There’s an AMS special general meeting on June 4. What does that mean?

The AMS is hosting a special general meeting (SGM) on June 4 at 10 a.m. in the Lower Atrium of the Nest.

AMS Council passed a motion on April 25 to have a SGM before June 5, 2024 in accordance with a petition submitted by Sulong UBC.

SGMs allow students part of the AMS — who pay AMS fees — to vote on motions. SGMs take place once either a resolution of AMS Council or a petition signed by 500 active AMS members is reached.

The petition, signed by over 500 students as per AMS bylaws, calls on the AMS to hold a SGM to vote on a motion to reinstate AMS associate members’ access to the AMS Food Bank and to consult with students through a referendum to reverse the above motion. Associate members include UBC and AMS staff and faculty.

“The AMS made this decision without consulting students,” read the petition.

In March 2023, the AMS restricted UBC staff access to the AMS Food Bank starting in May 2023 because of financial hardship.

In an April 2023 interview with The Ubyssey, AMS Senior Student Service​​s Manager Kathleen Simpson said it was a “difficult decision to come to” but the AMS recognized “the service that is run by and for [students] and funded by student fees.”

At the end of 2022, staff represented 34–35 per cent of all AMS Food Bank users according to Simpson.

In July 2023, Sulong UBC wrote an open letter calling on the AMS to restore UBC staff access to its food bank.

For the motion to be voted on, the meeting needs to reach a quorum of 621 students, roughly 1 per cent of students registered in the 2023/24 academic year which runs from September 1, 2023 to August 31, 2024.

The petition cites section 2, article K of the AMS Constitution which says the society will ensure “just and equitable treatment of all its members.” Sulong UBC said this includes staff as associate members of the society.

“We are proposing this motion because we think that staff deserve equal access to food on our campus,” read Sulong UBC’s petition.

“The AMS cannot continue to make decisions like this without consultation of the student body: students do not stand for this unjust decision.”