AMS Council votes to review relationship with fraternities and IFC

The AMS is going ahead with the plan to review its relationship with the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and individual fraternities — but with an expanded scope.

Following the recent drugging allegation in UBC fraternities, AMS Council received a motion from Max Holmes to re-explore the student union’s relationship with the IFC — the governance body for UBC's 10 fraternities — and its members. As a Board of Governors student member, Holmes could introduce the motion but could not vote.

At its October 9 meeting, the Council voted unanimously to approve the motion.

“The motion had a unanimous mandate from Council to go forward so it's great to see,” Holmes said to The Ubyssey.

As mandated by the vote, AMS VP Administration Cole Evans will return to the October 23 Council meeting with a verbal update on the review. The full report of the AMS’s relationship with the IFC and fraternities will be presented at the November 6 Council meeting.

Currently, Evans is working with the AMS Operations Committee to establish the path moving forward and what the committee members want to see out of the review process.

“I think [working with the Operations Committee] ensures that we're undertaking a collaborative review process to make sure that the results of the review at the end of the day are beneficial to student interests here at UBC and make sure they're working in the best interest of everybody,” he said.

In a statement to The Ubyssey, President Adan Moallemi reiterated the IFC’s stance.

“We hope these long standing operational questions will be resolved in a timely manner and look forward to sharing our input,” he said.

But the AMS Council also expanded the review’s scope to include other clubs whose structure might similarly be considered too exclusive to be in line with the Operations Committee Policy Manual. A report for this added mandate is expected to come to Council in January 2020.

This change followed an amendment from arts councillor Kia Teimouri, who voiced his concern that the original motion “is targeting the IFC.” Teimouri is himself a UBC fraternity member.

For Holmes, while there was concern around the councillor’s conflict of interest, he views the amendment as beneficial for the AMS.

“There was an amendment by a member of fraternity and at the time that probably should have been called into conflict of interest,” he said to The Ubyssey. “But, I think that the amendment to look into other clubs that might be in a similar situation to be reported back in January is good.”

Currently, while Evans has yet to conduct an official count, he believes that the extended review would not affect a significant number of clubs.

“What we heard from a lot of councillors was that people wanted to ensure that there was a fair view of this specific clause in the [Operations Committee] Policy Manual,” he said, “and make sure that whatever the result of the findings are, it's applied universally to all the subsidiaries.”