02
Dec
09

LIVEBLOG – showdown in council

11:12 – Geoff Costeloe reading a statement to start off the discussion topic. Will post when I can get the text.

11:11 – Speaker Dave: And it hits the blogosphere in 5, 4, 3, 2…

The Alma Mater Society of UBC Vancouver (AMS), UBC’s student union, would like to inform the public that AMS Council unanimously passed a motion to retract the complaint to the UN against the BC and Canadian governments in regard to Article 13(c) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The filed complaint was not the will of the Society and on November 28th, 2009 the President of the AMS overstepped his bounds in taking this action. The Society did not support this filed complaint.

11:08 – Now it’s the Press Release motion. Passes.

11:00 – Andrew calls the question. It passes. So does the motion.

The AMS needs to just shut its trap for a little bit.
Eric-at-Large (thunderous applause)

Right now, you [the AMS] look like shit!
Someone-at-Large

10:56 – Back to the amended main motion.

10:54 – Joel moves a motion to prohibit Tim from using his email. I make a grammar correction. Everyone laughs. Apparently split infinitives are hilarious!

10:49 – Neal Yonson (UBC Insiders) is questioning Tim Chu about whether or not he has been distributing the UN Complaint to people since Saturday. He asks if it is appropriate. Woohee! This is awkward…

10:48 – My internet died, and I lost a couple of posts… Sadness. Anyways, the Legal Opinion passes, even though Rodrigo does his best to frustrate debate.

10:32 – The Legal Opinion motion is up! Andrew Carne, current Chair of Code, is motivating. This is, it should also be noted, a list of things that we should probably know about our structure anyway.

10:27 – My motion to direct Student Life Committee to bring recommendations stemming from the Climate Survey to improve engagement of Underrepresented Groups.

10:23 – Mitch is talking about how the change in committee structure should precipitate a new approach to the way we deal with committees. And he calls to question, which passes. The motion is referred to committee.

10:18 – Elena says that we should trust our Childcare Commissioner. However, I can’t trust anyone in the Executive External Office at the moment.

I’m suddenly confused at this methodology that everything has to go through committee.
President Blake

10:15 – The motion to join a childcare advocacy group comes up. This has not been through committees, and we haven’t been able to see any of this group’s materials or positions. I moved to send it down to External Policy Committee.

10:10 – I didn’t get any pizza. The new pizzas all had meat.

Does someone want to propose a date for council to adjourn?
Speaker Dave

10:09 – These recesses take forever.

10:05 – Another recess for pizza. We have Child Care, Climate Survey, the Legal Opinion and the Temporary Communications Policy left on the agenda for resolutions.

10:02 – Appointments has tiny glitch. Iggy is apparently preordained to lose anything. I voted for him…

9:52 – We flew through some SAC minutes. Mike Duncan and I vote against. Because “Fuck SAC”. Now we’re doing some appointments. Fireworks are coming up on the Child Care Motion.

9:44 – Debate on the motion to set the pay rates of the new Committee Chairs.

9:38 – Rodrigo  moves a ridiculous motion. It is not added to the agenda. By the way, I’m proud of my vote on Disabilities Seats. If you’re wondering why, check here.

9:35 – Council’s five minute recesses are named in the same way as people use year lengths to refer to wars. They have no bearing whatsoever on the actual length.

9:08 – Debate continues on the Temporary Communications Policy. Adrienne is speaking on this.

8:54 – Debate continues on the referral of the Temporary Communications Policy to the Communications Planning Group. Tahara blows through her time because of thunderous applause, Iggy calls the question. And it is not referred.

8:42 – The new communications policy would basically freeze the Society communications without the Communications Planning Group’s quorate approval. Blake understands that this is directed at him. Geoff wants to refer this to Committee, but have it in force until the CPG is able to meet and report back.

8:39 – A debate on the communications policy. This one should be fine. The other (temporary) communications policy is going to perhaps be a little more contentious. It passes.

8:38 – Motion is referred to Committee. As a note, the motion on the agenda said that we would be leaving in 2009… We should check the old motion, so that we’re sure we got it right.

8:31 – Some debate over whether the CASA motion came from the External Policy.

Speaker: “Did this come from External Policy Committee?”

Chorus of Councilors: “No.”

8:28 – I think that this is a great looking elections team. Congratulations to the new Overlord of Voter Funded Media, former Councilor Will Davis.

8:19 – Motions to power through. Safety, Clubs Benefit. Both pass. I’m sure that I looked really great in the Ubyssey live feed, by the way – I should have shaved…

8:17 – Minutes pass. Now the other minutes motion, the one set of minutes that holds a reference to the UN complaint. These pass with 22 abstentions.

8:15 – I second minutes! Yay!

8:09 – Blake is, once again, sowing seeds of discord. And is wrong. We are not trying to remove them as Directors, just from their officer positions of the Board. Motion fails.

8:05 – Moving the Campus Planning and Development motion from now. Basically voicing some reasonable opposition to the MetroVancouver Governance Bylaw. Passes.

8:03 – I feel a little bad for our guests. I don’t think that there will be as many fireworks as people may have been anticipating. (Just wait and watch events prove me wrong.)

7:58 – Awesome stuff from Twitter. Thanks Taylor!

taylorloren
debate on the argyle sweater: @blakefrederick is an #argylefail while @naylor4x is an #argylewin

7:55 – I am sad to announce that there will be no Swimming Pool or Ice Rink in the new SUB.

7:52 – I’d like to take this time while the presentation is going on to complain about my back. It hurts. The round table for Council isn’t really the most comfortable of backings. Barnabas (proxy for Ryan) has the right idea. Also, Happy Birthday Kyle Warwick! Way to not proxy your vote out – way worse birthday than even the one where I had to open the fish department at five in the morning.

7:44 – There are still some deadlocked issues that we have with UBC, but I think that there are ways forward here. There is still a funding shortfall in terms of being able to build all that we would like to have in the building.

7:41 – The AMS will be selecting the SUB Architect! We will not be in charge of the project manager, which is a sacrifice, but one that I can live with.

7:36 – Yes Council can pass interpretations on its Bylaws. The Code and Policies-Oversight Joint meeting said that we could, in fact, pass interpretations of its Bylaws, divesting that authority from Student Court.

7:32 – Debating the Consideration Measure, which is a new tool that Council is trying to invent tonight. Colin is trying to clarify – I don’t know about you, but Colin’s clarifications leave me more confused half the time.

7:30 – Slate clarification motion passes. I hate the slate ban, but this should go a ways to avoid some of the problems of last year.

7:23 – Still elections.

“We are going to be having a Mingler, a.k.a. Beer Garden, before voting.”
Isabel Ferreras

7:17 – Isabel Fererras is up to talk about elections. I’m just delighted. As a note, the tuition policy that I and my Vice Chair wrote three years ago did go through a consultative process, albeit not one with broad consultation, but was rather written by Councilors. It is in need of an update, so I’m looking forward to this consultative process with our (interim, God willing) VP External.

7:09 – Tahara is the first Council speaker on the referral motion. She rages against the disenfranchisement of students. I would like to add that if Tim had wanted this consultation, he could have had it, but he never calls External Policy Committee meetings. Tahara calls to question, which passes, and it heads back to the External Policy Committee, where it should have come from in the first place.

7:01 – We’ve just started the debate on the tuition motion. No Council member wanted to speak against. The first student speaker speaks to the reasonable increases with respect to inflation. Jeremy McElroy is the first Council speaker, and he moves to refer it to the External and University Relations Committee.

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15 Responses to “LIVEBLOG – showdown in council”


  1. 1 Tanja
    December 3, 2009 at 12:27 am

    walkout = awesome

  2. 2 Ashley
    December 3, 2009 at 1:50 am

    If I had known it was meant to be a mass walkout, I would have packed!

  3. December 3, 2009 at 1:53 am

    I wonder what students with disabilities have to say about this, and what they think about your opinion… you insinuate women are a minority at UBC (factual mistake) in your opinion piece, like people with physical disabilities.

    Another opinions might be that you are trivializing these people and their claim, after all, students with disabilities themselves came up with it, and they should know why it is important, not you… and the repercussions are here, and they will keep on coming… {http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/?p=1015]…

    The problem is that, at least in he US, to discriminate against the inclusion of people with disabilities, if they feel discriminated, is a ‘hate crime’… Imagine how good it will look in the Council reputation when particular people with disabilities begin coming claiming they have been discriminated by the decision largely motivated by a single councilor’s opinion? (Check minutes)… People will be making sure nobody forgets exactly which individuals voted against the students with disabilities seat.

    I hope you will be able to explain yourself well enough when the signatures from people opposing your view start pouring… now the question is: will you censor this comment, or will you address it? Don’t you love screen shots?

    love, willie.
    ps: good luck [my best advice is ‘retract’ and ‘make up’]

  4. 4 Lamar
    December 3, 2009 at 2:23 am

    Wow, wasn’t that passive-aggressive, Willie? I think that people want to willingly overlook some of the good arguments that people against the motion are presenting, which is part of the problem. When people come to Council and aren’t willing to accept others’ perspectives, that just creates incentives to not have people recognize yours. People voted against the seat not because they dislike people who are disabled or are “discriminating” against them (I could equally say that you’re discriminating against the abled)- they voted against the motion because they felt like there were systems in place to represent disabled students, and because they felt that there were problems with letting in people whose claim to a seat is that they are a distinct group of students with a distinct set of interests. That claim could arguably apply to a ton of people. Plus, arguing that Councilors should have voted otherwise because people’s feelings got hurt otherwise is just a shoddy argument.

    Also, I don’t love reading comments that are threatening. I think it’s low and small of you to post one like it. Council voted against the motion- not just one individual. Be careful with your words.

  5. December 3, 2009 at 2:58 am

    Dear Naylor,
    I voted for you when you ran for president, when I did not know much about UBC… Things have changed now, and you seem so different. My friend with a disability told me that you did not allow for UBC to do what other universities have done in their councils (UofT) and added a seat for students with disabilities. We already cater special interests (religious colleges), and the faculty distinctions, in the interdisciplinary world of globalization, are not effective. Please conduct another reform, this time on council structure. I was surprised by your actions, when I learned the following – can you please tell us why we should support your position?

    AMS Equity and Diversity Coordinator Emma Ellison believes that there are deeper issues to be addressed. “There’s never a sort of focus on what some of the [barriers are]…that actually affect individuals’ decision-making processes,” she said. “In AMS Council, we actually heard [from students with disabilities] that the meetings are inaccessible, that it’s an environment where students have felt that their concerns aren’t voiced, aren’t listened to; their representatives don’t actually take into consideration their views.

    “The AMS exists as a student union. It should be advocating for student rights, for access to education, for participation on campus in the broadest sense, and that is fully and inherently within the mandate of the AMS,” added Ellison. “For councilors who choose to ignore that aspect of their responsibilities as an elected representative, they’re completely negating the purpose of them being elected.”
    Amongst the supporters and advocates were a number of students with disabilities who left the meeting clearly unimpressed with Council’s decision.

    “I’m disappointed that the motion…failed because I believe that students with disabilities should have equal representation on the council,” said Rosalind Ho, a UBC student with profound hearing loss in both ears. “Having a disability is a part of ourselves, something that affects our daily functioning and our daily life. Students shouldn’t be slotted into the faculty they’re in….[We] should have our views, our issues—that affect our lives as students—heard.”
    Rooney, a student with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, noted the challenges students with disabilities may face in solely attending AMS meetings and engaging with representatives who currently sit at the Council table. “I guess the main problem for myself is just getting to these meetings and going to say what’s on my mind,” he said. “Frankly, its something I just can’t do because of my disability…part of autism is a communication barrier.”

    Science representative Tahara Bhate said she would like to see the results of the AMS Equity Review before making any decisions on how to properly represent students with disabilities. “I think there’s other ways to do it,” she said. “I personally abstained on the motion because I didn’t think that this was the best way to create engagement within our society.

    “But to have all those students come out and think that by voting against this motion we were saying that we didn’t want to hear their views, that’s something I wasn’t comfortable with, either.”

  6. December 3, 2009 at 3:07 am

    I just read the article Christina posted from (after a google search) and found out that you were not so convincing Naylor. Could you please explain that if you’re so right why you did not get an unanimous vote?

    “Over 20 students were present at AMS Council Wednesday night to express their opinions. The motion was defeated with 12 councilors for creating the seat, 21 against, and five abstentions. A few students left the room in tears, with one shouting “shame on you all.”

  7. December 3, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Slight correction: Rodrigo’s motion was brought to the floor to be introduced into the agenda by Jason Penner, who was a proxy for the GSS and he move to add to the agenda was seconded by Mike Silley (Arts), but quickly defeated, even though, surprisingly, Geoff Costeloe voted to add it to the agenda.

  8. 8 radicalbeer
    December 3, 2009 at 4:06 am

    I don’t exactly know where all of this is coming from, though I’m going to bet that Willie is probably one of the crafters of the motion that came forward tonight. I would ask people that if they are going to attack me over the blog (something that I generally will be fine with, as long as you keep it to policy and not personal – those I will delete at my discretion) to use their real names in the future, or face deletion. I have to say, actually, that I’m going to reserve the right to delete anything at any time – this is my blog, which I run, for no money (although we do raise a bunch of money for charity!), so if I feel that something crosses the line (which I draw), it’s gone. Thanks!

    The first thing that I want to address is that I don’t have magic powers. I do not control Council. I was, on the motion to create the Disabilities Seat, but one of twenty-one councilors to vote against the seat. From what I see in the minutes, a number of people spoke against the motion, not just me. I don’t hypnotize or brainwash people, I just present my arguments and hope things go the right way. I lose as many votes as I win – one of the things that I was most passionate about was the return of slates. I lost, and it wasn’t close. If you disagree with us, know that each of those 21 ran in a separate election, beat other candidates, and represents a different constituency. I, as you said, Mr. Right, may not be so convincing. Perhaps one could follow this argument to its logical conclusion, that perhaps other councilors had a multitude of reasons and opinions for voting against?

    For my arguments on the Disabilities Seat issue, I suggest you read my Counterpoint on UBC Insiders. It is linked in the post.

    To respond to some specific points:

    Women are a majority on campus, but to deny that women have been historically oppressed by men is profoundly moronic, William. Even now, women don’t make equal pay for equal work. But for both these constituency and for others, I do not believe that the creation of a non-voting seat is good for the AMS. Although, you do make a case for a men’s seat.

    Toronto works on a different system than us. This distinction is not insubstantial, as many of the communities (rather than faculties) seats are voting.

    The religious colleges are not represented by any other reps. They pay student fees and get NO voting representation on Council, because we can’t change our bylaws. They SHOULD be voting seats, but they can’t be at the moment, so this is the next best thing.

    The best thing about faculty based representation is that it IS arbitrary. It’s not unlike dividing people up based on where they live in Parliament. Everyone gets the same level of representation, and I encourage anyone who feels a viewpoint they care about is underrepresented at AMS Council to run for the AMS seat in your constituency. Arts had 2 candidates for 2 spots this fall, and 6 for 5 in the spring.

    I would much rather create a Resource Group, which is funded by the AMS and through which the AMS can provide organizational support to engage more of any specific constituency, rather than do the organizational equivalent of paying lip service.

  9. 9 Alison Brown
    December 3, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks for the summary!
    I have a couple questions, if you (or anyone else) have the chance:
    1. The walk out… I don’t get it?
    2. The legal opinion – so we are getting another one? Any ideas on how long that will take? Does this make the Dec. 7 recall vote premature?

  10. 10 radicalbeer
    December 3, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    There were mixed messages as to what was going to go on at the end of the meeting. Not the most effective statement, I have to admit, but we can’t win ’em all.

    Yes, and to my knowledge the lawyer at Davis set aside her entire day in anticipation of the request last night. We should have it in time, god willing.

  11. 11 Alison Brown
    December 4, 2009 at 1:22 am

    Thank-you for the reply!

    I had no idea the AMS could command such a quick response! We must be big spenders, haha. I’m very glad to hear that we should have the opinion soon. But, I imagine that it might take some time to fully understand. I just don’t want any rash decisions that are going to cost us more legal fees in the long run to defend.

    But, I’m a bit paranoid.

    Again, I appreciate your reply.

  12. 12 Alison Brown
    December 4, 2009 at 1:24 am

    My unsolicited two cents on the walk out – it is strange that one would express unhappiness with another for disrespecting council by walking out and thus, arguably, disrespecting council.

  13. 13 radicalbeer
    December 4, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Yeah. That wasn’t my intent, and I probably wouldn’t do it again without better buy in or coordination. If any Councilors were offended, I apologize.

  14. 14 Alison
    December 7, 2009 at 11:13 am

    It’s Monday and I haven’t heard anything about a legal opinion and… that is very concerning to me…


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