Author Archive for Radical Beer


Through the Intestines of the AMS Judicial System

Student Court met today to deliberate on the case Trasolini v. AMS Elections Committee, AUS Elections Committee. They decided to refrain from passing judgement on the case today, and have now fourteen days to make a ruling.

In the event that they do not make a ruling before the Tuesday turnover date of the AUS, not to worry! AMS Code holds that the rulings of the AMS Elections Committee are to be adhered to while a case is in the process of being appealed to Student Court. Functionally, this means that Brian Platt will become President on Tuesday if one of two conditions are met:

  1. The Student Court dismisses the appeal, maintaining the status quo, or
  2. The Student Court does not rule by next Tuesday.

In the event of case number two, Brian’s Presidency would be in doubt until the Court issued a final ruling. If the Court overturns the ruling of the Elections Committee, Ryan would be the President from either next Tuesday, or whenever the ruling is issued, whichever is later. For this to happen, the Court must find that (From Code § IX.A.14),

(a) the Elections Administrator or the Elections Committee acted in a manner inconsistent with the Electoral Procedures in the Code or with the procedures
contained in the candidates’ handbook issued by the Elections Committee;
(b) the Elections Administrator or the Elections Committee failed to consider relevant evidence;
(c) the Elections Administrator or the Elections Committee acted in an obviously unfair manner; or
(d) the Elections Administrator or the Elections Committee imposed inconsistent penalties for similar offences in the same election or referendum.

During their deliberations, they are bound by certain guiding principles, the most pressing of which, instituted after the Lougheedgate scandal of 2008, is Code § XV.1.6.a, which reads:

The Court shall not make rulings of a political nature, or stray into the area of policy making. To this end, the Court shall interpret the Code, Bylaws, and Constitution of the Society without addition to or omission of any language set out within them.

Functionally this is basically up for the Court to interpret at it’s leisure. Because the Student Court Reform Package didn’t pass, the ruling will still have to go to Council for approval, although new conventions and amendments to Code would make it very difficult for Council to reject a ruling in the same manner in which it did in the past.


Michael Haack’s “SUB-Green Drink”

The Tribune Tribunal finds this drink enticing in colour and bewitching in taste. The lychee liqueur is somewhat overpowering, but delicious – the entire drink tastes lycheerific. While we eschewed the organic aspects of the beverage for preparation, we found the taste was not diminished. We give this delightful beverage a four and six twenty-fifths out of five.

  • 3 parts vodka
  • 1 part blue curacao

To represent strength, transparency, and clarity needed in any form of government and that I will ensure that my actions are clear and that my office is open and that I can be held accountable

  • 2 parts organic apple juice
  • 1 part organic lime juice
  • a splash of organic pulp free orange juice

To represent a fresh perspective that I offer the AMS regarding sustainability for the current and new SUB such as going beyond LEED Platinum+ design for the new SUB, striving to build a “living building” and multi-use space that can accommodate the future needs of students

  • 1 part lychee liqueur to represent the international students at UBC.

Without the lychee, the drink would be incomplete. Similarly, on campus we have to recognize that 1 in 10 students are international students. This is a large population of students and we need to address what can be done create a safe and welcoming community at UBC.

result: A refreshing and sustainable SUB-green drink


Ekaterina Dovjenko’s “SUB Club Cocktail Punch”

The Tribune Tribunal finds this delightful. It’s like an alcoholic Shirley Temple. After a year doing SUB negotiations, our dear Ekaterina might resemble an alcoholic Shirley Temple as well – but she could always become the Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. We give this a three and seven ninths stars out of five.

I do not actually drink too much by I’ll try my best

  • One teaspoon of sugar, to represent the importance of general fun and optimism, needed especially during SUB Renew negotiations. My platform ensures the New SUB is sustainable and student–driven.
  • One star anise, to ensure that clubs reach for the stars when they have initiatives they want to start. With my platform, I will ensure that restrictions on the Club’s Benefit fund are reviewed and a new club start-up grant is created so that clubs have a better chance at engaging students.
  • ¾ cup of Grapefruit juice to maintain healthy relations with the University and to wake the AMS up from its deep slumber of inadequate consultation with students.
  • ½ teaspoon grenadine, representing the sweetness and respect required when talking and consulting with all clubs
  • ¼ cup champagne to represent celebration when we finally sign all SUB agreements and are ready to commence architect selection and building the SUB.
  • And lastly, a garnish of a raspberry to symbolize growth and the future of a more personalize support system for clubs, a sustainable New SUB and better communication with all students.

Timkachu is not doing his job

Or, at least a very important part of it. While his partner in villainy is working hard to piss off the undergrad societies, Timkachu has turned his sights on (or, I suppose in this case, away from) the Grads.

It is the job of the VP External to maintain relationships with other student organizations, and specific to this is the GSS, the distinct society of the AMS. This relationship is important, because when it is neglected there inevitably is a conversation had by someone, somewhere about how the Grads might be better off on their own, without paying fees to both the AMS (as the GSA) and GSS. They already are a separately constituted society.

What does maintaining relations with the GSS look like? Well, going to their Council meetings is a good start. This was actually a perk of the job in my humble opinion, up until yesterday, because of the Free Beer that used to accompany attendance. Having meetings with the GSS Ac-Ex committee would have also been appropriate. Mind you, that is something that really would only have been helpful if Timkachu had actually been doing real lobbying this year, instead of sneaking around Council and running !THE BEST POSTCARD CAMPAIGN EVAR!!11!!1!

Apparently, the person responsible for coordinating relations with the GSS (that’s you, Tim, in case you never bothered to read the Code beyond your title) has let things deteriorate to the point where the GSS actually felt the need to pass a motion expressing their displeasure. Not following through with the promise to hold meetings (reportedly not responding to messages, or not showing up to scheduled meetings) has prevented the AMS from coordinating lobbying, or even getting on the same page on issues like CASA or the UN Complaint (not that the GSS was alone in being ignored on this one).

These positions are not to be used as personal chew toys – ignoring relationship maintenance is the same as ignoring the UPass – it is a vital part of the portfolio left undone. I, like I said before, do not feel that this office has been well served this year. Tim could have been doing this instead of … supporting striking paramedics, for example?

The conclusion that I am forced to come to is that either Tim is so incompetent that he doesn’t even know what the job he has been doing for the past year entails, or he just doesn’t care.


don’t get so comfy…

Some Verse on the Topic of my Prospective Resignation

On Monday night, morose, I cried,
For a Society robbed of its pride,

No legal process was to bring,
Relief from our self claimed king

I thought we had no right to claim
A mandate after this con game

So as I drowned my tears in wine
I thought to myself “I must resign”

But when I told the same to friends
I noticed some disturbing trends

My idea to fly the coop
And escape from our tyrant’s boot

Was nigh on universally panned
So, I assure you I will stand

To serve my term to its completion
And to those who’d relish my deletion

From the Council rolls, I’ll say
That we’ll live to fight another day

With fury stoked by actions crass
My opposition will surpass

All that it has ever been before
(Since we could not show you the door)

And if you thought the battle’s won
Don’t get so comfy – it’s just begun

A new day has dawned, the sun is bright
And I am gearing up to fight

I won’t see our AMS defamed
By both of  ‘those-who-shall-not-be-named’

They’ve sneaked around, behind our backs
And sent forth biased, specious attacks

So while things are bad, I will serve on
The night is darkest before the dawn

I have faith that AMS pride,
Can be restored and justified

This term I’ll fight until I fall!
Vive le Resistance! And thank you all.

Don’t get me wrong. The AMS is very sick. It is in need of more structural reform than I could have imagined. The people who are elected to serve it are actively working to undermine the will of the students it represents. They are being deceitful, disingenuous, disorganized, disrespectful and all in all, the very worst type of student politicians. I do not, at this point, particularly enjoy being around the AMS, especially those people responsible for shattering the Society’s democratic safeguards.

I would never have thought that the politics at UBC would degenerate to CFS type levels, either in terms of the quality of the discourse, or the calibre of its leadership. I am astounded at the degree to which the AMS, through it’s leaders, has betrayed the public trust of its members.

I do feel (and I realize how jack-assish this sounds, typing it) that I let the people who voted for me down – I think that the continued service of Blake and Tim is a threat to the legitimacy of the AMS, and that people are right to be angry that Councilors didn’t have their facts straight at the beginning of the process. We could and should have done other things to remove them, and I regret thinking that the conflicts between our Bylaws and the Societies Act could be dusted away.

That aside, I’m satisfied with my service at the AMS. I’ve always tried to do what I thought was right for students, and I feel that I’ve been able to accomplish what I’ve set of to do – I don’t claim singular credit for any of these things, but I am happy to have been a part of many projects at the AMS, Committee Reform chief among them. I feel that I could leave today and be happy.

But I won’t.

Much as I would like to take the easy way out of this, and simply stop, drop, and roll down the sides of the SUB, I’m not going to let a society that, without sounding sappy, I care about quite a bit, be covered in the toxic spew that has been issuing forth from the northeast office in the SUB. I was elected to do a job, and I’m not done with it yet – you don’t get to win on a technicality and walk away with next to no consequences, or treat the most massive outpouring of student opinion in my time at UBC as frivolous or unrepresentative.

To those of you who reminded me of that responsibility, and have asked me to stay on over the next months, I thank you. Your support has been amazing, and it, combined with continued abuse and disrespect of the AMS and its bodies by those-who-shall-not-be-named have whipped me up into a legislative furor.

While I can’t imagine running for another executive position (well, I can imagine it, but it requires a certain level of inebriation), I’d rather graduate and move on (not that I know what I’m doing afterward). I will, however, be serving out the rest of my term. I’ll be serving on the Legislative Procedures Committee, so expect to see some suggestions on how to:

  • Increase Council Oversight and Democratic Checks on the Executive
  • Establish ways by which AMS Councilors can be accountable to their Constituency Council
  • Create recommendations to the Province for a separate Student Societies Act

I’m not backing down from what I believe, and I promise you that I will fight tooth and nail to deliver for you. This society needs some strong medicine; the fact that those-who-shall-not-be-named have no idea what they did wrong is infuriating.

I’ll be taking some time off from AMS stuff for the break, but I’ll be back in January, mark my words. I look forward to the coming election.


advice for our next VP External

Some advice to the next VP External Affairs. As a student society, we are pretty unique in that we elect the expert, rather than hire them, but they still have to do all of the things that are in this video. Noticeably absent from the video? Filing complaints to the United Nations. Actually, anything to do with the United Nations, or the generally ineffective realm of protest politics and end-goal lobbying. Incrementalism and next-step lobbying can be excruciating, but, as Max Weber said,

Politics is a strong and slow boring of hard boards.

Well, what he actually said was in German, but you get the picture.

Also, if you haven’t read this link on the Anti-Impeachment group, and you’re looking for a laugh, check it out. Apparently, there is nothing worse than the Fall of the Berlin Wall! I’ve written something up about this (because my honour has been insulted and I demand satisfaction!) but haven’t decided whether or not to post it yet. If I do, it’ll be up sometime tomorrow.


the *US speak

The undergraduate society councils of Arts, Science and Engineering all passed resolutions supporting the actions of council. I assume, for Commerce, that it’s just kind of a given. Here they are:

Arts Undergraduate Society

WHEREAS Alma Mater Society (AMS) President Blake Frederick and Vice President External Timothy Chu recently filed a complaint with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with the Pivot Legal Society, and 
the planning, implementation, and execution of this complaint were not brought to AMS Council by either the President or the Vice President External, at any point since the ideas inception in March 2009, and
the Vice President External is on record saying that the idea was never brought to Council because they did not think it would be approved, and
this action has cost the AMS $3000 to date, and has unknown costs still to be determined with the Pivot Legal Society, and
there has been an unprecedented amount of negative student feedback on the issuance of the complaint without consulting the AMS Council, and
on Saturday, November 28 AMS Council held an emergency meeting at which resolutions for the withdrawal of the complaint and resignations of Blake Frederick and Timothy Chu passed unanimously with significant student-at-large support, and
effective representation cannot exist without transparency and accountability, therefore

BIRT the Arts Undergraduate Society of the University of British Columbia – Vancouver support the AMS decision to withdraw the complaint with the United Nations, and
the Arts Undergraduate Society of the University of British Columbia – Vancouver support the AMS request for the resignation of both AMS President Blake Frederick and Vice President Timothy Chu, and 
the Arts Undergraduate Society of the University of British Columbia – Vancouver urge the AMS to conduct an internal review of procedures to ensure the reduced likelihood of such actions in the future.

Science Undergraduate Society

WHEREAS: AMS President Blake Frederick and AMS VP External Tim Chu were asked to resign by unanimous vote of AMS Council on 28 November 2009, and;
AMS President Blake Fredrick and AMS VP External Tim Chu issued a statement on 30 November 2009 declining AMS councils’ request to resign, and;
WHEREAS AMS President Blake Fredrick and AMS VP External Tim Chu again declined to resign upon request at the 2 December 2009 AMS Council Meeting.

BE IT RESOLVED THAT: The SUS Council show its support for the AMS Council  decision, by sending a letter requesting that AMS President Blake Frederick and AMS VP External Tim Chu resign effective immediately.
: The SUS Council support measures to remove AMS President Blake Frederick and AMS VP External Tim Chu from office should either or both fail to resign, pending the outcome of the legal opinion from Davis & Co.  as requested by AMS Council on 2 December 2009.

Note: There is a special council meeting on Monday 7 Dec 2009 at 4pm in the SUB Council Chambers. On the agenda is a motion to pass AMS Bylaw (5)(3)(c)(i)(1) Recall of an AMS Executive Member by 2/3rds majority AMS Council Vote.
Note: The AMS Reps will vote in favour of this motion at the 7 Dec 2009 AMS Meeting if the Davis & Co. legal opinion states that AMS Bylaw (5)(3)(c)(i)(1) is a legally valid option and does not contravene any superseding acts.

WHEREAS AMS VP Finance Tom Dvorak and AMS VP Academic Johannes Rebane were the signing officers on the contract with Pivot Legal and their signatures validated the actions of AMS President Blake Frederick and AMS VP External Tim Chu, and;
WHEREAS at the 28 November 2009 AMS Council Meeting AMS VP Finance Tom Dvorak and AMS VP Academic Johannes Rebane apologized for their prior indiscretion, and accepted full responsibility for approving the funds for the AMS legal consultation with the Pivot Legal Society leading to the filing of a complaint to the UN.

BE IT RESOLVED THAT, SUS Council suggest that AMS Council approve a measure of disciplinary action against AMS VP Finance Tom Dvorak and AMS VP Academic Johannes Rebane, commensurate with the gravity and severity of their negligence in signing a contract to pursue the UN Human Rights Complaint in contravention of AMS Tuition Policy.

NOTE: The disciplinary action taken does not mean recall or resignation; it can be a letter of warning.

Engineering Undergraduate Society

WHEREAS: AMS President Blake Frederick and AMS VP External Tim Chu were asked to resign by unanimous vote of AMS Council on November 28, 2009
BE IT RESOLVED THAT: The EUS strongly recommend that AMS President Blake Frederick and AMS VP External Tim Chu resign by December 7, 2009
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: The EUS support measures to remove AMS President Blake Frederick and AMS VP External Tim Chu from office should either or both fail to resign.
Carried Unanimously

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!

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!

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.


let’s impeach the president!

“Let’s Impeach The President”

Let’s impeach the President for lying
And crying to the UN with his friends
Abusing all the power that we gave him
And using the AMS for his own ends

Who thought we should work with Tristan Markle?
Those Alpaca shirts leave a lot to be desired
Cronyism so blatant it’s disgusting
Frederick and Chu, they must be fired

Let’s impeach the President for hiding
At the NDP convention on our dime
Instead of ans’ring to our Student Council
They hid something from Council one last time

What happens if they’re in power for the Olympics
Will student interests be served in that case
Will our views be represented correctly
Or will Blake and Tim leave students in disgrace?

Flip – Flop
Flip – Flop
Flip – Flop
Flip – Flop

Let’s impeach the president for embarr’sing
UBC and every student in its halls
Let’s pray that Student Council has the courage
To act when they have got them by the balls

Thank god that they’re ‘standing up for students’
Though how they know this it cannot be said
Frederick and Chu, they sure deserve impeachment
Or else UBC democracy is dead

Thank God


lay off the staff!

A disturbing trend I have seen recently in emails and comments is the insinuation that staff are somehow responsible for the current debacle. They are not, and I wholeheartedly condemn any attack on any AMS Staff person whose name has been unfairly impugned in this process. They are responsible to the elected executive and Council, and because they are unable to act as agents of the AMS, they should not EVER be held directly accountable unless the commit a criminal or fraudulent act against the AMS.

I will be deleting any comment that implies that the staff of the AMS are responsible for the current mess. Particularly, no mention of Rory Green, Adrienne Smith and Kelli Seepaul will be tolerated. They were doing their jobs under the direction of the people that they reported to.

Elected people are responsible for taking the advice of the staff, and responsible for the actions that they direct the staff to do. It is their job to manage, and the buck stops at them, not any staff person, when everything goes up in flames.

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