Between the Motions: Discipline committee, sustainability at October 28 AMS Council meeting

AMS Council met for its regular Zoom meeting last night ahead of its annual general meeting today, discussing council discipline and sustainability.

Here’s a rundown of what you need to know.

Revised discipline procedures

Governance Committee chair Sebastian Cooper brought a proposal for a discipline committee for discussion.

After AMS President Cole Evans faced a censure vote as VP administration this April for failing to submit a report on time, Council decided to review executive discipline procedures.

The proposed committee will comprise non-executive committee chairs and the AMS ombudsperson. It will have the ability to recommend disciplinary actions to Council, ranging from demanding a written apology to initiating procedures to remove the offending executive or councillor from their position.

Evans and Board of Governors representative Max Holmes suggested that the speaker of council be designated as committee chair given their procedural knowledge. Cooper said the ombudsperson was chosen for their familiarity with similar situations involving discipline.

To ensure fairness for an executive or councillor facing discipline, Evans said that the committee could explore selecting ad hoc members for each case of rule breaking, mentioning a censure vote two years ago where Council was split.

He was likely referring to the 2018 vote where AMS executives narrowly dodged censure for failing to adequately promote its annual general meeting.

“It just might not be very fair to the individual that’s on the receiving end because it’s like, ‘Oh, well the committee’s stacked completely with people who disagree with the other half of Council,’” he said.

Cooper said the governance committee would likely opt to appoint people to the committee when it is formed, as councillors may have varying motives for wanting to be on a committee disciplining a particular executive or councillor.

AMS sustainability updates

Claire Ewing, AMS sustainability projects coordinator, updated Council on the society’s sustainability initiatives.

To support the AMS’s goal to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2025, the AMS is hiring a consultant to develop a five-year plan. Other strategies include investing in capital projects and looking at emissions the AMS is indirectly responsible for through a supply chain audit.

Mugshare will be returning with a new design, after reports of burn hazards early this year from the bamboo mugs. The office is also exploring a container share program with Campus and Community Planning, similar to the Green2Go program that exists in first-year residence.

The AMS replaced its sustainability policies with the AMS Sustainability Action Plan in May but with an incomplete Indigenous collaboration section.

The section remains unfinished, but the Indigenous Committee said it had an improved relationship with AMS execs. Sylvester Mensah Jr, VP administration said in October that the AMS had expanded consultation to other Indigenous groups.

Ewing said that the AMS would soon hold a meeting for stakeholders in the Indigenous collaboration section.