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Notes from Council: Different approval route needed for Academic Materials Program

“Several degrees of consultation are still expected,” UASU vice-president (academic) says.

“Notes from Council” is The Gateway’s ongoing series of recaps of noteworthy items from Students’ Council meetings.

At the Students’ Council meeting on October 24, councillors discussed approval routes for the Academic Materials Program (AMP), which council voted to oppose on October 10. As well, they ratified Discipline, Interpretation, and Enforcement (DIE) Board appointments. 

During executive reports, Vice-president (student life) Michael Griffiths announced that the Clean Air Strategy proposal did not pass at General Faculties Council (GFC). According to the proposal’s website, it intended to minimize exposure “to smoke from cigarettes, inhaled cannabis, vapes, and hookah pipes.” Griffiths considered this an “advocacy win,” as that is “what [members] heard from students that they wanted.”

AMP not required to go through original approval route

In his report, Vice-president (academic) Pedro Almeida said that university governance has informed the AMP advisory committee that AMP is not required “to go through the approval route that was originally communicated to students.”

Prior communication said that AMP had to go through the Academic Planning Committee (APC) and the Board Finance and Property Committee. However, AMP only needs approval from the Office of the Provost and Vice-president (academic) and the vice-president (facilities and operations). Almeida said that “several degrees of consultation are still expected” at the administrative level. 

“The requirement is not there for [AMP] to undergo the previously outlined approval process. Whether the university chooses to follow a certain approval route of voting or not hasn’t been outlined yet, to the extent of my knowledge.”

Almeida said that the change in the requirement is due to AMP’s fee category.

“By virtue of being a non-mandatory academic or instructional fee, it essentially falls under a category of unregulated fees that do not have to follow standard approval routes,” Almeida said.

Arts councillor Nathan Thiessen asked if AMP will have to go under consultation through GFC.

“Or, has the university quite blatantly undermined the voices of campus?” Thiessen asked.

Almeida clarified that even with the previous approval process, AMP did not have to get approved at GFC. Additionally, those leading AMP “have made an effort to talk to students” and “consult with faculty and staff.” Almeida wants this to continue so that the “voices of students aren’t undermined in the future.” 

Council appoints members to sustainability and bylaw committees, ratifies DIE board appointments

Council appointed President Christian Fotang to fill the last spot on the Sustainability Committee. Council also appointed science councillor Noor Abdelwahab to Bylaw Committee.

Lastly, council unanimously ratified Heba Khan and Prisha Saran as tribunes on DIE Board. As well, council unanimously ratified Navneet Chand and Leighten Lanzen as associate chief tribunes.

Aparajita Rahman

Aparajita Rahman is the 2023-24 Staff Reporter at The Gateway. She is in her second year, studying Psychology and English. She enjoys reading, and getting lost on transit.

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