VP Administration Cole Evans has some unfinished business left to achieve his goals before he assumes AMS presidency on May 1.
Evans avoided a vote of censure at the final Council meeting of his VP admin tenure for failing to submit an executive goals report on time. The Ubyssey examined Evans’s progress — from since his midterm review up to that meeting — on his executive goals announced at the start of his term as well as his campaign goals.
“We definitely expected that the last portion of the marathon is going to be probably the most intense, but we’re definitely happy with where we’re at,” Evans said. “And we’re very much confident that we’ll be able to get everything wrapped up pretty quickly here.”
After the reopening of the clubs resource centre and the Norm Theatre as promised in his executive goals, Evans’s portfolio has completed another capital project: opening Get Thrifty. Evans’s office oversaw the project which was spearheaded by student group Project Imagine.
The thrift store saw its first customers in the bottom floor of the Life Building after opening in early March, and Evans said he’s received positive feedback.
“The reception that they’ve gotten and we’ve gotten [has] been awesome. It’s really brightened up the space down there,” he said.
Sustainability policy revamp
Evans decided at the beginning of his term to create the new AMS Sustainable Action Plan (SAP) to embrace the UN Sustainable Development Goals and replace the AMS’s current Student-Driven Sustainability Strategy. The new policy is intended to go beyond the environment to include social and economic sustainability.
In his goals report, he wrote that the SAP had an anticipated completion date of April 2020. The SAP was intended to be approved at the final Council meeting of April, but was tabled until May. Evans chalked the delay up to completing consultation as well as the plan’s design layout.
Room bookings + Clubhouse
One of the most buzzworthy issues this past year, revamping the room bookings system was one of Evans’s key campaign goals.
He promised to move the system completely online, something that he still anticipates happening. However, he said that the system will not be fully automated to accommodate the jobs of some AMS staff.
Room bookings continued to be a topic of student frustration throughout the year, and with the Nest closed until further notice, clubs may not be able to take advantage of any changes made until September.
But Evans hopes room bookings can be contained in the replacement for the defunct Clubhouse information system.
Though “up against the wire,” Evans said an announcement for the new system is slated to come to Council in late March. This is in line with what he said in his midterm review. The announcement of Campus Groups as the new club management system was announced as part of his verbal updates in March and April.
Permanent art collection
After a 2017 referendum allowing the AMS to sell four pieces from its permanent art collection, it fell to Evans and the rest of the Sale of Hatch Art Planning & Execution committee to pursue the deaccessioning of two of the society’s paintings.
However, the process has come to a halt over complaints of inadequate consultation from some committee members.
“We’ve come to realize that the processes that were set out by the initial referendum definitely looked at these art pieces more as financial assets rather than culturally significant items,” Evans said.
Since then, Evans has taken a step back to re-evaluate what consultation will look like. He said that he and his team are working on a strategic plan that will guide deaccessioning to be published in April or May.
Though not one of his promises, the negotiation of a memorandum of understanding between the AMS and the Interfraternity Council is the VP admin’s responsibility. Evans’s successor Sylvester Mensah Jr. will continue this work this upcoming year.
Another of Evans’s executive goals is the Clubs Experience Survey. He said it’s been “drafted up and ready to go for some time now,” but is facing delays in light of COVID-19.
Evans said the pandemic has disrupted the renewal process, which involves workshops for incoming executive orientations. Now that the AMS is moving the process online, Evans said he wants to keep everything simple for clubs.
“We really want to make sure that we’re not creating a confusing process for our subsidiaries,” he said.
If the survey isn’t included in the renewal process, he said it will likely be tacked on to the Nest + Experience Survey next year.
“The work’s already been done,” said Evans. “It’s mostly just what is the best way for us to roll that out efficiently to students.”