Between the Motions: Ben Du appointed interim AMS president

Last night, AMS Council met to appoint the interim AMS president, extend the term of the interim VP external and approve the AMS Sustainability Action Plan (ASAP) 2026.

Here’s what you might have missed.

Ben Du appointed interim President, Joshua Kim’s term as interim VP External extended

After an in-camera (private) discussion session, Council appointed former AMS VP Administration Ben Du as the interim president till April 30, 2024, the end of AMS executives' terms. Elected president Esmé Decker announced she was taking an indefinite leave of absence last month.

Du ran for president in last year's AMS Elections, but lost narrowly to Decker. Du was not present at the meeting. VP Academic and University Affairs Kamil Kanji, who had been serving as acting president, announced the appointment at the meeting but gave no further comment.

On December 7, the AMS issued a statement on Du's appointment, writing "the 6-member Interim AMS President Search Committee reviewed dozens of applications, conducted several interviews and ultimately recommended Ben for the role to AMS Council."

Du will begin his role on December 19, 2023.

Joshua Kim’s term as interim VP External was also extended till April 30, 2024. Kim was appointed as the interim VP External in November after VP External Tina Tong announced she was extending her leave of absence.

Council Approves AMS Sustainability Action Plan 2026

The ASAP was first introduced in 2020 and aimed to introduce an intersectional approach of environmental, social and economic sustainability, and is guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the VP admin office, it aims to guide the AMS's climate action through equity, intersectionality, accessibility, accountability, community and experiential learning, and address the shortcomings of the past edition.

“The vision of the plan is to take urgent action and agency of UBC’s declaration of climate emergency while still acting in the best interest of students,” said Sustainability Projects Coordinator Ryan Chiu.

Increase in funding for the AMS Food Bank

According to Kanji, the AMS was able to secure an additional $100,000 in funding from UBC for the AMS Food Bank, bringing the total funding received to $450,000 for the year.

During the 2022/23 year, UBC gave $170,000 in funding for the AMS Food Bank, up from $90,000 in the 2022/21 year. This year's funding increase comes after the resource experienced some of its busiest days in October.

"We secured an additional $100,000 from the university to go towards the AMS Food Bank then bring our total amount secured from the university up to 450,000 that this was the projected food purchasing cost for the beginning of the year," said Kanji.

This article was updated on December 7, 2023 at 4:33 p.m. to include the official AMS statement on Du's appointment.