G L U I A D E U N N A OUR
JANUARY 27, 2013 | VolUme XCV| IssUe XXXV I rUfUS W mCGOOfUS SInCE 1918
OUR ANNUAL GUIDE
OUR ANNUAL GUIDE presents
The AMS Elections
WIN AN ELECTION and inﬂ uence people P6 The AMS Elections presents
What to do when
NOBODY CARES A history of
P5 THE UBYSSEY BA CANDIDATE P10
THEBINGO! UBYSSEYCK Make the AMS debates fun again with our drinking optional elections game
and don’t forget about
Monday, January 27, 2014 |
YOUR GUIDE TO UBC EVENTS + PEOPLE
WHAT’S ON MONDAY
this week, may we suggest...
ONE ON ONE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UBC
THE GREAT DEBATE
5 p.m. @ HILLEL HOUSE, 2nd floor
The last debate to feature every candidate from every race. Get informed before voting starts, which is also today. Hesistant to start diving into AMS politics? There’s a free dinner.
THE UBYSSEY’S PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 5 p.m. @ THE GALLERY
Watch as we ask the hard-hitting questions to this year’s presidential candidates. Coincides with Karaoke Night at the Gallery, so making the candidates sing is not off the table. Free
IS THERE RAPE CULTURE IN POLITICS? 6:15 p.M.– 8 p.m. @ IKB RM 182
A roundtable discussion hosted by the Sexual Assault Support Centre as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Visit gotconsent.ca for more information. Light refreshments served. Free
ON THE COVER
Sometimes covers are all about iterations. This for this typographic cover, we developed four different covers between two different designers. As you can see, the final result is a massive improvement on the first draft.
Outside of AMS politics, Tanner Bokor can play three different types of saxophone.
Tanner Bokor: old soul, civil servant, music man Sarah Bigam News Editor
Tanner Bokor was rejected from UBC. “I remember calling up my admissions officer who had sent me the letter and basically saying this is where I really want to go. After doing so much research on the university I really fell in love with it and I just said I want a chance,” Bokor said. Later, Bokor was sitting in a scholarship dinner when he opened up his phone and saw that the verdict had been revised: he had an acceptance letter to the Faculty of Arts. When Bokor first came here in 2011, he had a brief but memorable stint writing for The Ubyssey . He was the guest editor for a feature on transit issues, which is fitting given that buses, the U-Pass and Compass cards are a lot of what he deals with these days as the current AMS VP external. His first published story involved finding the four most expensive buildings on campus. After attending several AMS council meetings as a reporter, educating himself in hack-speak and — coincidentally enough — covering the VP external elections race in 2012, Bokor decided he was more interested in what the AMS did, so he applied for a position as associate VP external. He got the job. The next year, he ran unopposed for VP external, and won. Now a third-year history major, Bokor is making the run for president on a platform of transparency, executive reorgan<em>
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JANUARY 26, 2014 | Volume XCV| Issue XXXVI
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PHOTO Steven Richards/THE UBYSSEY
ization and creating a transition plan for the move to the New SUB. “I always recognize the fact that UBC took a very large chance on me,” Bokor said. “Something that I always try to keep in mind when I’m in these types of positions is giving back and being thankful.” Outside of UBC politics, Bokor describes himself as a democrat — but sometimes further left than democrats on social issues — but says that in Canada he doesn’t take a political position. “I don’t think that should be in student politics in the first place,” he said. “We should be doing what’s in the best interest of all our students, not one ideology or another. So I try to just keep an open mind more than anything.” In between work, Bokor found time to help create the Thunderbird marching band in May 2012. A musician of 13 years, Bokor can play the flute, clarinet, piano, guitar and three different types of saxophone. He also DJs. “I started with jazz and it’s still my favourite. I tend to be a bit of an old soul, I guess,” said Bokor. “The first CD I ever had was a Glen Miller CD. My grandmother played it for me all the time, I really fell in love with that. Of course I thought that Glen Miller was a sax player when he was actually a trombone player, but I was 12, so what can I say?” Bokor used to want to be a musician; now he plans to either be a teacher or to get involved in politics as a member of the civil service.
His other hobbies include photography, writing opinion pieces, web design and coding, although he doesn’t get much time for any of these while working 95 hours a week as VP external.
I always recognize the fact that UBC took a very large chance on me. Tanner Bokor AMS presidential candidate
Bokor initially applied to UBC’s School of Music, but according to him, there was a postal strike the week the materials were due and they did not make it in before the deadline. But once Bokor started in the Faculty of Arts, he never looked back. “I realized my interest became more so in politics, and more so in social sciences, so that’s where I put a lot of my effort in.” Bokor said he first became interested in politics after working to save music education programs in his municipality. “It was a twist of fate how the whole situation played out, but ultimately, I’m quite happy.” U This is the third of four profiles on the AMS presidential candidates.
Know someone at UBC who’s done something interesting? Think they deserve to be profiled in Our Campus? Email all candidates to email@example.com.
Monday, January 27, 2014
| TABLE OF CONTENTS | 3
NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE AMS. But you should.
t’s easy to be cynical, and The Ubyssey is certainly not above skepticism about the importance of student government. That said, we all care about what happens on this campus, and voting in these elections has a bigger impact than you might think. So we ask you to pay a little more attention to AMS news this week, and hopefully you’ll cast a ballot before voting closes at the end of the week. In case you need some motivation, let me list a couple things the AMS has done recently. They created the U-Pass, and have kept it alive despite TransLink’s reluctance. They made gym passes and REC intramurals affordable for all students, again, despite a skeptical university administration. The AMS organizes one of the best club networks in Canada and manages medical insurance that provides fair access to health services for students. The society makes sure that our voice is heard by administrators and by the province, whether it be plans for new condos or cuts to loans and bursaries. On board yet? Well, you’re already holding this issue, so
read on to figure out just how you should vote. We’ve covered every race and ballot question (see the table of contents on the right), and added in a few longer articles that go in depth into a few topics we thought you’d find interesting. We ask why one obvious campus group is being ignored by candidates (pg. 7). In the year that not-joke joke candidate Winnie Code has attracted a strong set of followers, we take a look at past joke candidates (pg. 5) and answer the pressing the question — do they ever win? We also try to figure out whether you really have to be good looking to win student elections (pg. 6) and just what makes us vote — or not vote, as the case may be (pg. 4). We also have full coverage of the history of the student brewery project (pg. 19) and a game of elections bingo in case you get bored. Keep an eye out for our endorsements coming out Wednesday evening, and don’t forget to attend our presidential debate on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Gallery. See you then. —Geoff Lister, Coordinating Editor
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S FEATURES
Why college students do (or don’t) vote P4 The research comes to some unsettling conclusions, but there is more the AMS could be doing to get students excited about voting. by Arno Rosenfeld
A brief history of the joke candidate P5 Highlighting the best in a proud UBC tradition. by Rhys Edwards
VP admin P8 VP academic P9 President P10 VP external P11 VP finance P12
How to campaign like a pro P6
Attractiveness, popularity, track record, oh my! Interviews with experts and past candidates on what it takes to reign supreme in the AMS elections. by Ming Wong
An untapped oasis? UBC varsity athletes say candidates ignore them P7 With candidates focused so heavily on targetting engaged groups, why are athletes overlooked? by CJ Pentland
Board of Governors P13–14 Senate P15–16 Student Legal Fund Society P17 Referenda P18 Student brewery timeline P19 Election bingo P20
MONDAy, JANUARy 27, 2014
4 | VOTER TURNOUT |
N AtIo stR IllU
Herding students Arno Rosenfeld
he conventional wisdom about AMS politics, and elections in particular, is that only a small portion of the student body cares about the AMS or votes in their elections. Voter apathy, especially among young people, is a cause for great concern among political scientists and others. In fact, the “Democracy Day” events held at UBC as part of Democracy Week earlier this school year focused on how to get more young people to vote. But generally, studies done on voter turnout focus on larger elections that, while more important in the abstract sense, actually have little bearing on the daily lives of students at UBC. While progressive UBC students may be perturbed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s domestic and foreign policy, the aging Albertan has no say over what artists Block Party features this year — or whether it is held in a nightclub, as presidential candidate Jackson Chen has suggested. With citizen engagement often measured by national voter turnout, the emphasis inevitably hinges on larger notions of the integrity of democracy. “If I don’t vote, you don’t vote, we all don’t vote, what happens to our democracy?” Max Cameron, director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, and a political science professor at UBC, asked in an interview with The Ubyssey in the fall. <em>
But the view Cameron puts forth — of democracy as an institution an active citizenry must safeguard — doesn’t ring true when it comes to student elections. While not voting does not necessarily diminish or erode democracy at UBC, whether or not we vote in elections has a serious impact on our experience at university. One of the few empirical attempts to answer the question of why college students do or do not vote came in 2005 when two University of Iowa professors examined voter turnout in student government elections at American colleges and universities. The researchers, Kimberly M. Lewis and Tom W. Rice, found that most schools had a voter turnout rate of less than 25 per cent, though some achieved nearly 70 per cent. While the study examined numerous independent variables such as the prevalence of Greek life on campus, a school’s admission rate, how many students came from out of state, whether online voting was used and whether candidates ran together on a ticket, they reached a discouraging conclusion. Essentially, they concluded that tweaking the details of a given election’s rules will have little impact, and that students come into university essentially programmed to participate in elections — or not to, as the case may be. The variables they noticed impacting voter turnout were essentially proxies for the socioeconomic status of students’ parents. “One way to increase turnout would be to attract more students from well-to-do and well-educated families,” Lewis and Rice wrote, adding that “turnout would increase
if public schools went private, the number of students eligible to vote was decreased, the difficulty of getting in was increased [and] fewer students were admitted.” Calling the results “not particularly good news” and adding that “all of these recommendations are either difficult, impractical, or both,” the two researchers did offer some practical steps that were shown to increase turnout. Student societies which hold their presidential elections at the same time as elections for other positions, as UBC does, boost turnout by an average of four per cent. Validating another practice employed in AMS elections, schools with online voting boosted turnout again on average by four per cent. One area where the AMS elections staff could take a hint is when it comes to the rules governing campaigns. While the study suggests a direct link between more advertising by candidates and higher voter turnout, the AMS tightly governs campaigns at UBC. Rules such as banning more than one poster per candidate on a given bulletin board and requiring the “AMS Elections” logo to appear on all campaign material — including private Facebook profile pictures and campaign websites — can put a damper on campaigns. This year’s elections administrator, Roddy Lai, has repeatedly sanctioned candidates for violations. One of the most ironic elements of voter turnout is that it appears to decrease as direct impact of an election on a given individual’s life increases. Americans, who often face 12 elections in a four-year period, vote in far higher numbers
A IAN INd
Y UB he l/t e Jo
Proven methods of boosting voter turnout are impractical and undesirable, but AMS Elections could help by reducing campaign regulations for president than for their mayors or county officials. Despite this general trend, UBC has managed to buck it on occasion. Last year, the university saw its highest voter turnout in the history of the AMS, with 43.9 per cent of students, or 22,405 out of 51,085 eligible students, participating. Of course, most of that can be attributed to the U-Pass referendum — which can effectively be seen as the result of students realizing that, if they did not vote, they might lose their free transit (and even then, tens of thousands of students nonetheless declined to vote). Jenny Chen, last year's elections administrator, attributed the 2013 turnout to a handful of factors. “We combined our U-Pass referendum with the student elections, we dispersed poll clerks all over campus, we partnered with groups around campus [and used] an aggressive guerilla marketing strategy,” she explained in an email to online news site studentunion.ca. Of course, the AMS pulled out all the stops to ensure the U-Pass referendum passed, something that is not on the ballot this year. The famous maxim that one cannot abstain from voting and then complain about what their elected officials do is never more true than in AMS elections, but it is nothing for AMS administrators to be proud of. Most students do not complain about the AMS because they are oblivious as to what the society is doing. Increasing turnout at UBC, and maintaining it at levels such as last year’s incredibly high rate, will make students care more about what their student society is doing — and that’s something that will benefit everyone. U
Turnout would increase if public schools went private, the number of student eligible to vote was decreased, the diﬃculty of getting in was increased and fewer students were admitted Kimberly M. Lewis and Tom W. Rice Professors at the university of Iowa
MONDAy, JANUARy 27, 2014
Eighty years of mischi ef
A look back at the history of UBC’s most iconoclastic joke candidates
| JOKE CANDIDATES | 5
For nearly as long as the University of British Columbia has existed, people have been taking the piss out of the annual AMS elections. Though plenty of students — particularly those working for The Ubyssey — have criticized candidates, attitudes toward student government and the electoral process from the sidelines, many others have taken it a step further by running as a joke candidate. The rationale behind such a gambit has always varied: some create fake platforms in order to expose ﬂaws within the electoral system; some try to draw attention to issues other candidates are ignoring; and some simply do it for the laughs. Although the AMS has gradually made the requirements for candidacy more and more stringent over the years, the frequency with which pranksters appear in the ballots has also increased. Year after year, joke candidates inject a dash of colour into what might otherwise be an excruciatingly dull procedure, and year after year, we waste time and ink writing about them. We’ve dug deep into our archives to glean a survey of some of the most prominent joke candidates and parties to have ever run in the AMS elections. Though not an exhaustive list, it provides a cursory trip into the annals of student politics history. To date, a joke candidate has never won an AMS, Senate or Board of Governors election.
ruFus w. mcgooFus (presiDent)
Although students couldn’t actually vote for him, Rufus W. McGoofus (the W stands for “Washout”) was the first ever joke candidate to appear in The Ubyssey. He made his first appearance in the paper’s Muck-A-Muck humour page on March 8, 1929, and would reappear several times during election issues until 1932. Among other things, McGoofus wanted to put all fraternities on a 10-year probation, demanded that one-cent candies and free water be available in the cafeteria, and advocated for “a lower tariff on Pie.”
Joseph Q. blotZ (presiDent)
As a pseudo-fictitious character, Blotz was the first joke candidate students could actually vote for. A secondyear Science student and a member of I Phelta Thi fraternity, Blotz’ platform included “closer co-operation,” “very aggressive policy,” “continuation of Science faculty” and a “SECRET PLANK” [sic]. Campaign slogans included “If you vote for Joe, you will have BLOTZ to be thankful for” and “The Blotzkrieg has begun.” Competing against five other candidates, he received 20 of the 1,379 votes cast that year.
the non-conForming calathumpians (slate)
Days before the 1963 AMS nominations closed, the candidates for president, second vice-president and secretary were still unopposed. Backed by the fictitious Non-Conforming Calathumpians Party (slogan: “Vote in a lump. Vote Calathump.”), Eric “Red” Wilson, Bill Wilson and Catherine “Trina” Janitch entered at the last minute in order to create competition. Mocking student apathy and obtuse campaigning, Eric Wilson said: “Together we will move ahead, vacillate magnificently, regress nobly, [and] fence-sit scientifically.” After losing, one M. Horsey, leader of the party, announced the group’s retirement from politics.
Doug tuck (presiDent)
A fourth-year Arts student, Tuck ran against three other presidential candidates. Although campus political debate in 1973 was lively, Tuck campaigned as student representative of apathy; any votes against him, or abstentions, were in his view actually votes for him, since they effectively endorsed apathy. In a campaign statement published in the paper, Tuck said: “The Ubyssey is humourless, and condescends to print wit only when necessary [sic], in the letters to the editor.” Our staff edited the length of his statement with the following excuse: “[Your statement continued with a lot of boring stuff saying how boring The Ubyssey is. We decided to cut it, not wanting to make the paper any more boring than you say it already is.]” <em>
the international platypus party (slate)
Consisting of Kevin Twa and Charles Menzies (no connection to the sociology professor of the same name), both candidates ran for every AMS position available. Affiliated with the Canadian Rhinoceros Party, Menzies explained that Platypus International was analogous to the platypus itself: “[It has] everything but is suited for absolutely nothing.” The Ubyssey described the Platypus platform as being “a solid piece of oak, covered in a tacky teak veneer mounted on four legs standing about four feet off the ground” — potentially a dig at the $10,000 said to have been spent on the AMS Council table on the second floor of the SUB. The party would go on to run as a serious slate the following year. <em>
Famous DeaD people (slate)
Exactly as their title suggests, Famous Dead People included John F. Kennedy running for president, Dr. Seuss for VP and Salvador Dali for director of finance, among others (Dali: “As a mystic I believe man is an alchemic matter capable of being turned into gold. This can be harvested and placed in GICs.”). The slate performed surprisingly well; three of the candidates managed to avoid coming last — against real people — in their races. A product of UBC Science Fiction Society Vice-President David New and cohorts, New theorized that people voted for them out of frustration. Their campaign cost $40 in total.
kommanDer keg (Vp aDmin)
Of the numerous inanimate objects who have competed for student votes in recent years, perhaps none is so memorable as the charismatic Kommander Keg, creation of Jeremy McElroy (who would later become AMS president in 2011). The Kommander, bedecked in bandoliers of ammunition, was carted around campus by a team of armed bodyguards and attractive women. The Keg pushed for an on-campus dictatorship, the fortification of the SUB, and the unilateral redistribution of GPAs for all students. Special note should be made for the Radical Beer Faction, to whom the Kommander was affiliated in spirit, if not directly. The RBF ran as a slate from 1991 until 2004, when slates were banned; RBF candidates, rallying against UBC’s reputation as a “no-fun” school, were frequently among the most popular candidates during elections. Fire Hydrant, a prominent former member of the RBF, lost an election for the Board of Governors in 2005 by only six votes. U
6 | WINNING |
Monday, January 27, 2014
How to make friends
Caroline Wong used the variety of connections she made through her positions in organizations such as the Arts Undergraduate Society to win the 2013 presidential election.
FILE PHOTO geoff lister/the ubyssey
and influence people What does it take for student politicians to run a successful election campaign?
Ming Wong Managing Editor, Print
As spectators, it’s easy for us to judge candidates from afar and mock poor slogan choices, the angle of their campaign portraits and silly platform points. But is there really a surefire way to win in the AMS elections? In most elections, an uninformed voter at the very least can connect a candidate’s name with their party affiliation and what they stand for, says Richard Johnston, UBC political science professor and Canada research chair in public opinion, elections and representation. “Where you don’t have parties ... it becomes much murkier.” Slates, the AMS’s form of parties, have been banned since 2005, and candidates face disqualification for pooling resources and campaigning together. Johnston classifies the AMS elections as a low-information election, where students who don’t follow AMS politics don’t really know what’s going on. Student candidates are no Mulcair, Harper or Trudeau, at least in terms of name recognition. They’re “best known to each other, but realistically not particularly well-known outside the circles of people who operate the AMS and Ubyssey reporters,” he says. From 1991 to 2004, every president served as an AMS VP prior to winning. That trend picked up <em>
again in 2011, but this year only one of the four candidates running served as an executive last year. In 2008, Michael Duncan was victorious against then-VP external Matthew Naylor, managing to win the presidential race 1,475 votes to 484. He made up for his lack of VP experience by working his way up the Science Undergraduate Society power ladder, from first-year rep to president. “I think one of the biggest differences in the campaign was the way we talked to the general student [population],” said Duncan. Naylor made classroom announcements; Duncan opted for the one-on-one contact with students, approaching them while they ate, for example. He says you get more time talking to individuals than getting rushed out by the prof after a minute or two. AMS archivist Sheldon Goldfarb said that prior to 2005, the slate candidates almost always won. Slates were banned in 2005 in a move spearheaded by current BoG candidate Spencer Keys. Keys served as AMS president in 2005–2006 and worked as communications staff for the society. He wrote for the now-defunct blog UBC Insiders about how to win elections. His theory is that students aren’t looking at just platforms, but looking for a person who has a proven record to do things. “It’s what you have done,” he said.
Did we mention you should be goodlooking? Another important factor in winning elections is, put bluntly, being attractive. A Louisiana State University study showed that physical attractiveness indirectly correlates with election results because attractive people are generally more popular. Less attractive people are disadvantaged, not because of physical appearance alone, but simply because they have less friends and associates they can draw on for votes and campaign support. “When was the last time a bald person was prime minister of Canada?” said Johnston, the UBC professor. (Pierre Trudeau — sort of.) He says there is some anecdotal and somewhat contrived experimental evidence that suggests the casual relationship is real. As superficial as it sounds, Johnston says it probably helps to be on the tall, slim side with regular features. “I absolutely don’t want that to be the case,” said Duncan of the study. He says he has a good number of connections on social media, but thinks his “human capital” — the metric used in the LSU study — came more from being involved and interacting with people. But however one measures it, popularity has a lot to do with
winning, especially when elections are won with hundreds or thousands of votes rather than the millions of federal and provincial elections. “There is a large element of truth in that — if not popularity, at least visibility,” Johnston confirmed. “I really hate campaigning,” said Caroline Wong, current AMS president. “It’s a huge popularity contest, but I’ll put myself through it just to do the job I love to do because the opportunity’s amazing.” Wong has run in four races and, like Duncan, she worked her way up her constituency over a four-year period from the Arts Undergraduate Society all the way to AMS presidency.
Wong said people should try to stand out from the Internet noise. Despite the plethora of event invitations on Facebook and slogans on Twitter, she says nothing compares to face-to-face contact when you stop someone on campus or make a classroom announcement. “It’s easy to engage people who are already engaged,” said Wong, talking about students already involved in the Greek system, undergraduate societies and large clubs. That said, she thinks it’s important to drill into apathetic students’ head that voting is worthwhile. “You find out what they care about. Before you even campaign, you really want to know: what do students value? What do students want?” U
Tips and tricks If you’re reading this now looking for campaign pointers for this year, it might be too late. “You can’t think of it as just a two-week period,” Duncan said of the campaign period. “I spent a lot of time building up my brand,” he said, mentioning his SUS past and pink cowboy hat as key features for which people, even today, still recognize him. “I focused a lot on getting everybody I know to talk to everyone they know,” said Duncan. “I made that request of my friends, to talk to at least 10 of their friends who weren’t involved in the elections.”
winning poster aesthetics According to Johnston, national colours are what get people going. “This is a hunch, but the important thing is to be recognizable. [You] probably don’t want to use black.” Design-minded candidates, we’d like you to prove him wrong — maybe not this year, but next year.
Monday, January 27, 2014
| ATHLETES MATTER | 7
PHOTO kaveh sarhangpour/THE UBYSSEY
UBC varsity athletes are a united community of around 600, yet AMS candidates don’t often introduce policies that cater to them as a whole.
The athlete vote: do AMS candidates cater to T-Birds? CJ Pentland Managing Editor, Web
With a campus of over 50,000 students and voter turnout often failing to break 15 per cent, AMS elections candidates are known to target specific constituency groups. Why bother standing on Main Mall handing out brochures, trying to win over individual students — most of whom won't even be voting — when you could target the leaders of a handful of engaged groups of students? This strategy leads to things like the InterFraternity Council endorsements, where presidential hopefuls make their pitch to the leaders of UBC’s fraternities in the hope that an IFC endorsement will carry weight with students in the Greek community, who may be more engaged with university life and thus more likely to vote than the average student. But one group that would seem a likely candidate for courting is
apparently nowhere on the radar of this year’s candidates. There are around 600 varsity athletes at UBC, and yet student politicians have done little to cater to them. None of the athletes interviewed for this article said they had noticed any AMS candidates specifically pitching to them in order to sway their vote, be it during this year’s campaign on in past ones. “I just looked at some of the candidates, and one of them mentioned student-athletes with the sports targeting review, but apart from that, I’ve never had anyone approach me or the team,” said fifth-year cross-country and track and field athlete David Slade. David Scott, a fifth-year receiver on the football team, and Emily Wilson, a third-year soccer player, said they haven’t noticed anything targeting athletes, except for Scott receiving flyers outside the SUB and being asked to vote.
Bailey Komishke, a fourthyear rugby player in Science, said she and her teammates haven’t been pitched to, but she thinks some candidates try to appeal to athletes in their platforms. However, she hasn’t seen any follow-through from past candidates. Two years ago, AMS presidential candidate Matt Parson talked about how he planned to drum up support for Thunderbird games by organizing events at the Pit and then having students head over to War Memorial Gymnasium for games. Parson was elected president, but the events were not a regular occurrence. Scott said he’d like to see candidates offering to promote Thunderbird games in order to increase attendance. Scott said such a promise would “absolutely” be enough to sway his vote. Komishke echoed a similar sentiment when it came to what might bring her around to a specific candidate. “Something that gets more
people to engage with athletics [or] gets more students using REC and athletics programs. Just a better connection between the AMS and athletes,” she said. It isn’t just a promise for promotion that would get athletes to pay more attention to them. Wilson wants someone who will be a voice for minorities at UBC — specifically, someone who is more open about discussing queer issues and addressing issues such as the FROSH chants. She has voted previously in AMS elections, and stressed the importance to get more people voting. “I do want to see more people trying to reach out more to athletes, because I know that girls on my team especially, even when the provincial and federal elections were going on, none of them voted — like probably three or four of us voted, which I thought was pretty horrendous,” Wilson said. “[I want] someone that represents the student body well and works to engage students through
Many students are avid supporters of UBC varsity athletics, and would potentially listen to athletes if they endorsed certain AMS candidates.
programs and policies so that everyone has a niche and feels welcome at UBC,” said Komishke. Many of the niches at UBC are pitched to — commuter students, international students, firstyears, clubs with SUB space — but it appears the athlete group has fallen by the wayside. From talking to the athletes, it appears it would be an easy problem to fix; the general consensus is that the teams don’t know enough about what is going on during election time, and don’t know how it will benefit them either as an athlete or as a UBC student. “I never hear about when the elections are, [and] I never hear what any of the candidates would have to say or what their ideas are,” said Scott. “It’s just I don’t know; I never hear about it.” There are around 600 votes up for grabs — that is more than enough to not only win an election, but perhaps also help combat UBC’s lack of school spirit. U <em>
—With files from Natalie Scadden
PHOTOs kosta proadanovic/THE UBYSSEY
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MONDAy, JANUARy 27, 2014
AC A D E M I C OnE SpOT, TWO CAndIdATES
IN A NUTSHELL Role: liaison between students and UBC administration and advocate for student interests
Race so far:
Salary: $32,500 per year, with up to $5,000 performance bonus
Current VP Academic and University Aff airs Anne kessler has held oﬃce since oct. 12, 2013, but before that, mona maleki was the interim VP academic for a month starting sept. 12. Both candidates are running on similar platforms, emphasizing mental health, ﬂexible learning and student housing affordability. Both would also like to implement the central exam database and want to work on Acadia Park student Family housing issues. kessler additionally wants to change w standings to “withdrawal under exceptional circumstances” standings, and to increase support for students with disabilities. with two experienced, similar candidates, this race could go either way. the VP academic and university aff airs advocates on your behalf on subjects like education, housing, health, well-being and more.
Q Currently, the team at the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology is working to resolve IT-related problems with Connect. I will work on gathering student concerns and developing a list of priorities to pass on to university leadership. On a larger level, I will work with the university to continue to gather student feedback on Connect and the way in which its functionality can be improved to accommodate more online and blended learning. I would also like to see the university invest more funding into the training of instructors and students.
The current financing structure in place for housing is not beneficial to students. I would like to continue to lobby to reevaluate this financial structure; however, I am realistic about what can be achieved in the short term versus the long term. For that reason, I would also like to drive forward immediate solutions that can be developed from the current operational structure of housing that will directly benefit students. With the recommissioning of the housing demand study next year and the student financial support project, there are two avenues to pool together alternative solutions to create affordable housing options for students and gather the right data to inform decision making.
1. A lot of students and professors have complained about Connect. How will you fix UBC’s e-learning site? 2. How do you plan to make housing more aﬀordable for students? 3. Besides ﬂexible learning and mental health, what will you focus on? 4. Should Vantage College students be AMS members? If so, how would you support them?
Affordability and equity are two areas that the university is currently making a lot of movement around. With the current restructuring of the equity office, there is a huge opportunity to ensure the replacing structures prioritize student needs. With the renewing of the housing demand study, I plan on ensuring a collective understanding of affordability is attained between the University and students when decision making and action planning.
Yes, they should be and they will be based on the current 4 definition of AMS membership. It is also critical that the AMS advocates on their behalf to ensure that the college prioritizes the students in their financial and academic needs and that the AMS supports the students in forming their own student government structures that are given a seat at the table in the college governance and decision-making body.
a college opening on campus this september for international students who do not meet UBC’s english language requirements. After the 12-month program, students will transfer to secondyear Arts or science. an online central database for students to access past exams. Proposed by a former VP academic, the idea was approved in march 2013, but has yet to be implemented.
From what I have seen, UBC is doing absolutely everything it can to fix Connect. I am no technical expert, but will continue to push the university for better communication around what is happening and better training for professors. I will push UBC to do comprehensive surveys of what is most problematic with Connect in order to prioritize better. I will continue to ask at what point we start looking for other options.
UBC is doing another housing demand study to see what students really want, but ultimately this amounts to asking how small a space students are willing to live in. It will not fix the issue of affordability. What will is if UBC would stop charging interest on the money it borrows from its own endowment (which in 2010 was $18 million). UBC is in a tight budgetary situation and won’t give this up easily, but I will continue to advocate for this money to be spent on financial aid to help those most in need because finances are a huge problem for many students.
Fixing the housing contract is very high priority for me. Students can be evicted from residence with no notice, and the appeals process is not transparent. Maintenance and repairs have also been problems for students. I have already started working on this and will continue if re-elected. It is very important that students have a secure housing situation. Also, this year the policy for accommodations for students with disabilities is up for review, and I have again begun work to make sure this is done properly with student input. Lastly, I will make sure all existing projects such as the exam database and Acadia Park continue.
Yes. They are attending UBC and as per AMS bylaws, they are AMS members. I will work closely with the International Students’ Association to make sure they are properly connected to the services they need. I will help them form their own student association, which will be entitled to representation on AMS Council. I will help them in any advocacy they wish to do on issues they identify.
MONDAy, JANUARy 27, 2014
ADMIN OnE SpOT, TWO CAndIdATES
IN A NUTSHELL Role: overseeing every Ams club, managing programming and maintenance in the current sUB, facilitating the transition into the new sUB, and monitoring the whistler lodge and the Ams Art gallery, among other things. Race so far:
whoever wins VP admin will be responsible for helping to integrate the “competitive sports clubs” left over from the varsity review into the Ams proper; plus, they’ll be tasked with making sure the opening of the New sUB isn’t a complete gong show.
Ava Nasiri Third-year Arts
The New SUB has been delayed in part due to decisions made late in the construction phase by the AMS. With less than a year until the completion and opening of the building, moving timelines of various stakeholders of the project must be recognized. This not only includes construction, but also operational transition into the new building that will affect AMS businesses, services and student life. My focus would be on executing strategic, timely decisions to keep the project moving forward and completing an operational transition plan to address the society’s needs.
1. How will you ensure the New SUB is completed on time?
My priority is to ensure that the competitive clubs are still provided with the appropriate levels of support and resources for continued success. However, the model itself and the support given still needs further definition and clarity. Through consultation with student athletes and discussions with UBC Athletics and Recreation, I will ensure that the changes are supportive of all student athletes and the development of the model continues moving forward. As the process will be redone in around five years, further and continued consultation will also be required to reflect and improve on the review.
3. If the referendum to sell the Whistler Lodge passes, how will you get rid of it?
work with the VP finance, AMS permanent staff and BAGB 3 I’ll to find the best solution for the Whistler Lodge. My focus will be on ensuring that the AMS receives the best value on property for students. I will take the appropriate steps to develop a financially affordable consultation, including relevant stakeholders, utilizing AMS staff and university expertise to assess the value of the property and move forward with its sale. I’m not in a position to evaluate the entirety of Derek Moore’s term in office. As a student and an AMS councillor, I am only privy to the information that is made public regarding the work of executives. I can only speak to my own commitment to the position and what I plan to accomplish. I am an extremely committed, hard-working and creative individual. My approach will be to work together with staff to provide organized, clear and defined direction for all projects.
Salary: $32,500 per year, with up to $5,000 performance bonus
Ng and Nasiri are competing to take over from Barnabas Caro, currently acting as interim VP admin, after derek moore left the position in January of this year for unknown reasons. Both candidates share similar platforms, arguing that the paper-based Ams constituency management process be replaced with an online system, and promoting increased professional development support for clubs. when asked how they would handle the Ams’s $800,000 deﬁcit if the fee restructuring referendum does not pass during last tuesday’s debate, Nasiri said she would try to ﬁnd students willing to work under tighter wages, while Ng said she would not hire an assistant VP admin, would make sure that the whistler lodge is proﬁtable or cost neutral and would look for corporate sponsors for the Ams.
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2. The sports review is still in progress. What will you do to help varsity teams and AMS clubs make the transition to “competitive club” status?
4. Evaluate former VP admin Derek Moore’s time in oﬃce. What would you do diﬀerently?
GLOSSARy Sports review: an ongoing review of UBC’s 29 varsity teams and some Ams clubs. teams that don’t make varsity will become “competitive clubs,” which hasn’t really been deﬁned yet. SAC: the student Administrative Commission oversees all 350 Ams clubs and functions in the sUB. the VP admin reports sAC’s activities to Ams Council.
I will limit the amount of unnecessary changes to the existing construction, making sure to advocate for student services in discussions with stakeholders. I will also do my best to hold those participating in the construction process accountable to the timelines currently set through regular updates and clear lines of communication between the AMS, UBC Properties Trust and BIRD Construction.
I plan to advocate for student athletes by continuing the working relationship between UBC VP Students Louise Cowin and the AMS VP admin portfolio. I also plan to work closely with the AMS president to ensure that teams undergoing this transition continue to have support of the University Athletics Council. As active members of the UBC community I plan to ensure that no clubs fall through the cracks in this transition process by integrating competitive sports clubs into the current AMS and SAC clubs classification system and providing a strong support system and clear lines of communication for competitive sports clubs to ensure a smooth transition for these students in September 2015.
I will work in collaboration with the Business Administration Governance Board to ensure that the lodge is sold in a timely and profitable manner. If a timely approach is taken, a more profitable outcome may be available for students and the AMS as a body. I believe taking the time to consider the best options would be of greater benefit to UBC students as opposed to selling the lodge right away. I would also consider subdividing the property into single-family residential units for a greater profit and use of space.
I would like to focus more on professional development for organized student bodies on campus such as constituencies, clubs and other student lead initiatives by providing easily accessible modules created in consultation with SASC, the wellness centre etc. I would also focus on working in line with the UBC strategic plan in creating a more intercultural campus by celebrating our diversity at UBC with a week of cultural festivities in collaboration with cultural groups, UBC administration and faculty on campus.
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Involved in everything regarding the Ams. the president has a seat on all Ams committees and is the face of the Ams. Salary: $32,500 per year, with up to $5,000 performance bonus Race so this year’s presidential candidates are current VP tanner Bokor, president of the InterFraterfar: external nity Council harsev oshan, VP public relations of the club steppingbridge Jackson Chen and joke candidate winnie Code. All candidates agree on the need for a Broadway line to UBC, for making campus more fun and for improving communications between the Ams and students — all except Code, that is, whose primary platform point is eliminating the deﬁcit by immediately ceasing all spending and all construction on the New sUB.
this person runs the show and is the head honcho, el capitano, etc.
OnE SpOT, fOUr CAndIdATES
1. What will your Performance Accountability Incentive (PAI) goals be? How will you make sure to accomplish them? 2. Where do you stand on each of the referendum questions? 3. In recent years, all of the AMS’s media relations have gone through the president. Would you change this? How? Why? 4. Evaluate current AMS president Caroline Wong’s term in oﬃce. What would you do diﬀerently?
Jon Snow First-year Night’s Watch
As much as I’m for equality, there should be an order in which these “Compass Cards” are given out. Something like highborn nobles first, then landed knights, then sworn knights, then bastards of noble houses, then commoners — no, wait. They should only be given to sworn brothers of the Night’s Watch (and bastards). If they want them so bad, they should earn their cards by defending the campus against the SFU white walkers.
Why in the name of the old gods would I? The current 99 B-Line is a natural barrier against the supernatural invaders from Burnaby. If they pass up even our own students, the SFU army would have no way of getting on one and invading us via transit. Setting up a Broadway line to UBC would be like blowing up a huge hole in the Wall. I’d do absolutely nothing about the transit system because it’s the only thing between us and an ice zombie apocalypse.
First, I fundamentally disagree with the concept of the Performance Accountability Incentive. Those who put themselves forward for these positions should be self-motivated enough to put forward and complete goals without the need for a $5,000 bonus, which, in a deficit situation, is financially irresponsible. However, my goals as president are to implement a student assembly to bring unaffiliated campus groups into the AMS decisional structure, create a comprehensive transition plan into the New SUB, and implement a new stream-based communications and outreach plan working with campus media so the society engages with students on a more regular basis. In terms of making sure they are implemented, I’ll be focusing on time and task management and ensuring I’m using my time most effectively and that I keep my goals realistic, measurable, and with timed outcomes.
I support all questions currently put forward on the ballot. For the fee question, while I have concerns about ensuring proper accountability and regulation of our internal finances, I believe the question is the right step forward towards building a more financially efficient organization. For the lodge, I support this question — not a commitment that the AMS will sell the lodge at this time, but as providing flexibility so if our analysis determines that the lodge is no longer a viable asset for the AMS, we will have the tools to be able to move forward in the best interests of students. In terms of the brewery question, I support this question (social and educational opportunities aside) because of the security it provides AMS Council to move forward developing the microbrewery with funding, without authorizing said funding until a final plan and all approvals are in place.
Elected VPs have their own mandate from students, the same as the president, and will have the same right to speak on behalf of their portfolio. For permanent and student staff, I would allow the hiring manager to decide whether it would be appropriate for staff to comment on a given topic. I believe that campus media has an important role in disseminating information about campus events, and the AMS must be as transparent and accessible as possible to make that job easier.
I’ve worked closely with Caroline this year and have a great deal of respect for the job she has done, especially in difficult and stressful moments. I believe the difficulty this year was a lack of resources and time, due to being the interim executive director where she was responsible for overseeing permanent staff members on top of the executives. Where Caroline and I differ is in our leadership style. As president, I will be more focused on leading and managing the executive and providing support to Council, ensuring a positive and supportive working environment while being unafraid to confront challenges in a direct fashion when they arise. The society is only as functional as its directors, and the president needs to guide the executive and Council to provide the leadership and resources necessary to keep the AMS moving forward.
ian clans of Kwantlen, Langara and Capilano united under the banner of the House Stark (my bro Robb named me as his heir at some point) and march on Toope’s Landing and Clark’s Holdfast. If they do not give in to our demands, we will dispose of them and crown a new King in the North.
I will organize a force comprised of both UBC forces and the uncultured, barbar-
Fee: support. Bylaw changes: support. Microbrewery: support. Divest: support. Whistler Lodge: torn — should w of the interest coming from the e ing costs for students who want t cheaper accommodations.
I think it is important for the AM what media releases are being iss the president should have sole au elected president, I would like to incre to discuss issues with the media, so lon being said and by whom.
This year, the AMS maintained a eral student body. Caroline shoul criticism I would have, and this i ethic or leadership style — I think it is tion that I can learn from — is the fact her executive resigned, and Council in see this being a result of reduced traini uals within student government. I wou that Council could offer, both in expan students and tapping into each constitu ing buy-in of student government meet government through the use of retreats society can’t be healthy if its board of d apathetic on the issues they are discuss
Race so far: Night’s Watch: the black-clad army dedicated to securing the wall, a 700-foot tall stretch of ice separating the northern border of the seven kingdoms from the wildlings beyond.
I will work on having a biweekly booths will change locations ever themes to talk about. I would enc and have a chat with students on issues could help. I will start a bimonthly com This is to incentivize them coming to t events or initiatives that the AMS can s care about? Opportunities! I will work Safewalk and work towards more comm the Safewalk zones. Through this appr call for Safewalk services since the Saf community. I will produce one-minute updates from all execs on what they ha ities are available for students to take a international cultural fair to share and boasts of. I will reach out to at least 10 groups on campus to partner with, and alumni association in planning process
lobby the government on behalf of students the U-Pass program.
$32,500, with up to $5,000 performance bo
we don’t know as much about this race as we’d like to since bot to show up on time for their debate last monday at Brock hall. h candidate Jon snow knows nothing (his words, not ours) and Ba the associate VP external, the outcome is looking prett y clear. Jo platform of transportation, tuition and provincial lobbying. snow the high number of pass-ups on the 99 B-line to prevent invade
If you want a Broadway line to UBC, this is the student at UBC m ting it for you. they’ll also be working to phase in the Compass C
OnE SpOT, TWO CAndIdATE
MONDAy, JANUARy 27, 2014
Fourth-year political science
booth system during the year. The ry week and will have different courage all my execs to be available s they face and discuss how the AMS mpetition for student led initiatives. the AMS with innovative ideas for support. After all, what do students on the hiring strategies for AMS munity based recruitment within roach, students are more likely to fewalkers are from within the same e monthly videos that will have ave been doing and what opportunadvantage of. I will coordinate an d appreciate the diversity our campus different international student d involve the university, UNA and s.
Stop spending all money to get rid of the deficit. No deficit, no problems, OK?
Mostly yes and or no to all answers. Like, yes, sell the Whistler Lodge because it’s like super fancy and do we really need that? Like, yes, it’s nice to have nice things, but as hobo students, I do not believe it is more important than saving your dollar bills. A microbrewery is always better than a macrobrewery, but like, what about a vineyard? I’m just saying. I don’t want to say anything. But you know what it’s like. And like, yay, less deficit, vote yes on that. And then stop investing in oil — instead, stuff it into a hole in a wall. Or wrap it around springs in freshman mattresses, which will also prevent creakiness! You see how this is a win-win?
Talk is cheap. Talk to whoever you want. Like, I don’t want to talk to you, so why would I not pass that off on someone else? Carl? I don’t know who that is. Is this over?
we decide to sell it, I want part endowment to go to subsidizto stay in Whistler and want
Compass Card: an electronic fare card set to replace the U-Pass later in 2014. the card will cost $6 on top of the regular monthly fee for the U-Pass and you will have to register the card online every month.
MS president to be in the know about sued by the AMS, but I do not think uthority to issue these statements. If ease executive and councillors’ ability ng as the AMS is aware of what is
a positive image amongst the genld receive credit for this. The one is not a criticism against her work more of an after-the-fact observathat a historically high number of volvement has been relatively low. I ing sessions and retreats for individuld want to maximize the benefits nding the AMS’s network amongst uency’s unique experience, by creattings from those who are in student s and training sessions. After all, a directors is, at times, ill informed or sing.
s and help run
th candidates failed however, since joke ahareh Jokar is already okar is running on a w hopes to maintain ers from reaching UBC.
most dedicated to getCard.
Jackson Chen Second-year psychology and economics
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My performance accountability consists of four parts. First of all, I will improve the bond between the AMS and UBC students through two channels. The first one is social media. I noticed that the official Facebook account of AMS does not have enough followers considering the huge amount of students at UBC. In addition, the AMS does not have a public account in other popular social media such as LINE, WhatsApp and WeChat. I will diversify the ways the AMS promotes their services. The second one is through clubs. More attention and resources should be given to clubs and the AMS should promote their events through them. Secondly, I will support the U-Pass program and prepare to negotiate with TransLink for a better price. At the same time, I am in favour of building a SkyTrain to UBC. Thirdly, I want to create better language training programs for international students to help them improve their English so that they can catch all kinds of opportunities offered by UBC. Last but not least, I will dedicate more resources to the career services center to increase the graduate hiring rates.
I vote yes for the first and the third question. I will vote no for the second one because I think 0.625 Canadian dollars per year for each student is affordable and we want to keep the Whistler Lodge.
I will give media freedom back to you guys because I believe the independence of media is essential for transparency and justice.
She did a decent job and I appreciate everything she has done to make AMS a better service organization, but I do think we can do better this year in terms of relationships with clubs and cutting the budget deficit.
MORE TERMS Broadway line: the idea of a rapid transit line running from the Commercial-Broadway skytrain station to UBC. the future line would take the form of an above-ground or partly tunneled lRt line, a skytrain line, or a combination. If undertaken, the project is estimated to cost up to $3 billion.
1. What will you do to ensure a smooth transition to the Compass Card? 2. Will you lobby for a Broadway line to UBC? How? 3. How will you lobby for lower tuition if the referendum question passes? 4. What would you do to promote the upcoming municipal elections to students?
PAI: Performance Accountability Incentive; executives are eligible for a bonus of up to $5,000 on top of their regular paycheque if they meet the goals they set for themselves at the beginning of their term in oﬃce. how much of their PAI they get at the end of their term is decided by the Ams’s oversight committee.
The Compass Card will come into effect in phases. My main focus is to ensure that students have access to one of the two varying forms of fair payment (Compass Card or the traditional U-Pass) at all times. Furthermore, I hope to build on the current proposal for a U-Pass customer service office, which will centralize the location for all U-Pass-related inquiries. To ensure a smooth transition, it is crucial that we maintain open and coherent communication with UBC students and staff throughout this process.
My goal for rapid transit to UBC is to increase student participation in the upcoming provincial transportation referendum. Additionally, my lobbying efforts will include engaging with community partners who will benefit substantially from the agglomeration economies that would come into effect if a rapid transit line were created. Furthermore, I will advocate for more buses on the Broadway corridor and other major UBC routes to provide short-term relief to the over-exhausted system.
UBC endowment: UBC has approximately $1 billion from donors saved up that they invest in a broad portfolio of companies, including $100 million in fossil fuel companies. Housing endowment: UBC loans itself money to fund student housing through an endowment fund. this fund generates interest when it is paid back.
I promise to advocate for more accessible and affordable education regardless of whether the referendum question passes. At this point in time, it is not realistically feasible to lower tuition without sacrificing the quality of our education, but it’s possible to prevent the university from increasing tuition beyond the annual rate of two per cent. The cost of tuition in B.C. is not the highest in Canada, but our interest rate on student loans is; our efforts need to be geared towards providing financial relief through different means to offset the cost of tuition. I believe that the inflated cost of living in the Vancouver area plus the cost of post-secondary education is unsustainable and inequitable for many students; hence, I will lobby the province for lowered interest rates (down to the rate of prime), and funding towards needs-based grant programs.
I would provide unbiased information about the varying election platforms across the greater Vancouver area to students while launching a Get Out to Vote campaign across campus for the municipal elections.
Flexible learning: new teaching practices currently being introduced, designed to give students more choice in how and when they learn. It includes models like the “ﬂipped classroom,” wherein students watch the lectures online and have discussions during class time.
Bahareh Jokar Fourth-year political science
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MONDAy, JANUARy 27, 2014
I’ll let you all in a little secret: there is no budget. There never was, and there never will be. It’s basically just a ruse to keep you down. “Deficit” isn’t even a word in the English language. Look it up. Joaquin just made that word up last year in the middle of his campaign to confuse us. But what can you expect from such deceitful people? The AMS now is engaged in blatant counterfiscularity. Most of the last year, the incumbent VP finance proscuculated the remainder of the AMS’s forward operating budgets. In a daring move, he eschstanched the entire quarnine of the anterior fiscal solvaria. Well, this year, I’m turning that all around. It’s all proterior spending now, and we’ll dig ourselves out of this web of lies that is holding us back and keeping us down in a pit of despair. But only with the strength of character and pure stranchability of a man like myself.
My well-articulated “Massive Sweeping Cuts Plan” plan is specifically designed to address this exact hypothetical situation. Now, we all know that if the fee restructure passes, we’re all sitting pretty, and won’t have to ever worry about the AMS spending money irresponsibly again, but we have to prepare for the eventuality that students vote “no” for a thing that they don’t really care about or understand out of malice, spite or ignorance. Of course, they’d be shooting themselves in their giant collective foot — or collectively shooting themselves in their relatively small individual feet en masse — if they were to not pass this, but we all know how stupid the electorate really is. All just a bunch of zombies, really — the walking dead, the unenlightened, the slobbering masses, the plebeians, unwashed, uncouth, with their grimy little hands prying into my pockets. I won’t have it! I won’t have it! Off, you pigs!
[Remember to send The Ubyssey your answer to this question.]
Second-year computer science
Joaquin Acevedo Fourth-year Science
ONE SPOT, THREE CANDIDATES If the fee structure were to fail, I would be completely prepared to take on the challenge. Knowing the AMS inside and out will let me be able to make targeted cuts to avoid going further into deficit. I will ensure that essential services are operational and make the difficult decisions to cut other areas. Since the deficit is structural, I will develop a new strategy to alleviate the problem.
Block Party is perhaps one of the best known events hosted by the AMS, and we should not be generating a profit on this event. I think that we should be attracting the best acts and entertainment along with reasonably priced food and alcohol. It is important, however, to recover costs and be responsible so as to avoid large losses.
I want to engage students and student groups like clubs and constituencies so that they may also have a direct voice in setting the priorities for the AMS budget. I will also ensure that there is an opportunity for students and staff to voice concerns between the preliminary budget and the final budget. Using a similar model, budgets will be created strong evidence showing the necessity of expenses in this upcoming year.
Role: sets the Ams budget and is in charge the Ams’s ﬁnances Salary: $32,500, with up to $5,000 performance bonus Race so far:
The role of the VP finance in BAGB is to ensure that the voice of students and Council is present when making business decisions in setting a vision as to what our businesses should look like and operate. It is also my role to keep our businesses accountable to reach their targets on budgets and service. I will continue working closely with the alumni members and staff to set ambitious targets and create businesses that will attract students, especially in the New SUB. At the end of the day, I’ll allow BAGB to make sound business decisions, as they are experienced professionals.
this year’s race is a repeat of last year’s, with the addition of joke candidate Alex Bucci. since last year, Acevedo has had a year in the VP ﬁnance ofﬁce, while miadlikowski has gained more budgeting experience as the VP ﬁnance of the Arts Undergraduate society. the Ams is currently running a projected deﬁcit of almost $800,000 and is counting on a fee restructure referendum to ﬁx their ﬁnancial woes. If the fee restructure fails — or even if it passes — this year’s VP ﬁnance will have their work cut out for them. the Ams deals with millions of dollars, mostly from your student fees. It’s up to the VP ﬁnance to make sure your money is spent responsibly.
1. What will you do if the fee restructure fails? How will you get out of the current deficit and ensure another one doesn’t happen? 2. Should AMS events like Block Party be run for profit, or do you consider them a service? 3. How will you go about creating next year’s budget? 4. What is the VP finance’s role in relation to BAGB? What will you do to ensure more consistent business revenue?
If the referendum question regarding fee restructuring fails, the AMS will have to take a different approach to their finances. I would focus on the causes of the deficit and other factors such as the reliance on business revenue, under-performance of the outlets and highest-spending areas of the AMS. I would look for possible investments and set high but realistic targets for businesses and expect to reach them. I would look for efficiencies within the student government and administrative area. Implementation of more accountable and transparent budgeting practices would be my priority. I would set a direction with more tasks outsourced to students rather than outside contractors. It would be a sustainable long-term vision. Since not all students are interested in attending social events or may not be able to attend due to the limited number of tickets, the events should not be considered a service. Breaking even will be the minimum objective of these popular large-scale events. However, the AMS should actually try to make a profit on these events in order to support their budget and services.
I would make sure that all budgeted expenses are justified and presented not only to the VP finance but also to the entire budget committee as it would result in higher transparency, accountability and objectivity. I would follow a strict agenda and communicate goals and deadlines clearly. My budget would be sustainable, balanced and realistic.
The role of the VP finance in relation to BAGB is to provide information and an analysis regarding the society’s finances, reports and AMS council. My previous AMS business experience would allow BAGB to focus on areas in need of improvement. I would ensure that the goals set for the outlets are high but also realistic. I would also help the Board to set accurate metrics to measure the businesses’ performance without overstepping its independence as a newly created institution.
GLOSSARy Fee restructure referendum: if this referendum passes, it will allow the Ams to change how they allocate the student fees they collect. the changes will give the Ams more money in their general membership fees, which they can use to offset their huge deﬁcit. the Ams is counting on this referendum to pass in order to continue offering the services they do.
BAGB: the Business Administration and governance Board of the Ams. this board is responsible for the Ams’s businesses, including the Pit, the gallery and the whistler lodge. the BAgB is composed of students and alumni. It makes recommendations to Ams Council on how to run their businesses.
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B OA R D
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G OV E R N O R S
IN A NUTSHELL Role:
Represent students on UBC’s highest decision making body, the Board of governors
Salary: Free parking, free iPad and other untold beneﬁts Race so far:
this year’s race includes former Ams president spencer keys, graduate student society president Chris Roach, incumbent student senator Nina karimi and divestment advocate Ilana shecter. while the candidates have varying levels of experience in student government, they all bring differing perspectives to the Board. the two winners will have to advocate on behalf of students on a 21-member Board, and they all have different strategies to do so effectively.
UBC’s Board is made up of some of the most wealthy and powerful people in the province. they make big decisions, approve construction on campus and set tuition rates.
TWO SpOTS, fOUr CAndIdATES
For the municipal governance of UBC, I’m broadly in favour of a plan balancing the university’s ownership interest, the interests of the large, transient student population and the interests of long-term residents that form the tax base. The “McElroy Plan,” by former Ubyssey editor Justin McElroy, is a solid starting point for balancing these interests through a town council giving long-term residents a slight majority with meaningful student representation.
Before coming back to UBC for law school, I worked as a lobbyist in Ottawa. In lobbying, you need to establish relationships quickly, based on trust and the ability to make meaningful contributions to the decision-making process. My professional experience prepared me to frame arguments in ways that are relevant to different Board members, and these skills have led to major wins for students — student loan reform, university funding and copyright reform that led to course pack costs dropping by 33 per cent at UBC. My approach to the Board will be the same — targeted, collaborative, and professional, so I can establish myself as a substantive student voice.
Probably not, but going to the Board of Governors with a predetermined answer on tuition is the fastest way to marginalize your voice and the voice of students, because the role of Board members is to make sure UBC has enough money to function. However, if you use your vote to demand accountability for money spent, a Board member can make a real difference. For example, in the last five years, the number of managers at UBC has grown from roughly equal to the number of professors to 33 per cent more. Is huge management growth good for students? Probably not. It’s OK for students to pay slightly more for a better quality education, but we shouldn’t give a blank cheque to a bloating administration.
1. What do you think would be the best governance structure for UBC? 2. How will you work with the members of the Board, especially given the large number of newly appointed members?
The B.C. Court of Appeal has stated UBC is not a single entity but several bodies including the Board, President, Chancellor, Senate, faculties and alumni; so the first step is recognizing that the “best interests of the university” is a flexible concept, and student interests are the interests of alumni-in-waiting; so there’s no necessary difference between the interests of students and the university. There is sometimes a tension between students’ short-term and long-term interests — to that end, I’m always inclined to focus on our long-term interest of receiving a quality education that prepares us to succeed as alumni.
3. If you are elected to the Board, will you or won’t you vote in favour of increasing tuition for domestic students? For international students? Why?
My goals are 1) linking tuition to education quality and not giving a blank cheque to administrative growth, 2) developing an affordable student housing goal in the university’s strategic plan, to measure progress and hold the administration accountable, 3) building a safe, secure campus through investments in human presence and safe spaces, rather than invasive surveillance systems and 4) supporting any and all UBC efforts to build a Broadway rapid transit line. How? Through data-based arguments, strategic framing of issues, and the tools I’ve built up over a decade of university policy experience. For more information, please visit www.votespencer.ca.
4. Should Board members represent students’ interests, or the overall “best interests of the university”? How would you define “best interests of the university”? 5. What do you hope to accomplish during your time on the Board? What issues will you push for? How?
Chris Roach Fourth-year graduate student, genetics
The fairest governance structure for the “University-Town” would be a model composed of representatives from the three main stakeholders: the university, the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) and the student body. UBC would want to have a large role in the day-to-day administration to provide continuity. As individuals who pay the most in taxes and who reside here longer than the average student, the UNA would need representation. As UBC’s most important group, students must have guaranteed representation without UNA taxes. Moreover, the student body should always be involved in campus development decision-making processes through proper consultation that ensures their voice is being heard and respected.
The experience I have gained through my past and current work with numerous Board members on such bodies as the UBC presidential search committee and the chancellor search committee and with various other university executives as the current Graduate Student Society president will allow me to begin working on student-focused projects immediately. In addition, I will strive to develop strong working relationships with the new Board members who I do not yet know, both inside and outside the context of meetings. My years of experience have taught me how to best put forward well-researched and detailed proposals so that student initiatives are supported and approved.
UBC students take pride in the fact that we attend a world-class university. B.C. post-secondary education institutions are currently expecting a cut to their operating grants of over five per cent. Such a cut would translate into a decrease of $26 million for UBC each year. Preventing tuition from increasing is congruent with my ideological views; however, I would only vote no if I believe the budget can maintain the same world-class education we expect. When the provincial government releases its budget and UBC starts drafting theirs, I will work within the Board to keep tuition as low as possible. My stance on tuition increases for international students is the same as my position on the domestic student case — a UBC student is a UBC student, regardless of what country they are from.
Board members must maintain their fiduciary responsibility, which refers to the duty of acting in the “best interests of the university.” However, in most cases, the interests of students are often aligned with the interests of the university. My definition of “best interests of the university” is ensuring that UBC is in the best possible situation in the long term as an institution of advanced learning, constant growth and increased opportunities, not just in terms of the highest possible budget or how much money students pay.
My priorities will be fighting for increased student affordability, supporting improved transit options, ensuring the student perspective on campus planning and improving communication between the Board and the student population at-large. Proper consultation with students is crucial so that the Board is aware of their opinions, concerns and wishes. Moreover, as the group only convenes 10 times per year, I will arrange additional meetings to ensure progress on student-based projects.
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B OA R D
G OV E R N O R S
GLOSSARy Governance: UBC doesn’t really have any form of municipal governance, so the Bog gets to set the rules on zoning, local bylaws and buildings on campus. this was supposed to be temporary after UBC separated from metro Vancouver in 2010, but it doesn’t look like this will change anytime soon.
Nina Karimi Fourth-year political science
There is less desire to move to a municipal model of governance among UBC administrators and students than in the UEL and the UNA. I believe that, as an academic institution, academics should be the priority and becoming a municipality will divert our attention. However, the current status quo of only three students on BoG is also not ideal. If the provincial government continues to cut grants while tuition increases, we deserve representation on the board equivalent to our financial contribution, like we would in a company as stakeholders.
With my experience as a senator, I have realized that much of the work and conversations happen at the committee level. Coming prepared having read all the reports and equipped with information will give your voice legitimacy. At the full Board meetings, knowing exactly what you want to ask is very important, as well as having a united front. There is a fine line between being firm while still maintaining respect, and I believe my experience working with administrators will allow me to find the middle ground. Also, there are only a handful of meetings throughout the year, and having experience with BoG structure as a Senator will allow for a smooth transition.
When more than 80 per cent of students have voted for their representatives to advocate on tuition decrease, voting “yes” is not democratically sound. On the other hand, if tuition increase is legitimized because of inflation and government grant cuts, your fiduciary duty has to be applied. In this instance of a conflict of interest, I would abstain; however, in all other cases and if the university continues to not provide adequate consultation as Policy 71 demands, I would vote “no.” In terms of international students, I would push the university to create a formal agreement so these students can know what the full cost of their education will be instead of crossing their fingers and hoping UBC sticks to the usual three to four per cent increase.
UNA: the University Neighbourhoods Association. since 2002, the UNA has represented residents from neighbourhoods on campus including hampton Place and wesbrook Village. they act sort of like a municipal council, representing residents with an elected board. they are usually the ones complaining about noise bylaws on campus.
Policy 71: a university policy approved in 1994 that requires UBC to consult with students on changes to tuition and fees.
Place and Promise: the university’s strategic plan, launched in 2008. the plan lists UBC’s goals and values on topics ranging from international recruitment to sustainability.
Divestment: the university has around $1 billion invested in an endowment fund. of that money, around $100 million is invested in oil and gas companies. the divestment movement wants the university to remove those investments to reﬂect their sustainability goals.
I don’t believe students’ interests are at odds with the university’s. It is in UBC’s best interests to have a student body that is proud of their institution and has academic and research excellence so they will become supportive alumni, which is a huge part of UBC’s strategic plan. I believe if there were adequate consultations, this disconnect on values would be lessened.
UEL: the University endowment lands. Comprised of areas surrounding the university and around 4,000 residents, this area, part of electoral Area A, is under the jurisdiction of the B.C. ministry of Community, sport and Cultural development.
I hope to raise my voice on many topics such as fossil fuel divestment, tuition and Vantage College; however, as the only candidate with extensive experience working in residences, I have been clear that housing is my main concern. This means pushing for a widely available longterm student affordable housing plan that explains tangible steps to increase shelter allowance of student loans, utilizing incentive summer prices, or micro-units. Student representation in the Acadia Park design process has precedence, and is extremely important to create adequate housing for families with children. I believe knowledge is power in BoG, and considering my experience with the inner workings of SHHS and Rezlife, I can levy that if elected.
Tuition votes: the Board is responsible for tuition rates. since 2005, domestic tuition rates in B.C. have been capped to a 2 per cent increase per year. every year, the Board votes on this tuition increase. It can be a controversial vote for student Bog reps, since they have a duty to uphold on the Board, but are also supposed to represent the best interests of students.
As more residents who are not students, faculty or staff move onto campus, there will be a growing need to follow a standard municipal governance structure at UBC. However, any change in governance could hurt student life and the university’s mission. The university needs to be prepared for this changing shift in demographics by building strong working relationships between the UNA and creating a new student advisory committee chaired by the student representatives on the Board of Governors. This would ensure a proactive and critical response to the changing structures of governance needed on our campus.
An effective student representative has to have good working relationships with other members of the Board. Given the slew of recent appointees, I find this to be an exciting time to bring fresh ideas on sustainability and creating safer spaces on campus. I would connect with members of the Board who have a keen interest in creating a sustainable future for students at UBC with a specific focus on members sitting on the responsible investment strategy taskforce.
I would emphatically vote no in favour of increasing tuition for domestic students. Downloading tuition costs to students ignores the wealth of evidence that points to the increased benefits for provincial and federal governments to have a university-educated population. A university degree increases lifetime earnings that result in higher income tax revenues for the public treasury. Higher income tax contributions should be recognized as a form of payment students make for their education. Voting abstain or yes to a tuition increase would be in direct violation to viewing the university as a public good. For international students, I would advocate for communicating increased certainty in how much their tuition will fluctuate by, always advocating for keeping tuition as accessible as possible.
As a member of the Board, my mandate would be to represent the best interests of the university. These interests are often in line with those of students, especially when considering ideas such as creating safer spaces on campus. The best interests of the university ought to be focused on long-term ethical, moral and economic sustainability that prioritize the well-being of students. Our commitment to sustainability is an example of a goal that directly fits in with the interests of all stakeholders at UBC.
The main issue I will push for is financial sustainability in the endowment. Notwithstanding the moral imperatives behind funding operations that are contributing to our warming planet, divestment provides an opportunity to proactively react to the increased evidence that fossil fuel companies are part of a “carbon bubble” whose assets are overvalued. I also hope to change the conversation on campus safety from stranger sexual assaults to sexualized violence more broadly, always remembering that sexualized violence is occurring on university campuses both by strangers and by people the survivor knows. Finally, I would look for ways to strengthen UBC’s commitment to intercultural understanding on campus, a little known but very important goal in the UBC Place and Promise plan.
S E N AT E Role:
Salary: Race so far:
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| CANDIDATES | 15
1. What new ideas would you bring to the Senate? 2. How will you ensure students are well represented in a body with so many people? 3. There are a lot of buzzwords surrounding ﬂexible learning. Without using them, explain your goals on the topic.
Represent students on the senate, which is responsible for UBC’s academic policies. None.
this year’s race has a lot of qualiﬁed candidates. Flexible learning and mental health initiatives have been two hot topics in this year’s elections, but senators also deal with exam policies, course offerings and other academic issues. the majority of this year’s candidates have served on the senate before, but they also bring some new ideas to the table.
since the senate is responsible for UBC’s academic policies, the student reps will have to make sure students’ interests are represented accurately in a group composed primarily of faculty members.
fIVE SpOTS, SEVEn CAndIdATES
Four-year engineering physics
Every time a constituent mentions an idea to me, I research it to see if it can be addressed through the UBC Senate, and if it is, I do my best to do so. In other words, I would bring the ideas of 50,000 students to the UBC Senate. As for examples of these, one direct request of a constituent in this past year was the reintroduction of the Thursday noon-hour break, a platform point of mine. This is now at the stage where it may be introduced to the relevant Senate committee immediately. An idea that was just recently communicated to me is allowing students who passed a course up until they took the final to be allowed to retake the final in the deferred
exam period rather than retaking the course. I am now researching this to see whether this is addressable by the UBC Senate.
While students do make up only just under one quarter of the UBC Senate, we are also the only unified body on it. Keeping the Student Senate Caucus (SSC) fully informed, united and ready to act with a plan gives us a large step up on the faculty and convocation senators in terms of making things move. I feel that I have been successful in helping guide the SSC as its vice-chair this past year, and I will be running as vice-chair again in the coming year to further the progress I have made in both the
guidance and the transparency of the Student Senate Caucus.
My highest goal on the topic of flexible learning is that the choice of how a student may learn becomes fully flexible. What I mean is that a student may learn however he or she feels is best, whether it be by sitting through a traditional lecture, reading a textbook, receiving one-on-one instruction from a friend, guidance from the internet or even just practice, and that whatever the student’s choice may be, he or she will never be penalized by the choice with all course assessment free of bias.
I have already served on for one term, and this 1 Senate year I have brought forward the most important new ideas I have. Much of the work I have done at Senate has been building on the work of previous student senators because Senate is a slow moving institution, and therefore, to be most effective, I believe we must continue working on projects from previous years. This year, several student senators and I worked on a project surrounding syllabi, both improving their availability and their content through inserts on mental health and academic honesty, and through better articulation of learning outcomes. If re-elected, this will be the most important project I will work on, rather than starting new projects. The Student Senate Caucus meets before every Senate meeting to discuss our projects and that night’s agenda. This means we are all prepared to ask questions and make comments at Senate. This has meant that student senators are the most vocal group at Senate. As well, attendance at committees meetings is extremely
important for having our voices heard, so we keep track of attendance and we may ask senators to resign if they have not attended 50 per cent of meetings. As the co-chair of the caucus, I have helped ensure these measures which have worked to make the student voice heard as much as possible, and if re-elected, I will do this again. The flexible learning initiative is the university’s exploration into how they can do learning better. It has a very broad mandate and has the potential to change a lot about how learning is done at UBC. This sometimes involves technology and sometimes it involves changing the traditional prof-atfront-lecture format of many classes. In the long term this may result in students having a lot more say in what classes they take to make their degree. Because this is a high priority for the university, it is important that students have influence on how it eventually rolls out. My only priority for flexible learning is that the student voice is heard, because that will ensure it is done correctly.
Eric Zhao First-year Medicine, PhD
I am excited to bring many ideas involving student learning and wellness, education technologies and support for early exposure to undergraduate research. I also hope to leverage the Student Senate Caucus as a communications liason with the student body. One important idea is exploring options for early release of a preliminary examinations schedule. There are concerns that early exam schedule release would limit student course options. However, if implemented well, early scheduling could give students more control over their exam period and allow administrators to catch scheduling conflicts sooner. Investigation of current and potential scheduling methods may put this important issue on the agenda for the upcoming Senate triennium. I bring the experience, passion and analytical skills to tackle
these challenging issues. I hope that my voice can serve your voice in improving the UBC student experience. Senate is not resistant to student ideas. On the contrary, many Senate issues are student driven, such as the 2008 Pass/D/Fail approval and the AMS exam database. Senate does not respond readily to purely observational claims. I recognize the power of empirical evidence and comprehensive reports to both reflect student concerns and sway Senate opinion. As a scientist, I understand the need for data to reflect the truth and not to manipulate it. I am confident in my ability to open collaborative dialogue within the Senate based on well-researched facts and identify ideal, and not idealized, solutions.
I want to make sure flexible learning is implemented soundly and with student needs in mind. The design of flexible classrooms must be backed by sound evidence and promote learning without unreasonable course load. Using multiple sources of course content also requires excellent communication between instructor and students about course deliverables and deadlines. I study in a faculty that actively uses both flexible learning and classroom recording. Most of our lectures are recorded. Some are even podcasted. I have learned that flexible learning is not a panacea. It demands care for student needs, excellent implementation and even better communication. I am ideally equipped to bring innovation from my classroom to yours.
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S E N AT E (CO N T ’ D)
Chris Roach Fourth-year graduate student, genetics
If elected, I will per1 sonally carry out new initiatives in two areas: championing co-curricular transcripts and pioneering more undergraduate research opportunities. It is also important to note that Senate often tends to be a slow-moving body and this is why it is important to continue work on projects that were started by previous student senators. In this respect, I will ensure that a continued Senate-based emphasis is placed on mental health awareness at UBC. The 18 student representatives who sit on Senate make up 20 per cent of the total 90 members; yet at any given meeting, it is rare for all other 72 members to be present. By ensuring all student representatives attend, we can
greatly increase the student to non-student ratio, and thus our voice. This is why I will dedicate myself to leading all of the student representatives to ensure that we present a united lobbying effort both inside and outside the Senate chambers. My past two years of experience as a senator, my existing relationships with many of the university executives, deans, and faculty members and my experience in presenting and debating matters at Senate meetings have equipped me to act as a mentor to new senators to ensure they are provided with the proper opportunities to work towards their goals and that we work together as a strong and productive team.
My goal for flexible learning is to ensure the
quality of education at UBC. Flexible learning is generating a lot of exciting discussion and I believe it is a worthwhile pursuit that can enrich the academic experience of UBC students. Senate should be instrumental in developing proper policies and assessment methods for various flexible learning initiatives, and if elected, I look forward to leading such projects. Additionally, because the technology associated with flexible learning will only be effective if employed in an appropriate way, I will ensure all faculty and educators receive the proper training for implementation from such groups as the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. The success of flexible learning will undoubtedly depend in part on properly empowering professors through adequate training.
Saba Mohebpour Third-year Land and Food Systems
I would lobby for a reduction in taxes regarding student education such as those placed on textbooks. Improving Wi-Fi availability on-campus is one of the key components of my platform because I believe the issue of limited Wi-Fi availability affects students greatly, especially during exam periods. I believe all students should be eligible to receive more financial support through a plethora of UBC scholarships and awards. I plan to accomplish this by lobbying for an increased budget into the scholarship program as well as making a greater variety of awards available to UBC students. I would like to improve the relationship between UBC and other top-tier universities, which will result in more diverse exchange programs and a greater exchange of ideas.
I would like to establish an online drop box where students can anonymously drop off their suggestions and concerns regarding Senate
Bringing new ideas can be tough when most things move through Senate and UBC slowly. However, one place of interest I feel has not been given the attention it deserves is teaching excellence. Professors who are incredible teachers are not often given the credit they deserve, and I would push for more prestigious awards to be issued based on teaching merit alone. I also think that teaching evaluations must be released to students, at least at the departmental level, to properly promote teaching excellence within disciplines. I believe that departments should be competing for excellent evaluation scores, as the result of this competition will be an increased value in teaching for students and not at them.
With the faculty-senator three-year term expiring, this is the chance to set Senate goals with the student perspective in mind. Also, student senators coming with a game plan and a united front will project our voice more clearly. Ultimately, if you come prepared, with meaningful insight and facts, the “student” and “faculty” labels begin to fade away, and ratio of student representation to faculty less impactful. Lastly, I believe having experience creating relationships with faculty senators will allow me to represent students effectively.
No buzzwords? All right, how about a metaphor. Imagine a penguin, a chicken and an eagle are trying to fly to
Seattle. The eagle obviously has the easiest journey; the penguin, if it can get to the coast, could swim slowly; and let’s face it, the chicken will die of old age before it leaves the country. Flexible learning is about understanding that students need different tools and styles of teaching to succeed academically — as the title “flexible” suggests, not everyone can flourish in a lecture-listen classroom. Technological advancements also make accommodation easier. Ultimately, whether you are a chicken, penguin, or eagle, you deserve to get to Seattle if you want to. My goal is simple: to continue the work I have been doing in ensuring student academic experience is enhanced and not diminished by this new initiative.
As a person who was engaged in flexible learning last year, I understand the overall impact it has on student engagement and participation. With an initiative like flipped classes the students are given more time to view the instructors prerecorded lectures and use the time spent in class for further instruction on the material. The obvious downside is the excess time constraint placed on students as they spend twice as much time learning the material and involving themselves in the class while only being credited for the same amount of credits as a regular course. I plan to address this by opening a dialogue online and in a public forum where students can directly address the professors who may overlook the expected time students need to complete coursework in the course.
After a year’s worth of experience on Senate, I bring to the table the continuation of previous projects such as the establishment of a standardized syllabi, review of academic policies around student health and wellness and discussions of student workload and credit hour. New ideas that I would like to purse centre around research as it affects undergraduates, graduates and faculty and working with the ombuds office and faculty senators to review the transparency of the appeals process across faculties.
Nina Karimi Fourth-year political science
affairs. I will personally filter through the suggestions and bring up the key points during the Senate meetings.
To ensure the student voice is heard, one first needs to understand the student voice, either through consultations or analysis of past reports. One then can ensure that the topics of concerns are put on the agenda. Having the chance to then facilitate conversations
around those topics means that the student senator should have already met with senators who would champion the topics and see the need to address the concerns. The ultimate goal would then depend on what action items come from the meeting and to ensure the plan moving forward is centred on the student voice. I am not afraid to speak up or carry forward any of the actions mentioned above. My goal is to ensure every decision that is made to change the learning environment of students over the next few years makes a measurable improvement to students’ quality of experience. I also plan to challenge all existing environments and ways that students learn and are assessed to push for changes that will improve their experience under this flexible learning initiative.
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| CANDIDATES | 17
IN A NUTSHELL
Role: Use the student legal Fund fee for litigation and to advocate for education
SOCIET Y (SLFS)
Race so far:
student legal Fund society directors run in slates, meaning they run on a common platform. As has become the norm, this year’s slate, the students for Responsible leadership, is running unopposed - in the past four years, only once has an opposing slate run against the sRl. of this year’s candidates, Aaron sihota, dawei Ji and Jorden stewart are incumbent; Janzen lee, Navi Purewal and Joseph gorman are newcomers.
the slFs was created after the 1997 APeC summit, where hundreds of students were arrested for protesting. If something like this happened again, they would have your legal fees covered.
SIX pEOpLE, SIX SpOTS, OnE SLATE The SLFS has a mandate to use avenues of the law to “improve education and access to education at UBC and other such matters of law that set broad precedent.” As such, we believe SLFS directors have a responsibility to ensure that the society has the financial means to pursue large precedent-setting (and usually expensive) cases. It is therefore tough to put an exact number as it will depend on the types of cases pursued. But SRL will ensure the SLFS responds to the changing needs of our student body and campus and will look to initiate programming that is relevant and engaging for all students.
We are looking to continue to organize and host the SLFS Know Your Rights workshops this year for students and student organizations. We also would like to expand the topics covered in these workshops beyond student constitutional and academic rights (e.g. conflict resolution and mediation workshops with UBC Law). Also we have revamped the society’s website and are looking to engage more students through an online platform including perhaps having provisions for students to be able to apply directly online. We also want to advertise and learn more of any issues from students that are pertinent to the SLFS mandate and that we can deal with as a society.
We are excited to have such a diverse SRL team this year. With new members, we will be able to engage different student groups and provide relevant programming for them. Establishing a more coherent online presence is something the new team would like to work on, and the SRL slate is looking forward to making the SLFS relevant for UBC students.
1. How much money is your slate willing to spend this year? 2.What types of cases and projects do you want to spend this money on? 3. Half of you are new this year. What new ideas are you bringing with you? Those of you who have been around a while, what do you plan to continue working on this year? From top to bottom: dawei Ji, Joseph gorman, Jordan stewart and Navi Purewal are four of the six candidates on the slFs slate. missing: Janzen lee and Aaron sihota.
18 | REFERENDUM |
MONDAy, JANUARy 27, 2014
R E F E R E N DA QUESTIONS FROM THE AMS three questions have been put forward by the Ams.
AMS student fees
IN A NUTSHELL What to A referendum is a vote made by the electorate regarding know: a political issue where they are asked to accept or reject a proposal. students can call a referendum asking other UBC students to decide on an issue that will affect their university experience. Rules and each question must receive aﬃrmative votes from eight per regs: cent of the student body — 4,663 people — in order to pass. If the referendum concerns Ams bylaws or constitution, a 75-per-cent majority is needed for it to pass.
there are three questions on the ballot that focus on Ams student fees. None of the changes will increase or decrease the amount students pay. the ﬁrst question asks to consolidate the $7.25 fee for student services and the $4.14 fee for external and university lobbying and advocacy into an Ams membership fee. the second question asks to reduce the fee for the student spaces fund by $5 from $12.39 to $7.39, and transfer the $5 into the Ams membership fee. the ﬁnal proposal would rename the student spaces fund the “capital projects fund,” and allow the Ams to spend this money on improvements to their soft ware systems in addition to student spaces. If approved, the fee changes will take effect in september 2014.
Whistler Lodge sale
For the second time, the question of whether to sell the whistler lodge will be on the ballot. the question ﬁrst appeared in 2012 and saw the majority of students vote yes in favour of the sale, but not enough students voted to meet quorum. the lodge has lost the Ams $220,000 since 2005. the question reads: “do you authorize the Ams student Council to dispose of the land located at 2124 Nordic drive in whistler, B.C., … together with all buildings thereon, such land and buildings collectively being the ‘Ams whistler lodge’?” All proceeds from the disposal of the lodge will go into the Ams endowment fund.
students will be asked to approve the sale of the whistler lodge.
FIle Photo kAI JACoBsoN/the ww
3 AMS bylaw changes the Ams has also proposed administrative amendments to their bylaws. there are a total of 10 amendments, which include changing the annual general meeting from February to october and removing some no-longer-performed duties of the VP academic.
QUESTIONS FROM STUDENTS A question can be added to the referendum if a petition with 1,000 or more student signatures calling for the referendum is presented to the VP academic and university aff airs. this year, three groups have petitioned this way to add their questions to the referendum.
4 Microbrewery fee earlier this month, Ams Council voted down funding a campus microbrewery, a project that has been in the works for four years. In response, the Ams brewery committee and brUBC collected more than the 1,000 signatures required to force a referendum question. Now, a question asking students if they want to pay for a campus microbrewery will appear on the ballot. If the proposal passes, a new student fee will be introduced. the fee would be $2.50 for the ﬁrst two years, $5.00 for following two years and $7 for the ﬁfth year, chained to inﬂation after that. the proposed location for the microbrewery is on the UBC Farm, but the location won’t be included in the question in case it changes.
5 UBC divestment UBCC350, a group of UBC students committed to climate action, will also have a question on the ballot. the group is calling for UBC to divest from fossil fuels, and a yes vote on the referendum would call for the Ams to make all reasonable efforts to urge UBC to divest from fossil fuels.
6 Push for lower tuition the ﬁnal question on the elections ballot will ask if students want the Ams to lobby for lower tuition. the referendum question came from the social Justice Centre — one of UBC’s six resource groups, which are student groups funded by student fees that advocate for particular social causes and interests. In less than a week and a half, the sJC managed to collect the 1,000 signatures required. If the petition succeeds, the result will be taken to the university and external relations committee and Ams council for a decision on how to develop its policy to reﬂect the referendum decision. the sJC currently has no concrete plans on how to reduce tuition fees, but they plan to collaborate with the Ams if the referendum succeeds.
MONDAy, JANUARy 27, 2014
| BREWERy | 19
Beer, betrayal and bureaucracy No doubt students have dreamed of the idea of a student-run brewery on campus since time immemorial. however, tracing the recent history of the student microbrewery planned by the Ams lays plain a tale of alcohol-infused idealism turned to cold, hard ﬁnancial and logistic issues. what started as an idea put forward by joke candidates in the Ams elections nearly 10 years ago soon garnered support from then-Ams VP ﬁnance elin tayyar and president Jeremy mcelroy around 2011 before being abandoned by the current execs and rescued at the last minute by bruBC leaders and brewery committee members. this week, students will decide whether to eventually spend $7 in student fees per year to support cheaper on-campus beer. — Arno Rosenfeld, features editor
AMS on board
Candidates sound oﬀ Before the AMS got involved, candidates, joke and real alike, mentioned the brewery in interviews with The Ubyssey.
The problem is a lack of consensus about what U-Blvd should look like. The AMS should stand up for what most students actually want there: a brewery. Erin Rennie running for aMS president (2008)
In 2011, the AMS oﬃcially began exploring the construction of a student-run brewery in the New SUB.
I will create new AMSowned businesses. The ﬁrst will be an alchemy shop.... The second will be a brewery, for obvious reasons. The third will be an ice cream and beer store, to be run at a loss as a tax write-oﬀ to compensate for the alchemy shop.
march 2011: “AMS looking to install brew pub in New SUB” “we’re looking at selling beer to clubs and campus groups. we would not be interested in selling to off-campus groups at all,” says VP Finance elin tayyar. the Ams hires First key Consulting to see if the brewery, to be built next to the Pit Pub in the New sUB, is feasible.
Dan Anderson running for VP ﬁ nance (2006)
The massive space that is currently taken up by the Ubyssey oﬃces would be much more useful if taken up by a campus-wide service, such as a microbrewery or pub. Paige Cooper running for VP admin as part of the radical Beer Faction (2004)
Council stumbles december 2012: “Future of New SUB microbrewery remains uncertain” No proposed brewery budget has been ﬁnalized and Ams Council comes close to scrapping the project. Instead, it allocates $11,000 for another report to decide whether the brewery should be built. this comes on top of $48,000 already been spent on brewery plans. A ﬁve-person committee will review the new report and make a recommendation on whether to proceed Council is told a brewery will cost nearly $1 million to open and operate.
Up to you... Jan. 19, 2014: “Fate of UBC microbrewery to be determined in January referendum” brUBC and the Ams brewery committee gather more than the 1,000 signatures required to get a question on the election ballot asking students to pay a fee to fund the brewery project. If it passes, the fee will be $2.50 for ﬁrst two years, followed by $5 for two years and $7 each following year, chained to inﬂation. to pass, the question must receive at yes votes from at least eight per cent of the student body, or 4,663 students.
Jan. 8, 2014: “AMS votes down UBC microbrewery” Ams councillors reject putting the referendum question asking students to fund the brewery on the elections ballot due to lack of information regarding costs and beneﬁts for such a project.
If we want to make more money, we have to control the cost. And how do you control the cost? You make the beer. Jeremy McElroy aMS president, 2011
To the Farm! march 2013 “No brewery for New SUB aer money, space concerns move project to UBC Farm” the Ams approves $1.1 million to be spent on a brewery located on UBC Farm, instead of in the New sUB. the Farm location will cost $350 per square foot instead of $410 in New sUB. the Ams still needs to get UBC to agree to use the space and still looking for a third party to help run the brewery.
The flip-flop december 2013: “Students will be asked to pay for campus brewery in January referendum” After two hours of contentious debate, Ams Council votes 15-10 to ask students whether they want to fund a brewery and include the question as part of the Ams’s “Yes” campaign, which includes all the referendum questions the society supports.
February 2012: “Curing what ales you: New SUB to house brewery” the Ams commits to building a fully operational brewery in the New sUB to provide beer to the Pit and the Perch (the gallery’s replacement). A consultant’s report says that, due to craft beer’s popularity in Vancouver and the isolated nature of campus, a brewery is ﬁnancially feasible. the brewery is allocated 1,000 square feet in the basement of the New sUB. UBC administration offers its stamp of approval and the Ams prepares to present to the B.C. liquor control and licensing board.
AMS pulls the plug November 2013: Funding for the brewery found “out of order” at AMS Council. the $1.1 million allocated for the brewery came from the student spaces Fund, which is not allowed to fund projects on the UBC Farm.
We actually didn’t make a promise, and any promise was completely empty because we didn’t actually make it to begin with. Joaquin Acevedo aMS VP ﬁ nance, in response to complaints over aMS Council’s decision to defund the brewery project
20 | ELECTIONS |
MONDAy, JANUARy 27, 2014
MONDAy, JANUARy 27, 2014
ELEC T IONS
| GAMES | 20
Candidate gives you free food while asking you to vote for them
someone mentions the Ams’s deﬁcit
Candidate’s friend pops champagne at the election party
Candidate caught slating
snarky tweet from an audience member during a debate
A bro circle occurs at the elections party
Candidate misses a debate
group disendorses a candidate
Candidate drops out of a race
Voting website not working properly as you try to vote
Anyone other than UBC Underground posts on their VFm-hopeful blog
Candidate ﬁned for a campaign violation
BUZZwoRd! (free space)
Joke candidate becomes a real candidate
someone asks how old spencer keys is
Rebuttal opportunity in a debate used to agree with another candidate
Real candidate becomes a joke candidate
tanner Bokor seen not wearing a suit
Candidate invites you to their Facebook group/event/page
Candidate brings up irrelevant leadership experience
Candidate challenges a ruling from elections administrator or demands a recount
debate moderator asks the wrong question
Candidate promises to do something they have no power to do
You see someone removing a campaign poster
Published on Jan 27, 2014