It’s been a bit quiet around Insiders lately: writing long posts take work, and we’d rather be enjoying the sunshine. But that doesn’t mean things have stopped happening. Make sure to check out AMS Confidential’s News for N00bs for the latest news (and lulz!); rather than overlap, we’ll come up with our own alliterative title and report even hackier things for you. Without further ado…

Another extraordinary Board Meeting: Let’s revise the OCP!

UBC’s Board of Governors has scheduled their second extraordinary board meeting so far this year for Friday at 2 pm. There’s only one thing on the agenda but it’s substantial: setting out the process by which UBC will revise the OCP, which has not been reviewed since 1997. The OCP (Official Community Plan) is the master planning document for the university which looks at the big picture of what types of development happens on what parts of campus. To be clear: this isn’t discussing the changes they’d like to make, only the process by which they want to go about making changes and consulting on them. It’s supposed to start in mid-July, ramp up to a first round of public consultation in October, a second round in late November/early December, and then the final revisions will be submitted to the province in February 2011.

The plan consists mostly of background info, only getting mildly specific in order to address the UBC Farm. In mid-May, Toope released a “President’s Statement on UBC Farm and Bill 20” to make it “crystal clear” that UBC was still committed to preserving the Farm, and that the governance changes would in no way affect that.

Apparently unmoved by that vague assurance, the Friends of the UBC Farm’s blog put out a call for UBC Farm supporters to send letters to UBC and the province, to urge them to change the Farm’s zoning so that it would no longer be within a “Future Housing Reserve”.

You get the sense that UBC definitely wants this resolved as part of the OCP revision:

…there are two other issues that need to be addressed in this plan amendment process.

The first is the resolution of the three Future Housing Reserves identified in the Land Use Plan, one of which contains the UBC Farm. As per the Board of Governors’ resolution of November 2008, this land will be designated for academic purposes when the academic plan for the area is completed and the housing density assigned to the area is transferred to other parts of campus. The academic plan, “Cultivating Place”, is now complete, the density transfer will be addressed in the amendment process and the area’s designation will be changed to a special “green” academic designation. “Cultivating Place” will be the guiding framework for land use in this area.

Final Report on Systemic Discrimination in the AMS

Commissioned last year from SPARC BC at a cost of $12,000, the Final Report on Systemic Discrimination within the AMS has been released. It’s 38 pages of telling the AMS everything they’re doing wrong to the detriment of pretty much everyone.

But wait, how do we know the AMS is such a hotbed of systemic discrimination that such a report is needed?

“The fact that systemic discrimination is likely hidden makes it difficult to diagnose and address. This does not mean that systemic discrimination does not exist,” and thus “this review assumes that systemic discrimination is at work in the AMS and therefore seeks to identify the pattern of systemic discrimination at work in the AMS.” If nothing else, the report does an excellent job attempting to justify its own existence.

The report’s conclusions are well-meaning but not necessarily practical. It highlights communication with the student body as an area in need of major improvement; most within the AMS would concur on this point. It also champions the use of non-voting seats. The report notes the steep learning curve required to be involved on the council level, and suggest ways of flattening that curve. Finally, it expresses affection for equity training, and advocates for (what else?) more research into systemic discrimination in the AMS.

There will be a presentation at the next council meeting (July 14) going over the findings and what the AMS’s plan is to deal with issues of systemic discrimination.

CASA’s coming to Vancouver

CASA’s 2011 AGM will be happening in Vancouver next March! Here’s hoping we’re not in the process of withdrawing our membership for the umpteenth time while that’s going on.

In other CASA news, a new national director was named – Zach Dayler. Dayler is a polisci major coming from Acadia (BA) and Dalhousie (MA).

Bargaining Begins

Contracts for most of the unions operating on campus expire this summer, which means a great deal of admin hours this summer will be devoted to working out new ones.

CUPE 116, representing many of UBC’s non-faculty employees initiated the bargaining process at the end of March, though haven’t yet had their first meeting with UBC.

The contract for CUPE 2278 (UBC’s TA Union) is up on August 31 of this year, though from what we’ve heard, that bargaining process has not begun yet either.

UBC’s Faculty Association has stated their proposals on their website, along with UBC’s proposals to them.

UBC’s Association of Administrative and Professional Staff also has a collective agreement expiring on June 30, 2010, despite the fact that they are not actually a union.

Want to transform the undergrad experience? Use lots of jargon

Enrolment Services are currently working on a Business Process Reengineering (BPR) project, which is focusing on transforming the experiences of undergraduate students at UBC. Everything has the potential to change, including how students are recruited and choose to apply to UBC, applying for awards, selecting a faculty, and registering for courses. Enrolment Services want to make the process as intuitive, simple, and timely as possible.

A BPR project is all about radical change, dramatic outcomes, and the transformation or replacement of an overall process. It’s an eight week process being taken on by a 14 member team, who will then create a report and a set of recommendations. These will then be presented to the Executive Steering Committee, co-chaired by @bowtiebrian himself, Brian Sullivan, and UBC’s Provost, David Farrar.

Such a project also occurred in 2000, and the final report can be found here. Many changes came from that BPR project, and many more will happen from this year’s, called ASIST.

If you want to learn more about the project, and give your thoughts, visit their website:

-From Kevin Byers

Bijan can’t work without pants, wants AMS to buy his clothes for him

During the April 30 AMS Council meeting, Bijan said something to the effect of “I can’t do serious business without pants on.” Nobody thought much of it beyond it being a funny comment. Turns out it may have been an actual plea for pants.

During the executive committee meeting two days before that council meeting, Bijan raised the idea of taking money from the Lobbying Fund to use as a wardrobe budget for execs. Thankfully, the other execs shot that idea down, taking the downright absurd position that “people can buy their own clothes”. Presumably Bijan was able to find some non-AMS-funded clothing to wear and get back to serious business.

Thanks to the UN debacle last year, a few people have started taking the unprecedented step of actually reading all the minutes that get approved. Yes, it’s crazy. But not nearly as insane as these BAFCOM Minutes which also got approved.


6 Comments so far

  1. Crazydan on June 21, 2010 10:01 pm

    From the Executive committee meeting, Jeremy mentioned there’s talks about formation of a new group, “Association of British Columbia Students”.

  2. Neal Yonson on June 21, 2010 10:09 pm

    Very true Dan, and there is already some co-operation going on behind the scenes. I’m taking a “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach to the formation of ABCS for now. Or maybe the Kommander can tell us more.

  3. Dan R. on June 22, 2010 12:32 am


  4. Alex Lougheed on June 22, 2010 3:02 pm

    The branding opportunities for ABCs is way too easy.

  5. Terry-Elysa on June 30, 2010 11:24 am

    Glad to see Bijan is re-vamping the current perception of AMS absurdity….

  6. Z1 guy on July 1, 2010 5:27 am

    The status quo sucks.

    Sent from my iPad 4G

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