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Encyclopedia > Alma Mater Society of the University of British Columbia
AMS logo

The Alma Mater Society (AMS) is the student society of UBC and represents more than 43,000 undergraduate and graduate students at UBC. The AMS also operates student services, student owned businesses, resource groups and clubs. In addition to offering services to students, the AMS is an advocate of student issues and ensures the needs of students are presented to the University Administration and the Provincial and Federal governments. Currently, the AMS is a member school of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). AMS logo File links The following pages link to this file: University of British Columbia Alma Mater Society ... The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a Canadian public university with its main campus located at Point Grey in the unincorporated Electoral Area A, immediately west of Vancouver, British Columbia. ... In some educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a Bachelors degree. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Alternate uses: Student (disambiguation) Etymologically derived through Middle English from the Latin second-type conjugation verb stŭdērĕ, which means to study, a student is one who studies. ... The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) was formed in 1995, by several post-secondary institutions students unions who had withdrawn from the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) in a dispute over its policies and organizational structure. ...

The AMS represents UBC students within the Greater Vancouver area. Students at UBC's Okanagan campus are represented by the University of British Columbia Students' Union - Okanagan.


Mission statement

To improve the quality of the educational, social, and personal lives of the students of UBC.

The Alma Mater Society will promote high-quality student learning. It will advocate student interests, as well as those of the University of British Columbia and post-secondary education as a whole. The Society will provide its members with diverse opportunities to become exceptional leaders. It will be flexible enough to accommodate the changing world. The AMS's priorities will be determined by its members. The Society will foster communication, both internally and externally, in order to be democratic, fair, accountable to, and accessible to its members. It will provide services students want and can use. It will cultivate unity and goodwill among its members, but will also encourage free and open debate, as well as respect for differing views. It will solve problems constructively. The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a Canadian public university with its main campus located at Point Grey in the unincorporated Electoral Area A, immediately west of Vancouver, British Columbia. ...


The highest decision-making body of the AMS is the Student Council. Meeting every two weeks during the Academic Year, and at least once a month during the summer, this body has representatives from each of the Schools and Faculties of UBC, as well as the five members of the Executive, two representatives of the Student Senate Caucus, the two Vancouver student members of the UBC Board of Governors, and several non-voting positions including the Executive Coordinator of Student Services, the Ombudsperson, and representatives from Regent College and the Vancouver School of Theology. Members of Council are the Directors of the Society (as defined under the Society Act of British Columbia) and are responsible for all high-level financial and legal decisions made by the AMS - including the overseeing of internal procedures (known as the Code of Procedure), a $10.5 million budget, the Student Union Building, and policy statements. For the UK college, see Regent College, Leicester Regent College is a graduate school of Christian Studies, located next to the campus of the University of British Columbia in the University Endowment Lands west of Vancouver, British Columbia, and is an affiliated college of that university. ... The Vancouver School of Theology (or VST) is a theological graduate school located on the campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC) in the University Endowment Lands, west of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ...

The operations of the AMS are governed by a five-member Executive, as well as a professional General Manager and the Executive Coordinator of Student Services. The Executive includes include the President, the Vice-President Academic and University Affairs, the Vice-President Finance, the Vice-President Administration, and the Vice-President External Affairs. Members of the 2007-2008 AMS Executive are:

  • Jeff Friedrich (President)
  • Brendon Goodmurphy (Vice-President Academic and University Affairs)
  • Brittany Tyson (Vice-President Finance)
  • Sarah Naiman (Vice-President Administration)
  • Matthew Naylor (Vice-President External Affairs)

Members of the Executive are elected in a campus-wide election each January, along with five Senators-at-Large to the UBC Senate, and two student representatives to the UBC Board of Governors.

Until February 2004, candidates running for Executive positions ran as part of a slate. The 2005 AMS election was the first election which the AMS saw electoral candidates run as independents. Some of the more memorable slates were Students for Students (more right-leaning candidates with strong support from athletes, fraternities and residences), Action Now/Students' Voice/SPAN-Student Progressive Action Network (more left-leaning candidates with strong support from students living off-campus, the safety community and minority groups) and the Radical Beer Faction (the longest-running slate in AMS history). Political parties Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A political party is a political organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ...

By paying student fees, a student becomes a member of the AMS. Membership entitles students to vote in AMS elections and referenda, and utilize the many services that are provided by the student society and the university. Membership can refer to: Set membership - comprising part of a set in mathematics Social group membership - in sociology, the process of socialisation aims/results in achieving membership of a social group This is a disambiguation page — a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Voting is a method of decision making wherein a group such as a meeting or an electorate attempts to gauge its opinion—usually as a final step following discussions or debates. ... A students union, student government, or student council is a student organization present at many colleges and universities, often with its own building on the campus, dedicated to social and organizational activities of the student body. ... Representation of a university class, 1350s. ...


The following history of the AMS and UBC has been compiled by Sheldon Goldfarb, AMS Archivist


1899 - 1900: Vancouver College, primarily a high school, begins offering post-secondary courses accredited by Montreal's McGill University. Six students enroll in the post- secondary program (enrollment reaches 30 in 1905-06).

Fall 1906: McGill University College of British Columbia (McGill BC) open, replacing the post-secondary program at Vancouver College and offering university-level instruction to 48 students (enrollment in later years rise to about 300).

Fall 1907: McGill BC's students organize a student society know as the Alma Mater Society. First president: F.J. Shearer.

Early Days, Fairview Campus

September 1915: Opening of UBC, first true university in the province, temporarily housed in McGill BC's old buildings (called the 'Fairview Shacks') at 12th and Oak. McGill BC closes; many of its professors and students continue at UBC (though some go overseas to fight in World War I).

October 15, 1915: Birthday of the Alma Mater Society (AMS) of UBC; students meet and adopt constitution for new student society; Sherwood Lett elected first AMS President later that month.

December 1916: First UBC student publication, a monthly magazine called the Anonymous (later renamed Ubicee).

October 17, 1918: First issue of new student newspaper called the Ubyssey.

October 28, 1922: The Great Trek. All 1200 UBC students march from the Fairview campus to the site of the still unbuilt campus in Point Grey (the current campus), demanding that the government provide the money needed for construction. (The government agrees.)

Point Grey: The First 40 Years

September 1925: First classes at the new Point Grey campus.

April 27, 1928: The students incorporate their Alma Mater Society as an independent nonprofit society in order to raise money for campus building.

November 9, 1929: Official opening of UBC's first gymnasium, built with money raised by the AMS: first of many campus building projects initiated by students through the AMS.

1936-37: Film Society founded; first year's film presentations include Thunder over Mexico, Fra Diavolo, and Ali Baba.

September 1937: Distant origin of CiTR. AMS begins weekly half-hour radio broadcasts on local radio station (directed by a new club, the Radio Society).

January 31, 1940: Official opening of Brock Hall, the first UBC student union building, paid for largely by funds raised by the AMS.

January 1949: The Dance Club (constituted the previous year) begins functioning, advertising classes in the tango, the rumba, and the fox trot.

October 25, 1954: Fire at Brock Hall; roof falls in; students launch fundraising campaign to pay for restoration.

December 1956: The Second Trek. A student petition campaign convinces the government to increase funding for the University.

March 1963: The Third Trek (the 'Back Mac' Campaign). Students march, boycott classes, and petition in support of UBC President John B. Macdonald's request for increased funding and greater access to higher education.

Point Grey: The Last 30 Years

October 18, 1967: Students elected to the University Senate for the first time.

September 26, 1968: Opening of current Student Union Building, paid for largely by AMS funds.

October 24, 1968: Urged on by U.S. hippie leader Jerry Rubin, thousands of UBC students occupy the Faculty Club. The AMS Student Council condemns the occupation, but helps organize a teach-in the following week on university reform.

January 1969: Radio Society begins broadcasting as CYVR (becomes CITR in 1974; begins broadcasting off-campus on cable in 1975 and on FM in 1982).

September 24, 1971: About 2000 students heed an AMS call to block the U.S. border to protest nuclear testing on Amchitka Island in Alaska.

December 1974: Students elected to the University Board of Governors for the first time (one is Svend Robinson, now an NDP MP).

November 1975: Referendum revamps AMS structure, creating the Student Administrative Commission (SAC), the body responsible for implementing AMS policy established by Student Council.

April 1, 1977: AMS Student Court orders the AMS to pay compensation to the Varsity Outdoors Club (VOC) in a dispute over ownership of the Whistler cabin (built by the VOC in 1965). AMS Student Council refuses to approve the Court ruling. A compromise is later reached.

February 4, 1986: Bowing to protests, the Engineers replace their annual Lady Godiva ride with a mock funeral procession, but then stage a strip show in the Hebb Theatre. (The rides subsequently resume for a few more years, but eventually are discontinued.) Lady Godiva by John Collier, ca 1897 Godiva (or Godgifu) (c. ...

January 1987: Students vote against banning the sale of South African products in the SUB.

September 1989: Students vote against paying a $30 AMS fee to build the Student Recreation Centre, reversing a vote from the year before. (The University administration then introduces its own $40 student fee to pay for the Centre.)

1994-95: The Ubyssey does not publish all year, following conflicts with the AMS Executive sparked by controversial articles in 1993-94. In 1995-96, the Ubyssey is reborn as an independent publication (no longer published by the AMS).

February 14, 1996: The AMS officially announces its new Child Care Bursary Fund, named after Mrs. Evelyn Lett, a member of the first AMS Student Council in 1915-16. Mrs. Lett, aged 99, attends the ceremony and makes a short speech.

November 25, 1997: The summit of leaders from member nations of APEC (the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization) turns violent as protesters on campus are sprayed by police with pepper spray. The incident leads to widespread condemnation of the police, lawsuits, and a public inquiry.

January 22, 1998: A successful lawsuit by four UBC students forces UBC to refund $1 million in fees that it collected in violation of a provincial tuition freeze.

February-March 2002: BC Liberal government lifts six-year-old tuition freeze; UBC raises fees for first time since mid-1990’s.

February 2003: In the largest turnout ever for a referendum, students vote to introduce the U-Pass, a cheap bus pass for students.

February-March 2003: UBC teaching assistants go on strike until legislated back to work. A settlement is later reached through arbitration.

March 2004: UBC and the provincial government announce the creation of a new UBC campus in the Okanagan, to open in 2005 on the grounds of the old Okanagan University College.

February 2005: In a vote surpassing even the first U-Pass referendum, over 19,000 students vote in favour of continuing the U-Pass at a slightly higher price.

AMS Presidents

  • 98. Jeff Friedrich (2007-Present)
  • 97. Kevin Keystone (2006-2007)
  • 96. Spencer Keys (2005-2006)

--In February 2004 slates were banned in AMS elections[1]. All following posts have elected Independent candidates by default.--

  • 95. Amina Rai - Student Progressive Action Network (2004-2005)
  • 94. Oana Chirila - Students for Students (2003-2004)
  • 93. Kristen Harvey - Students for Students (2002-2003)
  • 92. Erfan Kazemi - Students for Students (2001-2002)
  • 91. Maryann Adamec - Students for Students (2000-2001)
  • 90. Ryan Marshall - Students for Students (1999-2000)
  • 89. Vivian Hoffmann - Action Now (1998-1999)
  • 88. Ryan Davies - Students for Students (1997-1998)
  • 87. David Borins - Independent (1996-1997)
  • 86. Janice Boyle - Independent (1995-1996)
  • 85. Bill Dobie - Students First/Vote for Experience (1993-1995)
  • 84. Martin Ertl - Students Voice (1992-1993)
  • 83. Jason Brett - Unity (1991-1992)
  • 82. Kurt Preinsperg (1990-1991)
  • 81. Mike Lee (1989-1990)
  • 80. Tim Bird (1988-1989)

External links

  • Official site
  • University site


  1. ^ http://www.ams.ubc.ca/downloads/February%2025_2004_Council.pdf

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  Results from FactBites:
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/University of British Columbia (3484 words)
The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a Canadian public university with its main campus located at Point Grey in the unincorporated Electoral Area A, immediately west of Vancouver, British Columbia.
The university is one of only two Canadian universities to have membership in Universitas 21, an international association of research-led institutions (McGill University is the other).
Notable alumni of the University of British Columbia
  More results at FactBites »



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