Between the Motions: AMS Council discusses a loophole in new Proctorio ban at March 25 meeting

AMS Council met last night to discuss a loophole in the recent remote invigilation restriction, post-pandemic economic recovery and the Indigenous coordination section of the AMS Sustainability Action Plan

Here’s what you might have missed.

The Proctorio saga, resurrected

During her executive remarks to Council, VP Academic and University Affairs Georgia Yee thanked the UBC Senate for passing a motion that restricts the use of remote invigilation softwares like Proctorio unless they are required by an external accreditation program.

But Kristian Oppenheim, the Commerce Undergraduate Society president, brought up a potential loophole in the new restriction.

“Since the motion said that it was just banning the use of algorithmic analysis of the video … [faculty may] feel as though if they were to turn that feature off in Proctorio, they could then utilize the Proctorio software,” he said.

Yee said that herself, senators and the Provost’s office are aware of the problem, and that they would be working to make sure the motion was implemented as intended.

“This loophole does contravene or contradict the spirit of the motion,” she said.

Back to business

AMS Managing Director Keith Hester gave a presentation on the AMS’s post-COVID-19 financial plan, revealing that the reopening of the Nest would be staggered, starting in September and with a full opening scheduled for January 2022.

Hester believes the AMS will fully recover financially from the pandemic by 2024.

Councillor Sebastian Cooper asked Hester why the AMS would take three years to rebound if students are expected to return to campus next term for in-person instruction.

“Even when people come back onto campus fully, which will probably be January, it will take time to rebuild people's habits. So people won’t all come back to the Nest at once. It'll happen gradually over a number of months,” Hester said.

Hester also said that it is important for the AMS to repay its $4.25 million deficit to ensure a “solid fiscal foundation.” He proposed that the body continue to “reimagine their businesses,” maximize their sources of revenue, look at all expenses society wide and restructure certain student fees.

“Something I've been talking about for years is we need to do a fee restructure because our members pay too many little fees. So we need to look at that.” He proposed cutting some of the fees entirely.

Indigenous consultation for Sustainability Action Plan remains incomplete

Sylvester Mensah, the VP administration, said that the Indigenous coordination section of the AMS Sustainability Action Plan (ASAP) was still incomplete due to the unpredictability of last year and capacity limitations from various stakeholders.

“In our communications with various UBC partners, in addition to our Indigenous community and other stakeholders, we did come to an understanding that an inability to have this portion created with the initial conceptualization of this policy was something that would potentially plague this policy for years to come,” he said.

Mensah believes that the next VP administration will be able to complete this policy by the end of their term.

Mensah also said that his team started working with the UBC Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP) planning team in January to help with the AMS’s consultation process.

“I believe the ISP had a very, very extensive process. We wanted to follow suit for our policy.”