Between the Motions: Councillors vote to make AMS president interim VP finance, approve code changes

Last night, AMS execs and councillors met with AMS-branded fans in hand to appoint an interim VP finance and approve several code changes.

Here's what you might’ve missed.

President appointed interim VP finance

Following an almost hour-long in-camera (private) session, councillors voted to appoint AMS President Eshana Bhangu as interim VP finance. Bhangu has been serving in the role temporarily since former VP finance Rita Jin resigned on July 4.

Jin stepped down after Council did not approve the courses she planned to take in the summer and fall terms as required under Section 6, Article 9 of AMS code. At the time, Jin said this part of code could create a barrier to students who might have other time commitments from participating in the AMS, but Bhangu disagreed.

Now, Bhangu will work an additional 20 hours a week on top of her already 37.5 hours of work as president after Council approved a code change to executive work hours earlier in the meeting.

It is unclear how many students applied for the interim VP finance position — which the AMS posted on Dayforce and its social media accounts. Notably, the job posting said the interim VP finance would not be eligible to run in the fall by-election.

In an update to Council given ahead of the in-camera discussion, Bhangu said she was working on several projects with the VP finance office, including writing a quarterly report, working on fee restructuring ideas and updating club treasurer authorizations.

Bhangu will serve as interim until a permanent VP finance is elected in a fall by-election.

AMS code undergoes some changes

Councillors also passed a plethora of AMS code changes brought forward by the Governance Committee.

The approved code changes include creating a new procedure for removing frequently-absent councillors from their assigned committees, changing spoken executive remarks at AMS Council meetings to written submissions, excluding non-voting members from in-camera discussions and more.

Many of the motions passed with no debate, although some councillors asked clarifying questions around others.

During the question period around a code change that would allow the Finance Committee to approve any amendments to the budget that are under $5,000 without Council approval, Arts Councillor Matthew Ho asked if Council would be notified of these changes.

Governance Committee Chair Audrey Chow said the Finance Committee would only inform Council of these changes if it wanted to.

This code change eventually passed.