Between the Motions: Council defers approval of VP Admin goals

On Tuesday night, AMS Council met to approve the 2023/24 executive goals.

Here’s what you might’ve missed.

Goals (and no goals)

AMS President Esmé Decker's goals included strengthening community connections, implementing the AMS strategic plan, financial stability and improving student life and wellbeing.

Decker also mentioned re-establishing a relationship with fraternities and sororities.

Senator Mathew Ho asked for clarification on how the AMS would connect with the groups considering their previously strained relationship with Greek Life. Decker said it is important that the AMS represent the many students in Greek Life.

“We're looking to rebuild those connections and take into account what's happened in the past … and what we can do to repair, restore [and] rebuild,” she said.

Arts Councillor Lawrence Liu expressed concern with the goals being “on the less ambitious side.”

“I just think [the goals] are what any president should do,” said Liu.

Science Councillor Salva Sherif also raised worry over many of the goals overlapping with the other executives'.

Decker said the goals were “based on my campaign platform … [that] students voted for … so I wanted to make sure that it was held accountable to that as well as being feasible and tangible goals.”

VP Academic and University Affairs Kamil Kanji said he was surprised over the concern as “collaboration … is one of the key responsibilities of executives, and it's also not uncommon for there to be overlap between goals and objectives.”

The presidential goals were passed with 1 abstention, 4 againsts and 12 votes in favour.

Next, VP Admin Ian Caguiat presented his goals which included increasing club engagement, expanding sustainability initiatives and continuing to improve resources in the Nest.

Many councillors raised concern over the financial feasibility of the goals.

Engineering Councillor Karisma Jutla said, “I'm concerned on my end that these are all great initiatives, and we pass them and at the end of the year, we come back and you weren't able to do half of them because the money wasn’t there.”

Liu said he would like to see a detailed breakdown of where funds would come from before approving the goals.

“We're setting a dangerous precedent of approving goals … without a detailed breakdown of how we're going to spend the money,” he said.

Caguiat was unable to provide a detailed financial breakdown as he had not prepared to be asked for one.

However, Caguiat said he had “done [his] due diligence and [communicated] with our senior staff, managers, senior managers, and [made] sure that the goals are things that can actually happen.”

A motion was passed to have the VP Admin goals be referred back to the Executive Committee for further review.

Goals from the VP AUA, Finance and External were all passed with unanimous consent.

AMS Food Bank Expansion

Services Manager Kathleen Simpson presented on the Food Bank Expansion.

Simpson said they are exploring new ways to improve the Food Bank’s facilities, including adding a sink, getting a new fridge and removing carpet. This would also include tearing down one of the walls to aid the operational flow of the space. The overall estimated cost of the project is $88,000.

Council was only hearing a consultation of the project and has yet to vote on approving it.