Wednesday, June 17, 2009

AMS Council: June 17, 2009

AMS council tonight. Highlights:

  • Provincial Elections campaign budget revealed
  • Executive quarterly reports released
  • Student Court appointments

It's a proxy party tonight. Low turnout, lots of substitutes. Leftover food also means a weird dinner combination: Pi-R-Squared with smoked salmon appetizers.

CASA Conference Recap

First up was a presentation to recap the recent CASA policy conference in Calgary. However, the presentation by Blake and Tim, which lasted just shy of forever, spent a lot of time outlining a laundry list of complaints about CASA, all of which have been brought up before. Less time was devoted to what actually occurred at the conference. Summary: Tim and Blake don't like CASA. I would also suspect CASA doesn't like Tim and Blake.

Some division within the executive was made apparent immediately when Tom Dvorak stated that CASA sent a letter addressing the AMS's concerns in late April and that this letter was not shared with other executives or council. Hmmm.

Plenty of boring discussion (if you really care, I can send you notes), but the quote of the night came from Bijan:

"When students go to conferences, they like to have sex. There's something about having sex with someone you'll never see again that's exciting.”

I could put it in context, but it's so much better without it. Another great quote came from Jeremy McElroy, who noticed Blake's constant negativity about CASA and asked: Did you have any fun in Ottawa?

In a show of more executive division, Johannes questioned where the numbers came from which outlined the cost of being CASA members, saying that the actual cost is much lower than claimed by Blake and Tim.

Lots of discussion; not much concrete came out of it, other than that documents need to be made available to everyone, and not hoarded. Also, this will continue to be an issue this year.

Provincial Election Campaign Presentation

Tim got up and gave a recap of the provincial election campaign that he ran. While there were successes including lot of work put into awareness and over 500 voters registered by the AMS, the most hotly anticipated part of this presentation was the budget for this campaign.

For background, I'll refer you again to this Ubyssey editorial as well as a related radical beer tribune post. You can also read the recap from two council meetings ago about how part of this campaign was botched. And, as was confirmed tonight, it was at no small expense.

Without further ado, here is the budget breakdown:

[no idea why the huge gap is here]

Printing Costs3,652.92
Ads in 24 Hrs18,484.28
Bus Ads3, 715.25
Design Services445.70
Hand Stamps33.89

The ads in 24 Hrs (the newspaper) are absolutely mind-blowing. Geoff Costeloe was particularly enraged over this, calling it a crazy waste of money. I... concur.

Personally I also took issue with the fact that it took $2,600 to build this webiste. Andrew Carne pointed out that it was based on Wordpress. I just buried my head in my hands at that point. Still, nothing compared to the money wasted on ads in 24 Hrs.

The budget is the subject of a Ubyssey article, but here's the bottom line: it was a waste of money.

Executive Remarks

  • Blake's Broadcast: 1st Quarterly Report available here; everything is in there.

  • VP External: 1st Quarterly Report available here; went to CASA conference; over 300 applications received for U-Pass subsidy; Translink is running "Be Part of the Plan", encourage everyone to participate; looking forward to external policy committee meeting

  • VP Academic: 1st Quarterly Report available here; met with residence coordinator at UWaterloo, want to not only increase residence space but also its relevance; met with Michelle Aucoin about Olympics issues; hired student court; remodeled offices; working on TA training, university has allocated funding for it; met with fraternity and sorority representatives; reinstated University Commission

  • VP Finance: 1st Quarterly Report available here; AVP Catherine Metrycki did a lot of work to get a lot of stuff online; orientation for clubs with how to navigate AMS finance; looking at marketing for the upcoming year; attended alumni association retreat regarding alumni centre; looking at online payment systems to enable clubs to process credit card payments for memberships or events; Business Operations Committee is looking at Point-Of-Sale options, and AMS businesses contributed $1,114,981 to the AMS last year; preliminary budget prepped, found deficit, looking at budget reductions; budget will be presented next council meeting.

  • VP Admin: 1st Quarterly Report available here; met with student development about proposed renovations to Brock Hall; hired assistant

  • ECSS: missed this, but 1st Quarterly Report available here

Some Appointments-review stuff about salaries passed

Student Court Appointments

  • Emmanuelle Frederic – Chief Justice
  • Sara Askari – Judge
  • Feruza Abdajalieva – Judge
  • Alexander Cooke – Judge
  • Wilfred Chan – Judge
  • Adam Flanders – Alternate Judge
  • Jordan Snel – Alternate Judge
  • Constance Chan - Clerk

Conflict of Interest Motion

A motion came to council which would have required any member of council who also serves as a director of an organization which the AMS conducts business with to remove themselves from any In Camera sessions of council dealing with the other organization.

The goal appears to be the exclusion of UBC BoG reps, specifically Bijan, from In Camera sessions. However, while BoG is the most obvious example, there are probably other people on council who would also be affected by this and would also be required to sit out of In Camera sessions from time to time.

This was a Matt Naylor motion, who was not present tonight. His proxy, Alex Lougheed, did not feel comfortable motivating the motion since it was not his. It was eventually sent to Code and Policy. Should be interesting to see if this comes back to council sometime in the future.

Olympics Motion

Bijan brought a motion to invite Michelle Aucoin, who is in charge of Olympics stuff at UBC to present at the next council meeting for an hour. There should have been no discussion about this, but there was some. This also should have never been a motion in the first place, but it was. (Council doesn't need to pass motions to invite people to present to council.) Anyways, next meeting, look forward to an hour of Olympics presentation/discussion.

Committee Appointments

  • Fundraising and Sponsorship Committee: John MacLean

Dave Tompkins: "Like the guy from Die Hard?" (Different speling, unfortunately. Dave looked it up on IMDB as a distraction from council.)

  • External Policy Committee: Dusty C.

Next meeting: July 8.