15
Apr
09

gunning for censure

The AMS Council has typically been reticent to use its prerogatives to exercise oversight over the executive. While I don’t think that everything that the Exec should do should come from Council – the structure of their election precludes that – I think that the Council has not availed itself of all the tools available to it in order to drive the agenda.

One of these tools is Censure, and is a formal disapproval of the actions of an executive. It carries no force and effect on the powers or responsibilities or remuneration of the executive in question, but is a way to say “We don’t like what you are doing, and need you to change it.” The next step in that course is impeachment, and that has happened so infrequently in the history of the AMS that the only Impeachment vote that I can think of was the one stemming from the Berniegate Saga, which, it should be noted, failed.

Now, I don’t want to impeach anyone – I think this year’s exec has shown itself thus far to be reasonably competent, although admittedly they haven’t done anything really that stood out or wowed me. What I am saying is that I will not be afraid to use Censure as a tool to express disapproval of the execs.

Things like submitting Quarterlies late, or deviating from AMS procedures and policy in a active yet avoidable way, these would be grounds for censure, and I will make sure that the motions are on the agenda. If your wondering what’s gotten me a little troubled, it’s this AMS policy:

The Alma Mater Society acknowledges the financial pressures of inflation on the cost of education and tuition levels. The Alma Mater Society shall therefore oppose any tuition increase that is in excess of the British Columbia Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI), whichever is lesser.

This isn’t so much about a policy disagreement (although I worked hard on this policy, and it would have been nice to see it not ignored), but rather about how promotional materials are prepared and what the messaging is going to be on them. I would be less concerned if the External Office’s NO FEE INCREASE campaign was vetted by External Policy and the Communications Planning Group. To my knowledge (and given one of my colleagues grumblings) this did not happen.

This is going to be an interesting year for the AMS. I’m hoping that the Committee Reform structure will help improve both the accountability of the AMS, and take off of their hands some of the more administrative and Council stuff, leaving them to fulfill their election promises (which, I should note, were decently ambitious).

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5 Responses to “gunning for censure”


  1. 1 Mitch Wright
    April 15, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Ah but the policy says nothing about NOT opposing increases that are UNDER CPI rise.

    That said, I’m impartial to tuition increases since I lived in the states and think people here need to:

    Shut-the-fuck-up-and-stop-complaining-because-this-University-which-is-ranked-among-the-best-in-the-world-is-still-cheaper-than-places-like-the-University-of-Maine-which-I-can-assure-you-is-not-even-close-to-the-same-calibre-as-this-institution!

    I know SO many people paying 40,000+/yr for their education (including my brother, as it turns out), so I think I’ll deal with a small tuition increase that, percentage-wise, is less than the increase in the price of an aggregate of eggs, bread, milk, etc, so long as it shows improvement in the quality of education.

    M

  2. 2 Kommander Keg
    April 15, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    This keg has to agree with the American, 2% adjustment for inflation is pocket change compared to the ACTUAL price tag of our education. While I would like to see us revert to a Scandinavian/Western-Central European system of fully subsidized post-secondary education, the current British Columbian and Canadian models of governance and policy framework do not work in our favour.

    Unless people want to see massive tax increases on anything and everything, or absolute governance reform and the turmoil that would ensue, I think they should shut the hell up about a 2% adjustment for real costs.

    -KK

  3. 3 radicalbeer
    April 15, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Mitch, setting that as the standard creates a rather dangerous precedent in that a VP could lobbying on anything they wanted personally that the AMS didn’t have a policy on.

  4. 4 Anon
    April 16, 2009 at 10:52 am

    “leaving them to fulfill their election promises” didn’t tim and blake promise to loby for tuition reduction? And you want to censure them for that?

  5. 5 radicalbeer
    April 16, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    What they promised in their campaigns is irrelevant. It’s about following the will of Council, and the policies of the AMS. We can’t have people going off all willy nilly saying whatever they want. We have to make sure that the elected representatives of the constituencies have their say. It’d be exactly the same issue if they said that raising tuition was fine – this isn’t about the policy, it’s about the process.


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