Every few weeks, your elected student government meets on a Wednesday night to talk about issues concerning the AMS. Agenda items can seem long, mysterious and confusing without the proper background, making it difficult to see how these issues affect students. Here’s what to watch out for in the upcoming AMS Council meeting on June 13:
The largest motion in this council meeting is the approval of the AMS’s annual operating budget. The budget has been prepared and approved by the Budget Committee (unsurprisingly), which is composed of the VP Finance, members of Council and students at large. The budget setting process is very strict at the AMS as it is placed in the bylaws – rules imposed by students through referenda. The bylaw that controls the budgeting process, Bylaw 11, dictates that the budget has to be approved by Council with a two-thirds majority and that the AMS cannot spend any money unless it has been budgeted.
For a question to go to referendum in an election, it has to either be approved by AMS Council or supported by a petition with the lesser of 1,000 or five per cent of students’ signatures. A code change is coming to Council that would enable signatures for such petitions to be collected electronically by means of a system approved by the AMS. This code change further clarifies what “duly signed” means and explicitly prohibits the exchange of alcohol or monetary benefits in exchange for signatures.
AMS Council will also be receiving a presentation from the AMS Executives on their goals for the year and will be voting on their approval as they do every year. This is a large step forward, which unifies the Executive and Council around common objectives for their terms. Despite the fact that Performance Accountability Incentive (PAI) has been eliminated, executives will continue to give updates on their goals and progress throughout the year.
Ian Sapollnik is a third-year economics student, a member of the UBC Vancouver Senate and a member of AMS Council. The views presented are his own.