The AMS is working to improve the turnaround time of meeting minutes for the upcoming year.
AMS Archivist and Clerk of Council Sheldon Goldfarb and Administrative Assistant Joanne Pickford create meeting minutes from their personal notes. Goldfarb and Pickford set up, attend and take notes on the Council’s motions and proceedings.
The process begins with Goldfarb and Pickford taking their respective notes of the meetings. Then, they compare their notes with each other for editing and clarity of the meeting. If anything was missed by both during the meeting, they refer to The Ubyssey’s live tweeting of the meetings. The process to publish meeting minutes from one meeting can take a few weeks and the team is looking to accelerate the process.
“I'm realizing that [the comparison step] really slows things down because I've got my notes, she's got her notes, which reports better and or we combine and that takes a long time," said Goldfarb. "I was able to go more quickly through the ones where I just played editor to Joanne.”
Goldfarb and Pickford are only responsible for the minutes of the Council and Executive Committee meetings. The committee chairs are responsible for taking meeting notes for their respective committees and sending them to Pickford for processing.
Some committee minutes were exceptionally delayed. The last Health and Dental Committee meeting minutes published on June 1, 2022, were for the meeting on April 25, 2022. An extended version of the April meeting was published on June 22, 2022.
As motions to increase mental health coverage and add gender-affirming care to the AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan were discussed, the delay made it harder for students to learn about new updates.
Meeting minutes from previous years show a biweekly or monthly uploading pattern. However, nothing is specified on the AMS website. The Council meeting minutes have also not been updated since March 29th, 2023 despite three meetings occurring since then.
When asked about how the new AMS executives will ensure timely publication, Eric Lowe, the senior communications and marketing manager of the AMS, confirmed that efforts to efficiently publish minutes are in the works.
“Committee minutes are overseen by the individual committee chairs and we do impress upon them the need to produce timely and accurate minutes,” said Lowe. “Going forward we plan to meet to discuss efficiencies that may help us to produce the minutes in a more timely way.”