meeting, the engagement levy proposal was referred to the ARRRRRERCH (or whatever it is called) with the condition that they have at least one meeting before October. If you have any feedback regarding this, or any issue raised here, please feel free to e-mail me or comment below.
And since it was a fireworks night and since everyone was suffering from mild dehydration, the meeting adjourned at a surprising 8:33 pm. Well done council! I would like to extend a big thank you to all presenters and to those who did not actually have to attend but did anyway because they are simply awesome.
Like I said before and like I will say in countless future posts, please please please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions/rants/business proposals/confessions etc.
“[It] did not get sent in due to an oversight”-Kyle referring to the oversight committee minutes
“We’re also having a wet lab coat contest…..and slip and slide….” –Jimmy
Note to Jimmy: Please invite me (and commerce) to above event. That and we’re going to school you at sport activities come September. BRING IT.