Between the Motions: AMS Council votes to join UCRU, approves new Speaker of Council at May 12 meeting

At last night’s AMS Council meeting, the brand new executives and councillors met together for the first time to vote on a membership agreement with UCRU, discuss the upcoming year and approve a new Speaker of Council.

Here’s a breakdown of what you might’ve missed.

Council formalizes the AMS’s membership in UCRU

Newly-elected VP External Saad Shoaib gave a brief presentation on Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities (UCRU).

UCRU is a nationwide coalition of student unions from 15 Canadian universities that lobbies the federal government on behalf of 240,000 students.

Shoaib, who is currently running to serve as UCRU’s vice-chair, said that the AMS has consistently played a role in the organization’s governing structures and advocacy, including helping with the development of its bylaws last year.

“Now the final outstanding item is to confirm our membership in UCRU,” he said.

The VP External introduced a motion to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which would confirm the AMS’s status as a Class A member of UCRU. Class A members are considered full members and have a vote on UCRU’s board. Membership is free and can be withdrawn easily.

The motion to approve the MOU passed unanimously.

New execs plan for upcoming year

In the first meeting with the new executives, returning AMS President Cole Evans expressed a desire to continue work on an internally-developed AMS Strategic Plan. Council paused work on the plan last year due to the pandemic.

“I think we can do it. I think that it's something that is going to be an important document for our business operations [and the] society beyond just the leadership,” Evans said.

Evans and new VP Academic and University Affairs Eshana Bhangu also spoke on the return to campus. Bhangu said she had been in conversations with UBC admin about supporting international students and expanding rapid testing on campus.

Both VP Finance Mary Gan and VP Admin Lauren Benson said they were working on club orientations — Gan on the financial aspects, and Benson more generally.

Council hires new speaker

After five months of President Cole Evans leading AMS Council meetings following former Speaker Kareem Ibrahim’s resignation, Council has finally hired a new Speaker of Council.

Christopher Cameron will begin as speaker at the next meeting.