Between the Motions: AMS consultant outlines a path forward on new equity plan

AMS Council met for its last meeting this summer as the upcoming school year approaches.

We went so you didn’t have to.

Plans for the equity plan

Adeline Huynh, the AMS’s external consultant to develop its Equity Plan, presented the strategy for the plan’s development.

The project began in 2019, but the AMS opted to hire an external consultant this year given what AMS President Cole Evans called in August the society’s “terrible track record” of developing similar plans internally.

Huynh, who works for the commons consulting, said the plan aims to improve the long-term representation of BIPOC and historically marginalized groups across the AMS’s operations.

The AMS earlier in August tripled the plan’s budget from $7,500 to $24,680, saying it hadn’t initially allocated enough money for it.

Beginning October, Huynh will pursue one-on-one and small group interviews with AMS members, with an online survey for consultation with the broader student body.

“Equity, diversity, inclusion, justice, anti-racism — this work will have an impact on all aspects of the AMS,” she said.

The presentation concluded with little discussion from councillors.

The plan is set to be complete in February 2021, with Huynh saying she would return mid-project to provide another update to Council.

Dorm sweet dorm

After student outcry over a clause in Student Housing and Community Services residence contracts this fall, AMS VP Academic and University Affairs Georgia Yee said UBC has amended the clause.

The clause in question would allow the university to cancel a student’s housing contract due to COVID-19 without providing alternate accommodation — effectively leaving the student homeless.

Yee said the new clause requires UBC to connect students with relevant resources in the case of such a cancellation.

CampusBase no longer exposes your personal information

AMS Clubhouse’s replacement CampusBase has launched, but with changes to address the visibility of nearly 40,000 students’ personal email addresses or student numbers.

The Ubyssey found ahead of CampusBase’s August 24 launch that students’ personal information was viewable by other students on the service. Provincial privacy law prohibits the disclosure of personal information without consent.

Sylvester Mensah Jr, AMS VP administration, said the central directory listing all students has been disabled and that student personal information would no longer automatically populate when a club executive adds students to their club group.

U-Pass

The U-Pass program will resume September 1, but AMS VP External Kalith Nanayakkara announced that students living outside the Lower Mainland are eligible for an exemption.

Despite expected decreases in enrolment, Nanyakkara said that students have expressed interest in resuming the program, which was suspended May 1 due to the pandemic.

Students can self-report their primary address online to receive the exemption.