This year’s AMS Annual General Meeting (AGM) featured a lot of student questions and suggestions, a quick spiel of the motions on the agenda and no reaching of quorum. We live-tweeted the entire meeting @UbysseyNews and live-streamed it on Facebook, but here’s a breakdown of something different — the topics that got brought up that weren’t necessarily on the agenda.
While attendees were anxiously waiting for their pizza, the five AMS execs, as well as managing director Keith Hester and student services manager Hussam Zbeeb, fielded questions from students and topics organically came up throughout the meeting based on student interests
Ava: one thing that we've been talking about at the AMS is talking about buying a school bus and testing it out for commuter students— Ubyssey News (@UbysseyNews) October 31, 2016
Ava Nasiri, the AMS president, brought up the idea to mixed responses from students. The bus would start at Commercial-Broadway and then stop once before reaching UBC, costing interested students $10 a month. The crowd was generally enthusiastic to the idea of the AMS paying closer attention to students’ commuter needs but were unsure that the idea would actually work, citing concerns of long wait times rendering the system useless. Another student mentioned that in their opinion, the cost would likely outweigh the benefit, both to students and to the AMS.
Student: how much do you owe on the Nest?— Ubyssey News (@UbysseyNews) October 31, 2016
Ava: about 35 years worth of debt...
Student: so why are we buying buses? #AMSAGM
Chris Scott, the AMS VP Administration, mentioned in his executive speech — each AMS executive gave a quick speech on their topics of focus this year — that renovations of the Old SUB are still underway.
Scott has mentioned before that this space would likely serve as overflow for some of the many clubs that the Nest houses.
Scott: we're also doing phase 4 of the old sub reno, tight on budget but wanna add a nice addition to the Nest #AMSAGM— Ubyssey News (@UbysseyNews) October 31, 2016
Zbeeb also mentioned some interesting side projects that he has in the works, including a potential student feedback session or review on the services that AMS offers. Those services include SafeWalk, the Sexual Assault Support Centre and the Food Bank, among others.
Zbeeb: you as students will get a chance to see what AMS Services you like as students soon, and what gaps you want filled #AMSAGM— Ubyssey News (@UbysseyNews) October 31, 2016
Zbeeb also mentioned the possibility of starting a resource for students wanting assistance with starting their own businesses in collaboration with some of Sauder’s resources. He was not sure what it would look like yet, but identified it as a clear gap in Student Services.
After a quick speech from Hester on how the AMS's food services and restaurants did financially last year (TL;DR — badly), a student noted that especially since Lowercase was shut down, the line at Uppercase in the Nest is extremely long at most times. The student noted that this was especially inconvenient when most students simply are looking for a simple drip coffee.
Ava: we're actually considering a rolling coffee cart through the Nest so students don't even need to get up #AMSAGM— Ubyssey News (@UbysseyNews) October 31, 2016
When the fifth motion came up — regarding the re-implementation of “Toonie Tuesdays,” or $2 beers — some students had concerns and it was a topic of a lot of brainstorming. In particular, students brought up that it would take away from the fact that Wednesdays are the campus “drinking night” and also discussing that it might be better to promote them as the old karaoke Tuesdays instead of encouraging drinking as the main event.
Student: I would just be cautious about the way that we promote alcohol consumption responsibly (especially cheap consumption) #AMSAGM— Ubyssey News (@UbysseyNews) October 31, 2016
To round out the end of the meeting, Nasiri commented that perhaps the AMS should hold more meetings to get more student feedback.