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 August 3, 2016:
There will be five(!) different presentations at the beginning of the next Council meeting, highlighting a diversity of things the AMS is working on throughout the summer and into the school year. The presentations will be on this year’s annual Block Party, the Academic Experience Survey, the Graduate Student Society space in the Nest (coming after heavy discussion at the last Council meeting), the AMS Student Services as well as an update on the ongoing governance review. There’s sure to be a great deal of input requested throughout these presentations, so come to Council if you’d like to have your voice heard!
The U-Pass is likely the most popular service amongst students at UBC — referenda to keep the program in 2013 and 2016 passed with 96.4 per cent and 97 per cent in favour respectively. With the current U-Pass contract set to expire in April 2018 and the BC provincial election happening in the spring, there is an opportunity to negotiate a new contract that is advantageous to students. AMS Council will be voting to adopt a briefing note from the U-Pass Advisory Committee, asking to freeze the price at $41 per month and index it to inflation for at least 10 years. This is in contrast to the 27 per cent the U-Pass will have gone up by between 2010 and 2017. This effort will be done in coordination with other student societies from Metro Vancouver to ensure a more successful campaign.
Finally, Council will consider a code change to remove the Agenda Committee, which has met loosely and often without quorum over the last few years to set the agenda for Council meetings. The change will replace it with a more relaxed — but still consultative — agenda-setting process, requiring input from the executives and chairs of the standing committees. This change will also grant the president the ability to delay adding motions to the agenda, if the party submitting the motion agrees to the delay.
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.