Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pit Night!

There was a somewhat peculiar piece of business at tonight’s AMS council meeting. Should AMS councilors be allowed to sneak into Pit Night via a back entrance after council meetings?

After receiving a number of complaints (from myself included; the Ubyssey also wrote an editorial), the AMS’s Business Operations Committee recently decided to disallow entrance to the Pit via the back door. By eliminating the greasing of palms at the back door, I hope that there will be no more motivation to keep the line at the front door unnecessarily long when the Pit is nowhere near capacity. It will also mean that money that used to go to bouncers for bribes can now be used for more beer! Good on the AMS for being responsive on this issue.

Whoooo Beer

Thankfully, council found a way to fuck with it. A frivolously-worded motion was passed in 2005 outlining that at every third AMS council meeting, councilors could sign up to get preferential entrance to the Pit after the meeting. (They pass a Pit List around the room for people to sign up, then sneak them in a back entrance after the meeting is over.) At some point in time, this started occurring at every second meeting, and then at practically every meeting. Chris Diplock presented a motion tonight to rescind the not-entirely-followed 2005 motion. His motivation was quite clear: everyone should have to wait in line at the front door to get in, councilors included and that it sends the wrong message to reserve this privilege for themselves.

Surprisingly, Alex Monegro defended the practice. He argued that councilors, unlike paid staff, don’t get any renumeration for their many hours given to council. Perks, even very small ones like this, are deserved and should be kept intact. Yikes, I sure hope this is not indicative of his leadership potential.

An engineering rep also argued that being at council meetings meant missing social activities and that preferential entrance to the Pit eased that problem. The rest of the debate was either about indifference to having the Pit List/in support of equitable access.

Side note: If you are not an AMS hack (yet you read this blog, a peculiar combination), you might be amazed that something idiotic like this gets so much debate. Alas, the whole meeting went for more than 6 hours.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to speak before the question was called. The whole thing seemed like a pretty clear case of whether council wanted to put their own interests in front of those of ordinary students who just want a night out at the bar.

Major fail. In the end, council inexplicably decided to keep the Pit List intact, for them alone. I know this isn't the first, nor the last, nor the most blatant display of self-interest, but I'm pointing it out anyways. Despite the result, I hope to never see the Pit List passed around again. I’ll be watching.