AMS Decoded: What to look for in the July 29 AMS Council meeting

You know it’s bad when the agenda and the supporting documents has to be sent in two emails because all of those documents combined exceeds the size limit.

Number of supporting documents: 40

Number of pages of supporting documents: 343 (that’s basically like reading The Great Gatsby twice.)

Every few weeks, your student government spends a Wednesday night meeting talking about a bunch of things. In most cases, what we talk about won’t affect a student's day-to-day activity, but there are always a few tidbits that might interest you. Here’s what to watch out for in the upcoming AMS Council meeting on July 29, 2015:


Each year, the AMS collects millions ($18,413,948 projected this year) in student fees. Most of those fees are allocated to very specific funds, including $4.3 million to pay the AMS Student Nest loan, and $7.3 million to pay for the Extended Health and Dental Plan. That said, this year, we have $1.6 million allocated for “discretionary income” -- money that we can spend relatively freely. In this AMS Council meeting, we will be approving the budget for this fiscal year for the entire society, especially on how we’re going to spend that $1.6 million. Significant budget changes have been reported from AMS Events and AMS Services.

AMS Internal Projects

Consultations and updates will be given to Council on two major internal projects that are going on: Governance Review and Council Software. Governance Review is a process where a Society’s operations (who’s in charge, who does what, etc.) is audited to create actionable recommendations to increase their operational efficiency. The last time the AMS did a Governance Review was back in 1993, so this is a very welcome sight. This project has been in the works since the last Executive group.

Affordability and Accessibility Policies

In light of the tuition and housing fee increase by the university last year, a lot of us were forced to rethink the idea of affordability and accessibility to our members, as well as how best we can advocate those needs to the university. The VP Academic and University Affairs (Jenna Omassi) as well as the VP External (Jude Crasta) created two policies surrounding this issue. The policies are being sent to Council for approval. Once approved, these two policies will guide how the AMS engages the university and its members over future tuition/fee/housing increases.

Additionally, Council meetings can get quite long (as I believe will be the case for this upcoming one), and one way to make sure Council meetings are efficient is to minimize technology breakdown and make sure we’re using the right technology. The Executive Committee is sending out a “Call for Proposals” for such software to be implemented.

Viet Vu is a fifth-year Economics major, AMS Councillor and current chair of the Oversight Committee. His views are his own and do not necessarily represent those of the Alma Mater Society or the Vancouver School of Economics Undergraduate Society.