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Array MARCH 6,2017 | VOLUME XCVIII | ISSUEXXII
PENCILS UP OUR ASSES SINCE 1918 <2J THE UBYSSEY
MARCH 6, 2017 | VOLUME XCVIII | ISSUEXXII
Coordinating Editor
Jack Hauen
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LEGAL
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contents
03 candidate
profiles
06 president
08 vp academic
09 vp administration
10 vp external
11 vp finance
12 board of
governors
14 senate
16 who you should
vote for
18 the cost of
campaigning
20 everything
you need to
know about this
year's referendum
questions
22 why the ubyssey
is disendorsing
every presidential
candidate elections issue
The time has come again.
It's elections season (no, not
that one — we have another
three years until 2020) and we
present to you our elections
issue. In it, we cover everything from a crowded Board
of Governors race to a not-
crowded-enough presidential
ballot, referendum guestions
and other important topics.
We get it. Student government can seem boring and
unimportant, and everyone
has midterms to write. But
those who are elected to top
positions within both the AMS
and the university have a key
role in determining the future
of UBC, which means you do
too. By voting, you can shape
your university and transform
it into the institution you want
it to be. As such, we hope
this issue is able to provide
guidance and clarity when
you choose your new student
government this week.
We'd like to thank our
tireless volunteers and staff
without whom we would not
have been able to pull this
issue together. Twenty-one
candidates, seven races and
three debates have reguired
a coordinated and communicative team, and we could not
be happier with how it came
together.
Voting opens online Monday, March 6 and closes
Friday, March 10. Your voice is
what matters most — make it
heard by voting.
—Sruthi Tadepalli & Samantha McCabe
news editors cc ^
o
CO
(/)
n tj ■■■   S!557»«
*■■■■■*!/»
lUUIi president
SUGAR BREWER
Sugar Brewer is a fourth-year geography student running
for president in this year's AMS Elections. His platform
focuses on transparency, student engagement and
outreach.
Aside from holding various executive positions within
his fraternity, Brewer does not have any other leadership
experience. He believes his approachability, neutrality and
capacity to communicate make him well-suited for the role
of president.
"I think that it is difficult to have a true qualification for
this position because, at this age, I think it is unlikely for
anyone to have been in charge of 50,000 people," said
Brewer.
His main goals, if elected, are to revitalize the AMS
app as a common mode of communication and to utilize
human resources — "whether that would be groups or
volunteers" — to get out and reach people.
Brewer also wants to expand Safewalk, which he says
is "underdeveloped." He hopes to be able to institute the
use of cargo bicycles to increase the effectiveness of the
service.
Brewer also has some ideas for his larger goal of
making students more engaged. In order to increase the
reach of Block Party, he wants to involve more students in
its development in a volunteer capacity, hopefully giving
those who help out a free ticket. He also wants to consult
students on how they would like Block Party to look in
order to make it more representative of all students.
"I grew up in Switzerland and I was very excited to
come to North America, being on a campus and getting
that collegiate feeling ... like in the movies," said Brewer.
"I want to be able to offer [students] that experience that I
know that they're seeking."
He also wants the AMS to help promote a healthier
campus drinking culture.
"I think that if UBC says they can't drink until they are
19, the AMS needs to recognize that they are going to
drink anyways," said Brewer.
As a part of his platform pillar of student engagement,
Brewer also wants to mobilize students as a whole versus
relying on representatives within university administration.
"[I want to] make sure that [student] voices are actually
heard in a way that makes them almost impossible to
ignore when it comes to the light that we are displeased
with the way that UBC [is] handling certain situations," he
said.
However, Brewer says his loftiest goal is the
implementation of a multi-day on-campus frosh —
something he acknowledges he will probably only be able
to lay ground work for if elected.
Brewer's platform lacks clear definition and large
projects are noticeably absent from it. This was a
purposeful decision.
"Every year, these presidents make these big, grand
promises and they don't come to fruition," said Brewer.
"People get less and less convinced that the AMS is doing
what it's meant to be doing."
He noted that while his goals may seem minor, they
will have a significant impact.
"I want to set in motion and action tools that are going
to help grow social culture through student engagement
on campus," said Brewer.
JAMES COHEN
James Cohen, a fifth-year commerce student, is running
for AMS president in this year's AMS Elections. His
platform focuses on mental health, events and advocating
for students with the Board of Governors.
Cohen co-founded and has been the president of AMS
club Party Well for the last three years. The club runs
events on campus and sends the proceeds to charity. He
also worked for AMS Events for two years.
His experience lends itself towards one of his platform
points — "uniting the UBC community through better
and bigger and more student programming events." He
specifically wants to expand Block Party and the Winter
Classic, and make Block Party a charity event, a platform
point that current President Ava Nasiri could not fulfill.
"When you run a philanthropic event, you get massive
discounts in our production, you get over 70 per cent off in
our production sources," he said.
"I don't think [Block Party] was managed anywhere
near how it should have been."
Cohen acknowledges that making Block Party
philanthropic would be a risk, but says it would have to be
a calculated one — once again noting discounts.
He emphasized that having an event that brings
together so much of the student body would increase the
feeling of unity on campus and making it philanthropic
would also give students a feeling of pride in how much
they have managed to raise for charity.
In this way, Cohen said his main goals of student
programming and well-being overlap.
"Not only have I heard that an entire per cent of
UBC's students have attempted suicide on our campus,
but actually someone really close to me who I care very
deeply about had tried to kill themself," said Cohen,
referring to the National College Health Assessment
Survey that found that 0.9 per cent of Canadian students
had attempted suicide. "So I'm not just saying 'wellness'
as a buzzword."
Before he leaves UBC, Cohen wants to decrease
that one per cent statistic. His plan to do this lacks some
specificity, but he is open to improving existing AMS
services and implementing new ones.
He specifically mentions Safewalk as a service he
appreciates and hopes to improve.
"They take people home — that's really great because
obviously sexual assault is directly correlated to mental
health," said Cohen.
However, he noted that it is problematic that they may
not take people home who are noticeably intoxicated.
If elected, he wants to expand Safewalk's volunteer
network, emphasizing that clubs like Party Well would
like to help in order to escort students, intoxicated or
otherwise, around campus at night.
His final platform point is his plan to advocate the UBC
Board of Governors to take student voices seriously.
"I think that if UBC doesn't listen to its students,
students need to take drastic measures to make sure that
this is the campus that we want it to be," he said.
Of all his goals, Cohen acknowledges that his loftiest is
to "make UBC the happiest university in North America."
"I hope to lay down a [multi-year] plan ... in order
to make sure that progress is continually made going
forward," said Cohen. "I'll be doing my best in the one
year that I can."
THE CAIRN
The Cairn, a six-foot tall block of reinforced concrete, is
in its fourth year majoring in publicity as a major campus
advertising tool. Its platform focuses on AMS Council and
concrete.
Having been on campus for a few decades, the Cairn
has seen many AMS executive teams come together,
and feels confident that as president, it can lead a diverse
team.
"It has seen the one's who have done well, it has seen
the one's who have not done so well," said the Cairn's
human puppet in its stead. "It can bring together different
interests, really push forward the AMS in a positive
direction and continue to work on some of the past
executives projects."
The Cairn's unique experience is what motivated it to
run.
"It feels that just as the cement within its concrete
structure binds together the different parts of the concrete,
it can bind together an executive team as well as add
staff and an entire AMS council to start to create positive
change for the AMS," said its representative.
If elected, the Cairn promises to effectively govern
AMS Council. Specifically, it would ensure last-minute
changes aren't made to the AMS Council agenda and
would prevent long meetings.
"The Cairn feels that changes to council agenda and
amendments to the agenda, once it's been sent out to
councillors, should never happen," said its human puppet.
"The Cairn feels that this is inappropriate and breaking
of the decorum of Council, and it is disrespectful to
councillors."
It would also provide increased support to councillors
at the beginning of their terms.
The Cairn's loftiest goal is the implementation of
porous concrete on campus as opposed to standard non-
porous concrete.
"A significant amount of students on campus are
environmentally engaged," it said through its human
puppet. "Porous concrete offers significant advantages in
this, including groundwater recharge and the filtration of
certain toxins."
The Cairn is less of a joke candidate than you might
think. In the Great Debate, the Cairn's human puppet, a
fourth-year engineering student named Alan Ehrenholz,
revealed that if elected, he would take office.
"So yes, the Cairn is a serious candidate," said
Ehrenholz during the debate.
Ehrenholz has experience in student government,
as he has been the past president of the Engineering
Undergraduate Society. He also chaired the AMS
Council's oversight committee.
06 candidate profiles vp
board of g< ate
JESSE HOOTON
Jesse Hooton is a fourth-year political science major
running for president. His platform focuses on campus
security, career counselling and sport.
Hooton doesn't have any leadership experience on
campus, but has been involved in campus life as a varsity
athlete, something which he says gives him a unique
perspective into "anyone with a constraining schedule
outside class hours."
This perspective is what fuelled one of his main
platform points — career counselling.
"Different faculties, different programs, they offer
career counselling seminars ... [but] so many students just
dont have the opportunities to attend so many of them,"
said Hooton. "I know I don't."
As a potential solution to this problem, he puts forward
the idea of a website where faculty will offer input and
knowledge that might otherwise be offered at seminars in
a concise fashion.
However, Hooton does not have a plan set in stone for
how this would work.
"There is time to iron out and to expand the vision but
right now, it's something accessible, something flexible for
students," said Hooton.
Campus security is another major part of Hooton's
platform.
"I got three bikes stolen which is I think an issue that
plagues this whole campus ... it really speaks to a larger
issue of just how campus security hasnt really been
enough of a focus," said Hooton. "This also spans to
sexual assault. It's been a problem certainly as long as
I've been here and for many more years."
He has a few plans for how he might combat these
issues of campus security.
Over-archingly, he considers the possibility of an
extension of the AMS's Safewalk service that might patrol
main areas of campus. Hooton says he will also advocate
for the need for the cameras on campus, even in the face
of privacy policies and legislation that may prevent it.
To prevent bike theft specifically he advocates for
locked gated areas for bikes. He also thinks bait-bike
programs would aid the issue. In response to already
decreasing rates of bike theft, he promised that "it's going
to go down more if you elect me."
According to Hooton, addressing the issue of sexual
assault on campus is his loftiest goal, because it is more
of a cultural problem. He plans to tackle it through PR
campaigns, rallies and events.
"PR campaigns do a lot... to advance and
unstigmatize the sort of the problems that people have
[when] discussing the issue," said Hooton.
Sports culture on campus is important to Hooton, a
varsity athlete. A specific challenge he sees if elected
president is the growing discontent with fees included in
student tuition to cover athletics and recreation.
Given his lack of experience Hooton believes that,
as president, he would bring an outsider perspective to
the AMS, and says his ability to handle pressure, remain
consistent and not be intimidated will help him.
"You just have to have confidence that you do have
the skills and ... know you have just as every right to be in
this position as anyone else," said Hooton.
JULIAN DEL BALSO
Julian Del Balso is a fourth-year triple majoring in
being "THE MAAANN OF THE PEOPLE" running for
president in this year's AMS Elections. He describes
his platform as "steezy" — which, for the less informed,
Urban Dictionary defines as a combination of the words
"style" and "ease."
Aside from his role as the admin of a meme page
and hosting some "pretty good" camping trips, Del Balso
acknowledges that he brings zero experience to the role.
When setting himself apart from his opposition, he
said, "my lack of experience is appropriate.
"Unlike the other candidates, I am not good at school
and work and leadership, and that makes me more like
[students]," said Del Balso.
If elected, he promises to make his number one priority
turning the fountain into a Jacuzzi. He admits that the
bureaucracy he would face might make this a challenge.
"You never know what the higher-ups are going to
think," said Del Balso. "The AMS only has so much
power."
However, this is not his loftiest goal. That, he
acknowledges, is his aim to expand The Pit into the
entirety of the Nest and having Pit Night five nights a
week.
Del Balso also plans to put his entire salary towards
getting arcade games into The Pit.
"I'm extremely irresponsible with money. So however
the AMS budget is allotted, it will be very interesting to
see," said Del Balso.
"I represent all of the students."
candidate profiles 07 president
vp academic
DANIEL LAM
Daniel Lam, a third-year atmospheric sciences major,
is running unopposed for the position of VP Academic
and University Affairs. He is bringing with him a platform
centred on affordability, student experience and equity
and inclusion.
Buzzwords aside, Lam's platform focuses on
continuing the AMS's efforts to decrease the impact of
financial hardship on students' academics, providing more
support to certain underrepresented groups on campus
and trying to help students get the most out of their
academic experience.
One of the most noteworthy promises Lam makes is
to push for a review of Policy 73, concerning academic
accommodation for students with disabilities, in his
efforts to provide support for students who need such
assistance.
"Those who know me well would actually know that
I'm a high-functioning autistic and I've been part of certain
groups on this campus representing neuro-diverse
individuals," said Lam. "A lot of them talk about problems
with Access and Diversity and issues that they're facing
with how the university is supporting students with
disabilities."
In terms of affordability, Lam emphasizes the
importance of open educational resources. He plans to
lobby with the future VP External to advocate for funding
at a provincial level, as well as finding professors who
are "champions of [open educational] resources," stating
that they are strong allies in the shift away from paper
textbooks.
Lam also applauds the consultation done by the
AMS in the past year for the sexual assault policy, and
recognizes that continuing the advocacy efforts could
pose a challenge in the coming year.
'The policy as I know it [is] only going to provide a sort
of starting point for the university," said Lam.
Many of the points Lam brings up in his platform aren't
new to the work that the VP Academic has done in the
past, but his knowledge of how the portfolio operates has
influenced this conformity.
"This is a portfolio where a lot of projects are passed
on every year. One of the things I didn't want to do was
actually start a lot of new projects because I knew that I
wouldn't be able to keep those promises," said Lam.
08 candidate profiles board of g< ate
POOJA BHATTI
A fourth-year science student, Pooja Bhatti aims
to strengthen the relationship between the AMS,
constituencies and clubs. This platform is motivated by
her experiences working with the AMS as the Science
Undergraduate Society's current VP Administration
and as the UBC Canadian Liver Foundation's former
president.
She also believes that there's a need to "rebuild this
relationship" with clubs and constituencies because the
executives of "the past years have been more focused on
[the Nest]."
To achieve this goal, her platform has four pillars —
restructure the AMS-constituency relationship, improve
outreach to and by clubs, increase sustainability and
accessibility of the Nest, and enhance campus culture.
For the first pillar, Bhatti aims to implement the
recommendations to the issues laid out in a recent report
established by the ad-hoc committee on the AMS's
relationship with constituencies. One particular issue
is the lack of "structured support" from the AMS, which
Bhatti also considers a major problem.
"I feel that a lot of the constituencies had to reach
out, but there wasn't much outreach from [the VP
Administration] and all of the AMS," said Bhatti. "I feel like
something quite drastic had to happen to hear from them
and I dont think that's a responsible way to run."
In response, the recommendations include "improved
communication," "a resource package" and "AMS VPs
reaching out to respective constituencies' roles."
The next two pillars plan to empower clubs by
increasing communication between them and the AMS,
as well as their awareness about the Student Life &
Sustainability Centre. Bhatti also wants to streamline the
current booking process in the Nest, the inefficiency of
which was likewise pointed out by Julien Hart, another
candidate.
"I'd like to make it an online booking system," said
Bhatti. "This is something weVe established in our Abdul
Ladha Science Student Centre and it works really well."
For comparison, Hart aims to implement "a simple,
more reliable" booking system. However, the specific
details of what this simpler system would look like are not
provided.
For the last pillar, Bhatti intends to incorporate clubs
and constituencies into the planning process of events
like Block Party in order to increase student engagement
beyond the academic realm. She considers this the goal
of her platform that will be hardest to achieve.
Overall, Bhatti believes that her extensive experiences
at both the club and constituency levels are what would
allow her to carry out her platform and give her an edge.
"I have been able to play up to some of the AMS VP
Administration's responsibilities [in the SUS], so it's like
I've done it on a smaller scale before," said Bhatti.
JULIEN HART
A second-year commerce student, Julien Hart wants to
empower clubs. This focus is motivated by his formal and
informal experiences working in event-planning intensive
positions such as the social chair of the Zeta Psi fraternity.
The knowledge he has gained at Sauder also
influences his platform.
To facilitate the operation of clubs, Hart's platform has
three pillars — streamlining booking, simplifying the policy
for club management software transitions and improving
the current Club Handbook.
The first pillar tackles the inefficiency around booking,
which Hart has "witnessed firsthand." This issue is also
addressed by Pooja Bhatti, another candidate in the VP
Administration race.
To resolve this problem, Hart advocates for an
"overhaul" of the current system in favour of a "simple and
more reliable [one]" — he aims to present a visual list of
the rooms available for easier booking, and have students
tap in with their student card to increase accountability.
For reference, Bhatti suggests making it an online system
like what the Abdul Ladha Science Student Centre
currently has.
Hart's second pillar aims to create a policy that would
smooth out the transition between the club management
softwares, which has received mixed reactions from
students with the recent change from Orgsync to
Clubhouse.
"We're going to keep offering training sessions and
people will learn it," said Hart. "But if we keep switching
these programs every time the contract ends ... it's going
to be difficult for the clubs to stay engaged."
To complement the policy, Hart also suggests
reaching out to Sauder's professors that are experts
at organizational behaviour or business technology
management for guidance. Hart doesn't associate
any potential cost with this form of consultation that he
mentioned.
The last pillar suggests improvements to the Club
Handbook that aim at providing clubs with technical
knowledge beyond the administrative rules. Some areas
include how to increase 'the accessibility to corporate
partnerships," "establish [one's] own sponsorships" and
"[preserve the] marketing experience."
"I want to take those [COMM] 202 skills and bring
them to the club executives so they can get those
sponsorships," said Hart. "I've created some great
relationships with people ... there's so much when people
start expanding beyond the basic UBC resources."
Overall, Hart considers this the hardest goal of his
platform due to the amount of required information.
"It takes time and effort, but I think there's a lot of value
to be added from that," said Hart. "That's how I want the
VP Administration to work with students — to work with
students to empower them."
FARAZ NIKZAD
A fourth-year commerce student, Faraz Nikzad aims
to improve both the student and business sides of the
AMS. This platform builds upon his experiences working
with and for the AMS as the UBC Persian Club's current
president and as the former manager-on-duty for its food
outlets.
To enhance the student experience, he first wants to
"consult clubs and constituencies on [their concerns]."
At the same time, Nikzad plans to foster stronger
partnerships between clubs by "introducing artistic and
collaborative projects" through the AMS.
"I'm thinking maybe a culture concert," he said. "IVe
been involved with organizing multiple concerts and I
believe that the AMS has that kind of platform to bring
serious cultural materials [here]."
He also wants to create partnerships that would
make the Nest more inclusive such as working with The
Pride Collective. Nikzad believes that through these
collaborations, "more people of different backgrounds
[would be able to connect] and make [the Nest] the place
that everyone feels welcomed at."
However, he also considers this his platform's hardest
goal because "not everyone is on the same energy level."
To enhance the business side, Nikzad aims to improve
the food outlets' customer service and costs in order to
make the Nest more attractive.
"I would be working with the managers to come up with
new plans," he said. "[One is to] review the operations
and products of our businesses and make sure that they
are providing the best [services] to our students. [Another
one is] to create a sustainable operations plan for the
long-term that would result in a consistent and attractive
experience at every outlet."
Crediting the skills and connections that he has gained
from working for the outlets, as well as the knowledge
about logistics and operations that he has learned at
Sauder, Nikzad feels comfortable that he would be able to
accomplish these plans.
However, it should be noted that the VP Administrated
is not the sole decision-maker for these areas of business.
Overall, he believes that this goal is what sets him
apart from his competitors, as none of them discuss the
AMS's businesses in their platforms.
"The challenge of being VP Administration is working
with people," said Nikzad. "For me, it's easier because
I know all the managers well. I am probably the only
candidate who has worked for the AMS for many years
now."
candidate profiles 09 president   vp academic
vp external   vp finance
SALLY LIN
Second-year political science and human geography
student Sally Lin is currently one of two candidates
running for the position of VP External in this year's AMS
Elections. Lin's platform consists of three key points
— academic affordability, better student housing and
accessible transit.
In her first platform pillar of academic affordability, Lin
emphasizes her goal of collaborating with other student
unions to "lobby on federal legislation that prevents
universities and bookstores [from] sourcing textbooks
anywhere around the globe."
Lin stated that the very issue of achieving textbook
parity is unique. "No other students associations or
unions, to my knowledge, have lobbied on it. I think that
this is something that could do very well in bringing all
student unions together," she said.
The second key point in Lin's platform is addressed
in her online platform, as she hopes to "work with other
student unions in BC to lobby the provincial government
to relax debt rules and allow the university to find
alternative financial arrangements."
In addressing accessibility of transit for students, Lin
hopes to push for quick development of the different
phases of the Broadway Corridor, and work with the
Mayor's Council and the provincial government to achieve
this goal.
In terms of challenges that could potentially arise
this coming year as VP External, Lin said, "lobbying on
providing students with more housing on campus would
be a challenge simply because of the nature of the
legislation change that it would require. It's a much more
complex issue in comparison to textbooks and student
loans, as it involves a lot of different stakeholders."
Despite the potential challenges that could face
Lin, she expressed confidence and referred to her
experience in past positions which include being a council
member on the AMS board of directors, an elected Arts
Undergraduate Society (AUS) representative, co-chair
of the AUS first-year committee, and an education and
student services representative on the Vancouver School
Board Committee.
Lin believes that what sets her apart from her
opposition is the emphasis her platform puts on
constituency support and engagement.
"I think I want to hit the nail on the head and say that
being an arts councillor, I sat on the AUS and saw them
experience a rocky year," said Lin. "One thing that I really
hope to do next year would be to re-examine constituency
relationships. [I want to] look at how we can support them
and how we can make smaller student societies under the
AMS stronger.
"I will be putting all of my effort into the VP External
portfolio, working tirelessly for students here at UBC."
DARIO GAROUSIAN
Dario Garousian, one of two candidates running for VP
External in this year's AMS elections, is a third-year
political science and psychology major. He presents a
three-part platform consisting of what he refers to on his
website as "lobbying for you, fair and open external office,
and fiscal plan and costing."
The first pillar of Garousian's platform focuses on
issues such as the U-Pass and reimplementation of
the 99 Special bus service — which ran from 2004 to
2006 before getting cancelled — as well as the hope of
providing better housing for students.
As his platform states on housing, 'the VP External
must recommend that the provincial government enable
post-secondary institutions to take on debt to build student
housing. The VP External should further lobby the BC
Government [to] fund 10 per cent of the costs of student
housing in order to accelerate the process [and] help
alleviate the housing market crunch."
Garousian also notes the importance of the second
pillar of his platform, which is to provide a transparent
external office.
"A fair and open external office focuses a lot on
redefining executive accountability toward students
because right now the AMS, in my opinion, isn't
accountable to students," said Garousian. "They aren't
regularly updating students on how much they are
spending."
He intends on creating a more "fair and open office"
by accelerating and expanding data initiatives through
the current AMS website, and by making lobbying data
available digitally to students.
Garousian also emphasized his desire to restructure
the VP External office, as he said he wants to "focus on
effective and efficient advocacy by increasing our part-
time student staff at no extra cost to students."
In addressing potential challenges that would face
him in the upcoming year, Garousian noted his lack of
involvement with the AMS this past year.
"I took a break for myself. That's going to be a problem
for me. It's going to be a challenge to define myself as an
individual who is competent for office but also someone
who knows the AMS."
However, Garousian states that what he think sets
him apart from his opposition, Sally Lin, is his experience.
He was formerly vice-chair of the university and external
relations committee, as well as the academic affairs
commissioner. This past summer, Garousian also says
that he was hired as the outreach organizer on electoral
reform for LeadNow, an advocacy organization.
Garousian also has experience working for the NDR
During the Great Debate, he noted his connections within
the party and that he "would work towards them because
they do have priorities regarding students." However,
if elected, Garousian said he would drop all partisan
affiliations.
When asked what his self-dubbed superlative would
be, Garousian responded that it would be "most likely to
be mayor." "I like municipal politics because you really
connect to your community to the greatest extent," he
said.
10 candidate profile vp
board of g<       lors ate
ALIM LAKHIYALOV
Although Alim Lakhiyalov is running unopposed for the
position of AMS VP Finance, he still has an extensive
platform prepared and a host of relevant experiences.
A fourth-year cognitive systems and computer science
major, Lakhiyalov is campaigning on a platform that
includes creating a long-term sustainable financial plan,
implementing professional development programs for
students and integrating financial systems and expanding
their usage to all clubs and constituencies.
"Financial systems help the smaller clubs actually
generate more revenue," said Lakhiyalov. "This year, I
was fortunate enough to firsthand see the benefits of
financial systems ... I want to expand that."
Lakhiyalov said that much of his motivation to run
for the position came from his experience working as
the associate VP Finance for the past year, a position
in which he worked closely with current VP Finance
Louis Retief.
"I was able to build that relationship with [the clubs
and constituencies] and understand how much these
organizations matter for our student community here
that we have," said Lakhiyalov. "One of the main
motivators as well was for the past 10 months, the VP
Finance and I have been working really, really closely
... and I was really involved in the launches of all these
new initiatives.
"[These projects have] such massive opportunities
for growth in the future."
Lakhiyalov has also worked as vice-chair of the
fund committee.
Lakhiyalov said that his biggest challenge, if elected,
will be implementing the new investment policy change
which is being put up for referendum. He claims that
if done correctly, the new policy could generate a lot
more revenue for the AMS. He also pledged to continue
Retief's work in moving towards financial transparency by
releasing the AMS budget on a quarterly basis.
"I really like this idea and I'd like to be the person to
put this forward because with transparency, students
are actually able to see what their money is going into.
With the quarterly updates, it won't be a single time here
and there [but instead] would be more frequent updates
[so that] students can understand what's happening
financially with the AMS," said Lakhiyalov.
During the Great Debate, Lakhiyalov noted that his
quarterly reports would be a summary of the AMS's
financial situation and that he would separately release
the line-item budget in July.
candidate profile 11 LOUIS RETIEF
Louis Retief, a fourth-year finance and business
technology management student, is running for the
Board of Governors on a three-part platform of improving
financial transparency, enhancing the student experience
and advocating for increased affordability and services.
In his first platform pillar of improving financial
transparency, Retief combines the past year's hot
button-topic of a transparent running of the Board with his
extensive financial experience. As this year's VP Finance,
Retief is in charge of managing the entire AMS budget.
He's also treasurer of the Student Legal Fund Society and
of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
"I've worked quite extensively with the university this
year. Specifically, the AMS received our first athletics and
recreation budget in eight years from the university," said
Retief. "So just continuing that for multiple departments in
the university and advocating to inform students on where
the money is going."
With this goal, he also hopes to increase student
consultation for the allocation of the university's
Excellence Fund.
Like many of his fellow candidates, Retief's second
platform point emphasizes pushing the importance of the
student experience. While he acknowledges the fiduciary
duty to the university that he would have, should he be
elected as a member, his platform notes that he intends to
"advocate for increased spending to enhance the student
community and experiences on campus." He also plans
to explore consultation opportunities to increase ties
between UBC and students.
Finally, Retief wants to advocate for the affordability of
services.
"I want to advocate for improved career services. It's
something I definitely see as lacking at UBC. If you look
at a lot of the top-tier schools ... they have some amazing
access to career services, so I want to work with the
university on improving those."
Retief takes inspiration from his predecessors whom
he considers 'titans" on the Board.
"I have a lot of respect for both of them. They did a
really good job encompassing the student voice, and
really pushing that at the university and really being a
loud voice in the room," said Retief on Veronica Knott and
Aaron Bailey, this past year's Board student members .
He does, however, see some room for growth in that
he hopes to attend every AMS Council meeting and also
regularly attend GSS Council meetings.
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JAKOB GATTINGER
Third-year mining engineering student Jakob Gattinger
is running for the UBC Board of Governors on a platform
of transparency, the student experience, campus safety,
sustainability, diversity and communication.
Gattinger's main leadership experience comes from
being the Engineering Undergraduate Society's VP
Academic, a student member of the UBC president's
search committee for the new VP Provost and the chair of
the AMS governance review implementation committee.
"I think those [roles] translate over to Board quite nicely
in terms of getting a feel for what students want and then
speaking up for them in the context of being a governor,"
said Gattinger.
Like many of the other Board candidates, Gattinger
places an emphasis on the student experience in his
platform. He plans to push for positive change through
initiatives like UBC GamePlan, mental health support
services and advocating for the student voice when
allocating the Strategic Initiatives Fund.
He is also a strong voice for transparency within the
Board, with one of his platform points being advocating for
a solid Policy 93 — the policy governing open and closed
meetings of the Board, and an especially hot-button topic
over the last year.
"As BoG has committed to incorporate the work of
an independent consultant in further consultation on this
topic, I will push to ensure there is room in this process for
further input by students," he said.
During the debates, it became clear that one of the
finer points of Policy 93 change that Gattinger wants
to push for is to have the overview of Board member
meeting attendance discussed in open session — as it
is currently discussed in closed session — as well as the
release of more documents from meetings.
Gattinger's platform also contains points on
maintaining the sustainability of financial practice through
pushing for advertisement of the Sustainable Future
Fund to donors, improving campus safety through Policy
131 advocacy and boosting financial commitment to the
Diversity Fund.
As a candidate who is also running for Senate this
year, he notes that if he were to be selected for both
positions, he would strive to increase the connectivity and
cohesiveness of the two bodies.
"That's why I'm running for both — to look at some of
the funding side of things from the Board, and to try and
address some of the implementation aspects from Senate
side."
What Gattinger considers his loftiest goal is his plan
to advocate for a third of the Excellence Fund to be put
towards student experience funding.
JEANIE MALONE
Jeanie Malone, a fifth-year electrical engineering student
in the biomedical stream, is running for the UBC Board
of Governors on a platform of seeking transparency,
advocating for a better student experience and
communicating the student voice.
As current president of the Engineering Undergraduate
Society (EUS) and a former EUS executive for a couple
of years before that, as well as the current chair of the
Geering Up board of advisors, Malone brings a lot of
representative and management experience to the table.
As one of the students working (along with another BoG
candidate, Jakob Gattinger) to oversee the approval
process for the biomedical engineering undergraduate
program, she also has a relatively unique experience
working within the walls of the Board itself.
Malone's platform points seem quite broad and a little
intangible at first read, but she does have ideas for how
to actually bring them to fruition. She emphasizes the
small steps involved in changing the rhetoric of the Board,
pointing to the hot-button topic of transparency as an
example.
"I think that Policy 93 is obviously going to have a
big impact, and [it's important to be] pushing for student
voices to be heard and pushing for transparency via the
review of that policy," said Malone. "I also think that it's the
little things like making sure that the agendas go out more
than three hours before the meeting — things like that."
Malone notes that while it can seem "nagging and
annoying," she would push for the Board to be timely
about small transparency goals like releasing agendas
earlier.
She considers her loftiest goal to be that of improving
and maintaining the emphasis of past Board student
members on the student experience. A platform goal of
almost all of the candidates this year, Malone plans to do
this by pushing for the prioritization of initiatives that come
before Board like GamePlan, program consultations and
the sexual assault policy.
"To accomplish this, I will seek nomination to both
the Finance Committee, and the People, Community &
International Committee," reads Malone's platform on her
candidacy website.
Once student members of the Board are elected, their
primary mandate is to ensure the best interests of the
university first and foremost. To reconcile her priorities of
the student experience and her role as a Board member,
Malone hopes to be a strong advocate.
"I think that during committee meetings and during
discussions, it's important to be very clear [about the
things that] will impact students and to make those
choices," said Malone. "But I think that once a decision
is made, you stick by the decision and you represent
Board."
12 candidate profiles vp
board of governors
enate
SNEHA BALANI
Sneha Balani, a fifth-year PhD candidate in the faculty of
medicine studying cancer stem cells and tumour biology,
is running for the Board of Governors on a platform of
student advocacy, increased diversity and enhanced
communication between students and the Board.
Balani has leadership experience as a former
residence advisor, a former executive at various graduate
associations, the president of GrasPods and as a student
sitting on President Santa Ono's UBC Vancouver non-
academic misconduct committee.
Her experience as chair of the Graduate Student
Society's (GSS) strategic planning ad hoc committee
would likely be useful to her in the case of working on
UBC's strategic plan, a key factor in the university's look
at big-picture development.
A key component of Balani's platform focuses on
constant incorporation of the interests and needs of
students. According to her online platform, she would
"advocate for keeping students at the core of the decisionmaking process and ensuring student engagement is
achieved through thoughtful consultation." It's important
to note that, if elected, a student member's mandate on
the Board would be to serve the interests of the university
as a whole — and sometimes advocating for the student
voice is more difficult when put in practice.
"I think I could be a mature, uninhibited voice on the
Board, being a graduate student and an international
student, and also having the ability to connect with both
graduates and undergraduates given my past experience
with residence life," said Balani, noting what she
describes as a holistic perspective.
As another platform point, Balani hopes to increase
communication between students and the Board,
noting that she would like to continue the work that this
past year's Board student members Aaron Bailey and
Veronica Knott have done by presenting at AMS and GSS
meetings.
"I'm also passionate about inclusion and the
maintenance of diversity, and increasing the accessibility
of UBC to minorities and international students," said
Balani. Her prioritization of this particular platform goal
is what makes her unique amongst the candidates'
collective emphasis on the student voice and as an
international student, she does represent a diverse
perspective.
While appreciative of the work that current Board
student members have done, Balani said that she would
be eager to learn from their strengths and shortcomings.
"They've tried to initiate a lot of initiatives, but they
haven't been able to take it to the end," said Balani. "I
dont think it's their fault. I think they did a really good
job, but I just think the next person in this position can
understand their role and do it better."
Balani acknowledges that her platform points are quite
broad and overarching. She also notes that a potential
challenge for her could be the steep learning curve that
she would face. She plans to mitigate these challenges
by, again, emphasizing student consultation and applying
her research experience to stay adequately prepared and
informed before meetings.
KEVIN DOERING
Fourth-year honours economics student Kevin Doering
is running for the Board of Governors on a platform of
transparency and communication, tuition and affordability,
and student housing.
As this year's AMS associate VP Academic, he
"worked to address student advocacy issues at all
levels of UBC Administration, including drafting multiple
submissions to the Board of Governors," according to his
website. He also worked previously as a peer advisor with
Arts Academic Advising, a job that he says gave him a
unique look into student issues in the academic sphere.
"[Board] is not a place where you can show up on day
one and say, 'hey, I want to totally revamp the student
experience.' It's a place where items and projects and
policy are brought to you, and you have to work within that
framework to achieve the goals you want," said Doering.
"So I focused my platform on issues that I anticipate ... will
be major highlighted issues [next year]."
Doering's first pillar is to address the cost and scarcity
of student housing, which he plans to do by advocating
against any changes that he would see as having further
negative effects. From his student member predecessors
on the Board, he would have liked to see stronger
opposition to the faculty housing plan.
"[It's] diverting money that would have gone to the
creation of student housing — it is now going towards the
creation of faculty housing. And I think that $10 million a
year is a significant sum," he said.
His second pillar aims to address the topic of
transparency within the Board, which has been a big
topic among candidates since the last year's highly
publicized transparency issues. As someone who worked
on the AMS's consultation process for Policy 93 on open
and closed Board meetings, Doering emphasized both
his understanding of and ability to bring meaningful
consultation to the policy. To further increase transparency
and student connection, he hopes to write a blog, write
regular op-eds for The Ubyssey, and hold open sessions
for students before committee meetings.
Doering's third platform pillar concerns affordability,
which he sees as not just tuition but also fees, textbooks
and housing. For example, he wants to uphold the
existing two per cent domestic tuition cap and advocate
against the introduction of additional fees.
Doering hopes to address much of his platform
promises through the dual lenses of a Board of Governors
membership and a seat on the Senate, the other position
that he is running for this year.
"In both positions I will strive to protect and improve
affordability and access to education, not just by
opposing tuition increases, but by addressing the many
compounding issues that all contribute to affordability," he
said on his website.
On the challenge of being both a student advocate and
owing a fiduciary duty to the Board as a member, Doering
said, "I dont think that the two are mutually exclusive.
I think that part of the reason that there are students
elected to the Board of Governors is that a student's
perspective ... is often what's in the best interests of the
university."
candidate profiles 13 Kevin Doering is launching his second campaign for
a seat on the UBC Vancouver Senate, having first
run unsuccessfully in 2016. The fourth-year honours
economics student's platform is aimed at ensuring that
Senate will have a "student-focused agenda" for the next
three years, as a new set of faculty representatives begin
their terms this year.
"I can't stress enough how much I genuinely care
about working on these issues," he said. "Everything
students care about — from affordability to the education
they're receiving — happens at Senate."
One of his platform goals is the elimination of non-
tuition mandatory course fees such as problem set
access codes for students, which Doering suggests
should be absorbed into tuition fees by UBC. He is also
advocating to mandate a textbook review section in
course evaluations in order to ensure the relevancy of
required textbooks.
"Professors need to be more aware of what the
textbook usage and relevancy in their classes actually
look like," said Doering, citing the 2016 Academic
Experience Survey which revealed that 94 per cent of
students have bought a textbook that they never used,
while 42 per cent of students regularly don't purchase
required textbooks at all.
One part of the solution, Doering says, is increasing
access to open educational resources (OERs) at UBC, a
transition that has already begun to take place.
"There's been a growing push for OERs at UBC and
[the university] has shown willingness to make that push
as well," said Doering. "We've actually seen OER options
double in the last year."
According to Doering, another solution to the issue of
educational unaffordability is further open access to past
course materials, which currently contributes to a system
"where students who are financially disadvantaged are
also academically disadvantaged."
"I understand that there are concerns regarding
materials from previous years being used inappropriately,
but it's already happening in many ways," said Doering,
referring to websites like CourseHero which allow
students access to thousands of past notes, exams and
problem sets from UBC courses for monthly subscription
fees.
"UBC needs to at least begin to address [the issue]
through either making those materials openly available to
all students, or coming up with some sort of system where
this isn't happening."
Doering also stressed that the Student Senate caucus
needs to be coordinated and united in the agenda items it
puts forward in order to properly advocate for students.
"My platform is largely focused on new ideas that
we can see into the triennium [and] that we can see
completed rather than waiting for someone else to set that
agenda," said Doering. "It's important that we start to look
at what goals we can set for the next three years."
DANIEL LAM
Third-year atmospheric science student Daniel Lam
served on the Student Senate caucus for this past
academic year, and is running for re-election. His platform
reflects some of the ongoing work that student senators
are doing — which Lam hopes to continue into the new
triennium — as well as the introduction of several new
initiatives.
Lam plans to focus on the three central tenets of
diversity, reforming the relationship between Senate
and the Board of Governors and the introduction of a fall
reading break — a goal of many current and prospective
student senators that he says is long overdue at UBC.
Based on observations during his previous Senate
term, Lam sees a disconnect between the processes of
program approval and tuition consultation. He wants to
see them streamlined so that proper tuition consultations
happen before programs are approved.
Lam sees the role of student senator as providing
"an informed perspective from students to a body that is
mainly made up of faculty," given that students will directly
feel the effects of Senate decisions.
"We are the ones who are going to be getting [the]
most out of Senate," said Lam. "For example, the
Teaching and Learning Committee deals with teaching
and learning technology we are going to use. Curriculum
Committee deals with courses that we are going to take
... this is why the student voice is incredibly vital."
Additionally, Lam wants to continue the discussion
of how the university can best support a diverse student
body.
"University data has shown that certain groups of
people are feeling less of a sense of belonging and also
feeling less supported in their academics," said Lam.
"Groups like the LGBTQIA+ community and also certain
international students from specific countries ... are
feeling less belonging."
As a returning senator, Lam would aim to target
this through the creation of an ad-hoc committee on
supporting diversity in the student body.
He said that last year's student senate did a good job
of engaging with the larger student body, accomplished in
part through the UBC Student Senators' Twitter account
and Lam's recurring Ubyssey column on what to expect
from Senate meetings.
"I think more students are informed now on what the
Senate does and we want to continue that work that's
been done this year."
SIMRAN BRAR
Simran Brar is a third-year biology student running to be
a student-at-large on the Vancouver Senate this year. Her
platform centres on support for mental health initiatives,
mandatory syllabi, a fall reading break, the extension
of withdrawal deadlines and an ad hoc committee on
diversity.
Brar frames her campaign with the three key values
of dedication, engagement and transparency. To her,
this means putting in work every week, reaching out to
students and making Senate materials accessible to
students.
One factor that motivates Brar to run for Senate is
a perceived disconnect between the actions of UBC's
governing bodies and students' understanding of them.
"I think, as student senators, we can try to bridge
that gap by providing students with alternatives rather
than 500-word meeting agendas to find out what
Senate actually does," said Brar. "I've heard concerns
that students might not care, but I think in order to be
transparent, you need to make materials accessible.
"There's a disconnect," she said. "If a significant part of
the population doesn't know what's happening, how are
you supposed to get a response?"
Through her involvement in the UBC Residence
Hall Association, Brar has noticed patterns in student
behaviour related to rising stress levels and she
emphasizes the importance of mental health support. She
is running because she believes that her concerns mirror
those of her peers and wants to give students a clear
place to take their academic issues.
Brar aims to see initiatives through to the finish line —
during the campaign period and beyond.
"I think it's unacceptable to push so hard for two weeks
and then never consult with any of the students that you
reached out to before," said Brar.
In order to have a voice as a student senator, Brar
notes it is important to make connections with faculty and
long-standing members who know how to get issues on
the agenda and give projects forward momentum.
"I don't want to be the type of senator that goes to
committee meetings, and then just goes to the Senate
meeting that happens every month, and then doesn't do
any work or consult students," she said.
Instead, Brar plans to spend time getting to know
everyone from committee chairs to secretaries in order
to gain a better understanding of how to make changes
within the Senate system.
"I want to be the kind of senator that spends 10 hours
working for Senate each week," she said.
14 candidate profiles vp
board of governors
senate
WILLIAM CHEN
William Chen, a first-year arts student, is running to
be one of five student senators-at-large in the UBC
Vancouver Senate. Citing that he is motivated to run
"because the Senate is full of shit," Chen's platform
centres around repealing the arts language requirement,
affordable education, student consultation, and banning
elections campaigning and commercial advertising in
classrooms.
He says that the arts language requirement "puts a
strain on the number of credits that arts students can take
to achieve a well-rounded education," without adding
meaningful value to their degree.
Chen hopes to make education more affordable by
working against mandatory textbook access codes and
other barriers to open education and access to scientific
research.
He also places a focus on harnessing the power of
student support as a fundamental requirement for the
Student Senate caucus, which comprises a minority of 18
members compared to 70 faculty and staff. He suggests
that the Senate and the Board of Governors need to be
reminded that student voices matter.
"Even though student senators are the elected
representatives of the student body, they don't necessarily
always show that they have the student body behind them
and that makes Senate less likely to take them seriously,"
said Chen.
"We can't just act as delegates anymore. This is more
than just about voting yes or no — this is about making
it clear that students will stand for certain issues," he
said. "That they are committed to working towards these
issues, that they are willing to take a stand when textbook
companies and the Board of Governors constantly try to
rally against them."
While Chen believes that past student senators have
done well in advocating for mental health awareness,
as well as bringing in new programs such as the African
Studies minor which was initiated in 2005, he questions
the feasibility and importance of oft-repeated campaign
points such as introducing a fall reading break.
"I think a lot of student senators come onto the Senate,
and they have big hopes and big aspirations. They have
an idea of what they want UBC to be like, but they fail.
That's inherently because the way we're going at it is
wrong."
He wants to make it clear that while he brings specific
goals to the table, Chen is more interested in pursuing
projects that students want addressed in the long-term,
long after campaigns are over.
"The way that we're approaching the Senate is that
this begins and ends at the ballot, and it doesnt."
JAKOB GATTINGER
Jakob Gattinger, a third-year mining engineering student,
is running to be one of five student senators-at-large in
the UBC Vancouver Senate — the university's highest
academic governing body. His platform is focused on
mental health, a commitment to diversity and tuition
consultation concerns.
"I think Senate requires that sort of non-student
government lens and I think that I am able to bring that,"
said Gattinger of his time as a student ambassador and
Jump Start leader.
Gattinger cites his experience consulting on the recent
Senate decision to approve a new biomedical engineering
undergraduate degree as EUS VP Academic as the
project that helped him see a "broader cross-section" of
the impact of Senate decisions.
"Having [academic programs] that are just structurally
unfriendly to mental health and well-being is what needs
to be addressed next," said Gattinger, referring to the
new program which will see students in class with very
few breaks for the first 18 months of their degree. "We've
talked about [mental health and well-being] conceptually,
but I think that they really need to be put into practice."
Gattinger is also hoping to use a position on Senate
to change aspects of academics that are "fundamentally
unfriendly" to students by working to integrate academic
and financial decisions. Given Gattinger's current bid for
a seat on the Board of Governors, a dual role on Senate
and the Board could help him bridge the gap between
program and tuition approvals, both of which are currently
two separate processes.
"If we want quality consultations, having those
academic and financial components come together is
going to benefit students enormously," said Gattinger.
"You cant expect students to put their money into a black
box and expect to get a program out."
Noting that the newly created diversity and excellence
funds fall under Board control, Gattinger is also hoping to
ensure that those funds have the greatest possible impact
on academics — for students and faculty alike — in terms
of experiential learning and allocating money where it is
needed most.
"I think finding areas of common ground for students
and faculty is essential to making this particular initiative
a success," said Gattinger. "We have a small diversity
fund and I think that there'd be a huge advantage if you're
pushing in both the Board and Senate."
IAN SAPOLLNIK
Third-year economics student Ian Sapollnik is running
for re-election after serving one term as arts student
senator in the UBC Vancouver Senate, making it his
third campaign for Senate since he first ran in 2015.
His platform is focused on uniting tuition and curriculum
approval processes, initiating a review of academic
scheduling guidelines and creating a strong Student
Senate caucus.
A self-described nerd, Sapollnik is confident that his
past Senate experience and outspoken nature during
Senate meetings will help him continue to advocate
for the needs of students in UBC's highest academic
governing body.
"I am really, really passionate about academic
experiences and ensuring that students at UBC are
getting their best education," said Sapollnik. Citing his
achievements as a member of the Senate budget and
curriculum committees this past year, a main focus of his
platform is unifying the student consultation procedures
for tuition and curriculum.
"They are completely separate processes," said
Sapollnik. "They are managed by completely separate
people ... and that's hugely problematic because the fees
come from the curriculum and the two are inherently tied."
A large component of achieving the difficult goal of
unifying student consultations for the two processes will
be getting the Board of Governors — which determines
tuition fees — on board. Sapollnik noted that while
progress is being made, he has realistic expectations for
what can be accomplished in the short one-year term of a
student senator.
"I don't expect that [unified student consultation]
process to be formalized or codified next year. My goal
by the end of next year would be to have a document that
outlines that process across the table for all programs at
UBC," he said.
Sapollnik also wants to conduct a review of academic
scheduling procedures — including revisiting add/drop
deadlines and exam scheduling guidelines.
"I'm not committing fully to having a fall reading break
or moving the add/drop deadline," said Sapollnik. "What
I'm recognizing is that a full review of these processes
hasn't happened in quite some time and things have
remained the same."
Noting that his platform extends beyond advancing
his own priorities, Sapollnik would also like to chair the
18-member Student Senate caucus if re-elected, giving
continuity to the group of up to four potentially new
senators.
"I really intend to bring the student senators together in
a strategic way to get a spectacularly strong student voice
and use the different interests, the different capabilities
and experiences of other student senators to unify the
Student Senate caucus," he said. "I want to be a very
strong support for everyone else as well." 'il
candidate profiles 15 o
by ubyssey staff
0
This year, The Ubyssey is doing things a little differently. Instead of publishing candidate profiles where students could read transcriptions of short
interviews with each candidate, we've restructured it by turning our candidate coverage into what we hope is a more in-depth analysis of their platforms,
experience and performance.
That's also why this article is not technically an endorsement of any candidates. We recognize that overall, students need to vote with the values and
platforms that they want to see in their university's governance, and that concept isn't the same for everyone. Rather, this overview aims to be an honest,
simplified and analytical version of what we think each candidate's strengths and weaknesses are so that you can hopefully make an informed decision
this year.
o
>
I president
JESSE HOOTON
Hooton's platform notes plans
to increase campus security
and make career services more
accessible, but he doesn't have
concrete plans for how to make
his goals a reality. For example,
he doesn't fully acknowledge the
obstacles apparent in privacy
policy and legislature that would
prevent him from installing
security cameras on campus,
simply saying he would advocate
against them.
JAMES COHEN
Cohen's experience with event
management lends itself well
to a large part of his platform.
However, he lacks a clear
process for achieving his more
serious goals. Advocacy is
an important part of student
government, but in order to be
effective, there needs to be more
to the plan.
SUGAR BREWER
Brewer criticizes the grandiose
plans usually presented by
presidential candidates, and
presents his own plans to simply
engage students as a stark
contrast. However, this leaves
his platform feeling hard to
define. His only clear plan is to
emphasize the use of the AMS
app which has failed to capture
student interest since it was
released.
"THE CAIRN"
When we first heard "the Cairn"
was running for President,
we expected a mediocre joke
candidate. However, Alan
Ehrenholz, the engineering
student behind the concrete
block, surprised us by answering
questions in the Great Debate
seriously, albeit in the third
person. Despite Ehrenholz's
experience in student
government, he doesn't have
a platform aside from hyper-
specific plans to improve Council
meetings, making it impossible to
form a judgement.
I senate
KEVIN DOERING
Doering's technical knowledge
of academic policy and ability
to articulate achievable
goals surrounding affordable
education set him apart
from other candidates. He
exaggerated a few facts during
the first debate, but if you value
affordability and someone who
knows how to work effectively
within the current Senate
system and with the AMS, he's
your guy.
JAKOB GATTINGER
With project - specific
constituency experience
working with Senate, Gattinger
demonstrated his knowledge
of Senate's reach and impact
through concrete plans to
advance mental health and
diversity initiatives. If you like
him, vote him into both Senate
and the Board of Governors
— his ability to execute his
platform would be limited
should he be elected to only
one role.
IAN SAPOLLNIK
Sapollnik's focus on creating a
strong student Senate caucus
by stepping up to be its chair is
valuable for student leadership
continuity during a year of
high Senate membership
turnover. His platform's
emphasis on conducting a
full scheduling review, while
realistic, lacks innovation,
making him a dependable
choice as incumbent, but a
little uninspiring.
WILLIAM CHEN
Chen has specific, achievable
goals that he defends
passionately, and he would
definitely shake things up on the
student Senate caucus. While
he does bring a dense factual
knowledge to the table, he has
seemed rather uncompromising
and contemptuous of university
governance — which could
alienate Senators — and lacks
experience working within a
team.
DANIEL LAM
An incumbent senator, Lam has
a thorough knowledge of how
Senate functions and will carry
forward work on fall reading
break and diversity initiatives.
It would also likely be very
beneficial to have the same
person working both as VP
Academic and on Senate. Lam
is definitely a safe and reliable
choice, although we would like
to see him push boundaries in
his ideas.
SIMRAN BRAR
Brar values a proactive
approach to student
engagement, and has worked
directly with students through
the Residence Hall Association.
She is well-researched and was
able to speak knowledgeably
on all debate topics. While Brar
is passionate, her campaign
promises are vague and
buzzword-y. Her success
will hinge on her willingness
to be outspoken and push
boundaries.
I vp administration
POOJA BHATTI
As the current SUS VP
Administration and the only
person who discussed the
AMS Constituencies report and
the SLSC, Bhatti would bring
directly transferable skills and
knowledge to this role. While
she's capable, she only offers
a conventional platform and
uninspiring arguments during
debates. Overall, if you're
looking for a safe candidate,
Bhatti is the one.
FARAZ NIKZAD
As the former manager-
on-duty for the AMS's food
outlets, Nikzad would bring
new and valuable skills to
this role, but it's unclear if
the    VP    Administration    has
enough power to accomplish
his platform. His promotion of
culture is also refreshing, but
may distract from the role's
core responsibilities such as
improving the booking system
and the club management
software.
JULIEN HART
With his focus on clubs, Hart
offers an innovative platform
with some achievable goals
that could greatly improve the
experience of running a club if
materialized. However, as the
VP Administration's portfolio
extends beyond just club
management, this emphasis
could take away from other
interest groups such as the
constituencies.
16 who you should vote for Ivp academic
DANIEL LAM
Lam is running unopposed
in this race, so it's a good
thing that he has a solid
understanding of        the
portfolio and ample relevant
experience. Given the long-
term nature of current projects,
he promises to continue the
department's efforts — but
we hope to see some more
tangible goals in the future,
as we believe that he can be
successful in executing them.
I vp finance
ALIM LAKHIYALOV
While Lakhiyalov is
an experienced and
knowledgeable candidate, he
is running unopposed, making
evaluation difficult. A few
indicators of his performance
in the coming year will be how
transparent the AMS budget
is, how many students actually
see it, whether the AMS runs
a deficit or surplus and how
Block Party finances are
managed.
I board of governors
LOUIS RETIEF
Retief brings a host of financial
experience to the table, an asset
on the Board, and emphasizes
sustainability. With his prior
experience and personality, he
could bring a loud voice to the
table. He does seem to plan to
work within the existing structure
of Council, which will benefit him,
but we also hope to see some
innovative ideas come forward.
JAKOB GATTINGER
Much like Retief, Gattinger
is another realistic candidate
with tangible goals. With his
prior experience, he brings
some knowledge of policy,
constituency, lobbying and
consultation to the table. If
you like him, vote him into
both Senate and the Board of
Governors — his platform would
be best executed if elected to
both roles.
KEVIN DOERING
Doering's title as current
associate VP Academic should
not be ignored — it has resulted
in in-depth policy experience
interacting with the Board.
He  places  a  heavy value  on
transparency, offering to run a
blog if elected. If you like him,
vote him into Senate and the
Board — just like Gattinger, his
platform would be best executed
if elected to both roles.
SNEHA BALANI
Balani brings a different host of
experience forward as someone
that is a PhD candidate, worked
on the GSS strategic plan and
was a former residence advisor.
While she lacks some tangibility
in her broad-based ideas —
which might inhibit her from
bringing them to fruition — she
underscores the importance
of diversity in every aspect of
UBC more so than the other
candidates.
JEANIE MALONE
As current EUS President,
Malone is an articulate candidate
who has tangible, small-step
goals to achieve her larger aims
of transparency and the student
voice. She has experience
lobbying as well, resulting in
managerial and representative
experience. We hope that if
elected, she is a loud voice on
the Board.
I vp external
SALLY LIN
With substantial AMS and AUS
experience, Lin is a candidate
who prioritizes smaller
and more tangible goals
while putting engagement
with student caucuses
and constituencies at the
forefront of her platform. In
relation to her opposition,
Lin has less experience
being in communication with
political representatives —
however, she displays a great
advantage in her professional
communication and conduct.
DARIO GAROUSIAN
Garousian is a candidate who
has displayed his political
experience with his work for
the NDP He has an innovative
platform, and takes on many
lofty and unique goals such
as advocating for funding
psychological assessment
exams for students. However,
these big-picture plans can
make his platform seem
unrealistic. Garousian's
opposition has displayed
greater professionalism in
conduct both in communicating
with The Ubyssey.
ADVERTISEMENT
REFERENDUM
VOTE MARCH 6-10
2017
1) FITNESS FACILITY
To support the construction of a new student fitness and recreation building at UBC.
2) ART SALE
To sell art from the AMS art collection so that the proceeds can go back into benefiting the AMS.
3) BYLAW CHANGES
To amend AMS bylaws to keep us moving forward.
ams
www.ams.ubc.ca/elections ELECTIONS
who you should vote for 17 »>M ■•] JfiVi ■ •J'
by julia burnham, diana oproescu and helen zhou
very AMS election
candidate running for
an executive position
is entitled to a certain
amount of money
to be reimbursed for campaign
costs.
It's more complicated than
just getting free money, though.
As it turns out, it may be hard to
regulate candidate spending —
in practice, the cash can buy the
posters and the candy, but it can't
buy you the ele~*:*""
This year, each candid
$500 budget limit that they an
restricted to, and the AMS wil
reimburse up to $350 of that fo
their campaign spending. To get
reimbursed, the candidates are
expected to present their receipts
and budgets to the AMS Elections
Committee.
A new rule this year is that if
a candidate is running in more
than one race, they are allotted
a $750 spending limit and can be
reimbursed up to $525 of that.
This new rule was put into place
as a way to curb the concern that
in the past, candidates received
a $500 budget limit and were
able to put up separate posters
for the two positions they were
running for, therefore doubling
their facetime around campus.
"We were thinking of
completely getting rid of allowing
people to spend twice as much,
but we recognize that candidates
who are running for two positions
might need a little more money,
so we came up with the one
and a half compromise," said
Max Holmes, the current AMS
elections administrator (EA).
According to Louis Retief,
AMS VP Finance, the purpose
of making funding available to
candidates is to be as inclusive
as possible in the elections.
"There's a lot of people who are
interested in running for elections
but just don't necessarily have
the money to be able to pay for
things like posters, lawn signs
and Facebook ads," said Retief.
"Any student who wants to run for
a position has the opportunity and
the funding available for them to
run the elections and to get their
voice out there to students."
Retief also said that for the
impact that the elections have
on the AMS and the campus, the
budget for it is relatively small.
"Every dollar that we put towards
this is how we get the best leaders
on campus onto the AMS, onto
Board [of Governors] and onto
Senate."
For the 2016 elections, the AMS
billed out $4,025.57 to reimburse
all of the campaigns. This number
has been consistently between
$3,000 and $4,000 in the past
years, and the AMS has budgeted
$3,500  for   reimbursements  this
OVER-BUDGET AND
UNDERWHELMED
situation where people could
spend an unlimited amount of
money and you may get a situation
where only rich people are going to
be your executives," said Holmes.
However, even with these caps
in place, is there really anything
stopping students from charging
their credit cards and sweeping the
evidence under the rug?
"When it comes to actually
regulating it overall, it is difficult.
We do ask for candidates to give
us receipts for basically everything
that they spent money on and we
get to see all of their campaign
materials," said Holmes.
With this method, the Elections
Committee reviews the receipts
submitted to them by candidates,
and can pinpoint whether they
do not recognize any of the
campaign material displayed by
the candidate as accounted for. In
the case that campaign material
is omitted in the accounting, there
are only a few ways for the EA to
handle the offense.
"It usually takes the entire
elections committee to meet and
discuss in order to disqualify
someone, so it always depends
on the situation," said Holmes.
"If it's someone's only campaign
violation, even though it is a major
campaign violation, we would
maybe think about not disqualifying
them, but there could be a major
punishment.
"Overspending is one of the
violations that I would call major
violation. We'll question them and
then if it turns out that they left
them out, they can get punished
for that. They can end up losing
their reimbursements entirely if
they lie at all when it comes to their
reimbursement or how much they
spent."
Even in the history of AMS
Elections, Holmes can't recall a
recent time where overspending
has led to anything more than a
slap on the wrist.
"Often the reimbursement is
Oust] used as a punishment," said
Holmes. "If people do something
that the EA thinks is wrong but
[is not] going to disqualify them
and wants to send a message,
they might deduct $50 from their
reimbursement limit."
Disgraced former vice-
presidential candidate Alex
Kilpatrick shared his thoughts on
the regulation of the budget cap,
on the single condition that he
was referred to in this article as
disgraced former vice-presidential
candidate Alex Kilpatrick.
'They have these restrictions on
how much money you can spend,
but they have absolutely no way
of enforcing it other than I guess
the unwavering moral compass of
student politicians," said Kilpatrick.
"If I wanted you to produce a
video for me or something, I can
write you a cheque for $400 with
the memo line, 'thanks for making
me the video,' I can send you an
e-transfer and as long as we both
agree to keep tight-lipped about it,
there's nothing the AMS can do."
Kilpatrick's dissection of the
problems with the budgetary
regulation boil down to the lack of
real consequences and authority
that the EA yields.
"Until they get subpoena power,
there's really very little they can
do and they don't want to tell you
that because the AMS likes to
believe that they are a paramilitary
organization," said Kilpatrick. "You
know the more money you spend,
the better result you're going to
get and there's no way they can
control the money you spend — all
you've gotta do is lie about it."
r\ii|jciiriui\ noted the direct
relationship between a candidate's
spending and their success in the
AMS Elections.
18 the cost of campaigning "Buying posters costs money,
buying social media ads costs
money, producing videos costs
money," said Kilpatrick. "The more
you can get your name out there,
the more likely people are going to
click on it because they recognize
it."
AMS President Ava Nasiri
agreed with Kilpatrick in the
advantage candidates have when
they are more financially stable. "I
do see it as a gap for students that
are facing financial hardship and I
think that that is a recommendation
that our elections committee will
be working on in terms of changing
things," said Nasiri.
"In the first campaign I ever ran,
I was running for VP Internal of the
AUS. I saw it as ajob interview, and
you don't show up to a job interview
at a big firm wearing sweatpants
and a hoodie — you wear a nice
outfit," said Nasiri. "As you would
invest in an outfit for a traditional
interview, [for AMS Elections] you
are investing in the materials that
will allow you and support you in
your candidacy for a position that
the student body decides whether
you deserve it or not."
Despite these shared
sentiments regarding the
importance of financial investment
in one's campaign during the AMS
Elections, Nasiri also emphasized
the content of a candidate's
platform and their conduct as
being crucial to election.
"I think it's about people as
opposed to posters or materials.
Running a successful campaign
could be done with half the amount
of posters that we use on campus,"
said Nasiri. She then noted that if
a candidate were to strictly stick
to the total reimbursement limit as
opposed to the total spending limit
and dedicate their time to "creating
those meaningful connections,"
they could still have a substantial
chance of being successful in the
elections.
In her experience of running
for AMS president last year, Nasiri
noted the campaigning challenges
she faced right up until the last day
of elections.
"Right up until 5 p.m., I was
running around with my shoddy-
drawn flyers," said Nasiri. "At
this point, I had a little bit left in
my campaign spending, but I just
They have
absolutely
no way of
enforcing
[how much
money you
can spend]
other than
I guess the
unwavering
moral
compass
of student
-Alex Kilpatricr
lisgraced former
vice-presidential
candidate
didn't have the physical time to
go back to the printers and I had
already handed out all my flyers."
Despite these challenges,
Nasiri was successful in the 2016
election and essentially said that
success really boils down to the
relevance of a candidate's profile,
the research they have done and
their conduct in relation not only to
the UBC community, but also with
fellow candidates.
"Your time is free," said
Kilpatrick. "I obviously lost, but
a big part of my vote came from
people that I  met personally.  If
you don t think you can personally
meet enough people in two weeks
to swing that election or have an
effect on it, you're not really trying."
Jenna Omassi, 2015 AMS VP
Academic as well as a presidential
candidate in last year's elections,
shared Kilpatrick's sentiment in
the importance of face-to-face
interaction with the student body.
'The face-to-face campaigning
piece doesn't actually require a
lot of resources. It requires a lot
of time, but regarding money,
not a lot of resources at all," said
Omassi. "You'll see this again
and again. The people who hand
out Mini Eggs or lollipops do not
necessarily win — it's the people
who spend the time standing
on the street corners talking to
people."
Joke candidates have access
to the same amount of funding
as "real" candidates. Alan
Ehrenholz, who ran last year for
VP Administration and is running
a joke campaign this year as the
Cairn, believes that while the
hesitation to accept this is fair, he
personally sees the benefit and
value in joke campaigns.
"I think joke campaigns
generally spend a lot less than
real candidates and as such, they
probably aren't seeking huge
amounts of reimbursement," said
Ehrenholz. He expects that his
spending will add up to around $25
to $30 in order to build miniature
Cairns.
"It would be a tough line to draw to
say something like a joke candidate
gets less than a real candidate —
how do you really define that? I think
it's something that's worth it, and it's
something that provides a little bit of
an edge and a smile to the elections
period. I think it's something that
should continue."
The purpose of reimbursing
candidates for their campaign
spending is to remove a financial
barrier to running for an executive
position on the AMS — whether
or not the candidate is serious.
However, the cost of being a student
representative seems to lie more in
the time and energy it takes to run a
campaign.
"People who have the luxury,
who are afforded that luxury of time,
have that leg up on the campaigning
trails," said Omassi.
the cost of campaigning 19 EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO
KNOW ABOUT THIS YEAR'S
REFERENDUM QUESTIONS
by samantha mccabe and sruthi tadepalli
here are three referendums being put forward on
this year's AMS elections ballot. One of them, if
successful, will establish a fee that would fund the
construction of a student fitness and recreation
building on campus. Another would allow the AMS
to sell up to four pieces of art from their collection. The final
one consists of changes to the AMS's bylaws that reflect
recent changes to the governance structure and are intended
to reduce redundancy.
HOW EXACTLY DO REFERENDUMS
WORK?
A referendum is called for two reasons — either AMS
Council has passed a resolution to hold one, or a petition has
been signed by at least 1,000 students. This year, the only
referendums on the ballot were put forward by AMS Council.
Referendums can only be phrased in a 'yes or no" format for
students to answer when voting.
A referendum doesn't necessarily have to be held
at the same time as elections, but timing them to occur
simultaneously makes it more likely that the vote will achieve
the eight per cent of eligible voters required to meet quorum
— the minimum number of 'yes" votes it must have to pass.
The eight per cent quorum may seem low, but given the
usually low voter turnout, it can be harder than it sounds. In
order for a referendum to pass, the winning side also needs
more than 50 per cent of the votes, or if the referendum
concerns AMS bylaws or constitution, 75 per cent.
This means that for this year's referendum on bylaws to
pass, there isn't much room for voting students to answer
"no." So, if you're voting, make an informed decision — you
might be the deciding vote.
THE ATHLETICS REFERENDUM
THE QUESTION: "DO
YOU SUPPORT THE AMS
ESTABLISHING A GRADUATED
FEE (THE FEE) TO CONTRIBUTE
TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF
A STUDENT FITNESS AND
RECREATION BUILDING AT UBC
VANCOUVER?"
If passed, this fee will begin at a sum of $5 for each student,
and then increase an additional $5 per year until it reaches a
$25 annual amount per student. The fee would go towards
the construction of a building to be funded half by students
through this fee and half by the university in conjunction with
UBC's GamePlan. The fee would exist until the student half
is completely paid for, to a maximum of $22.5 million towards
project costs (the project is estimated to cost $45 million).
What would the new building look like? Preliminary
plans show a combination of fitness space, gymnasium and
support space.
'The fees that students are already paying [$21] are going
towards programming, and that's all of the classes and the
games that are available to you right now," said Ava Nasiri,
AMS president, in a previous interview with The Ubyssey.
'What this new fee would be [for] is an actual building."
Keegan Zanatta, an executive in charge of events for the
Thunderbird Athletes Council (TAC), took charge of helping
the AMS with this campaign backed by unanimous support
from the TAC.
"I decided to run point of this [for the TAC] to try and
give back to campus a little bit and improve the student
experience," said Zanatta.
This referendum aims to remedy the fact that UBC, as
one of the top universities in Canada, has a "pitiful" amount of
fitness space, as described by Zanatta.
UBC, with its large population and finite fitness space, has
0.15 square feet of fitness space per student — much smaller
than other schools.
'The biggest thing is just that this is a student-run initiative
for other students to try and improve their experience on
campus. This is by the students, for the students. It's a fee,
yes, but it's a for-our-own-good type of thing," said Zanatta.
20 referendum His only wariness of the referendum comes from the fact
that there might not be a big enough voter turnout to pass
it — in which case, according to him, it's back to the drawing
board for next year.
For more information, weVe covered this referendum in a
previous article. As noted by Nasiri, if approved, this fee would
show the Board of Governors that students are serious about
more fitness and athletic space on campus — but it does
come at a cost.
THE SALE OF AMS ART PIECES
THE QUESTION: "DO YOU
AUTHORIZE THE AMS TO SELL
UP TO FOUR PIECES OF ART
FROM THE AMS PERMANENT
COLLECTION?"
The AMS has a 72-piece art collection currently valued at $4.5
million.
'We have four or five pieces that make up half of the worth
of the gallery," said AMS VP Administration, Chris Scott. 'We
would be looking probably for those more expensive ones
to go because those are the ones that probably would be
required to gain enough interest for the endowment."
The most expensive piece is E.J. Hughes' "Abandoned
Village, River's Inlet," which is valued at $900,000.
A similar referendum question allowing the AMS to sell
three pieces of art was already passed in 2012 — however,
that question placed a one-year time limit on the sale. This lack
of flexibility was problematic, and could have led to a potential
income loss if they sold a piece when the time wasnt right.
The flexibility also allows the AMS to adjust which painting
they would sell based on rental income incurred by particular
pieces.
"If suddenly in two years the one that's worth $900,000 is
getting rented out all the time, then we probably wouldn't sell
that one," said Scott.
Selling the four most expensive pieces would also save the
AMS $15,000 in insurance payments every year.
"Essentially, that's what we're looking to do... stay within the
mandate it was donated to us for and make it more relevant
to students."
AMS BYLAW CHANGES
THE QUESTION: "DO YOU
SUPPORT AND APPROVE
AMENDING THE AMS BYLAWS
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE
CHANGES PRESENTED IN THE
DOCUMENT ENTITLED BYLAWS
AMENDMENT PACKAGE 2017?"
The AMS has both bylaw and code governing it as a society.
While AMS code can be changed within Council when needed,
bylaws are the most binding constitutional document that the
AMS takes direction from. To change them, there needs to be
either a referendum vote or an annual general meeting that
reaches quorum.
"Most years, the AMS has some housekeeping bylaw
changes, but this year we have some that are really, really
important," said AMS President Ava Nasiri.
According to Nasiri, the changes are intended to streamline
and clarify parts of bylaws to make for smoother governance in
the years to come.
Note that all of the following, more specific questions
are packaged under the bylaw change referendum like an
omnibus bill — a vote is a vote for all to pass.
"It would not make sense to split them because they
are all based off of recommendations from the governance
review," said Nasiri, referring to the external review process
conducted on the AMS by consulting firm MNP earlier this
year. AMS Council accepted all of those recommendations on
the principle that picking and choosing would have made the
review moot.
On changes from the governance review: "Do you support
and approve amending the AMS Bylaws in accordance
with the changes presented in the document entitled Bylaw
Amendments: Structure of Council?"
These proposed amendments would change the section
titled "members" so that Senate and Board of Governor student
representatives would no longer officially sit on Council. They
will still have seats and even make presentations, but would
not be able to officially vote should this referendum pass.
Additionally, changes are being made to the threshold of
how many students in a faculty equate to a single Council seat
— from 1,500 to 3,000 students. This is being done because
increased enrolment numbers of the university are resulting
in too many seats on Council, according to the governance
review.
In Nasiri's opinion, this won't affect the quality of
representation that larger faculties get.
'You maintain the proportionality of the representation
because inherently, no matter what, you do arts and the GSS
are always going to have more seats," said Nasiri.
Finally, with a change to Bylaw 13, "new student
associations for degree-granting schools shall only be
recognized as constituencies if their enrolment exceeds one
per cent of the total enrolment of UBC Vancouver." Bylaw 22,
on the incorporation of branch societies, is being removed
entirely.
On changes from the governance review: "Do you support
and approve amending the AMS Bylaws in accordance
with the changes presented in the document entitled Bylaw
Amendments: General Manager/Managing Director?"
"After the formal restructuring of our senior manager
organizational chart, the new title that better reflects the
responsibility of our managing director should be in the bylaws
as the best practice moving forward," said Nasiri.
She cites the efforts to increase cohesiveness between
the business and governance sides of the AMS as a good
The proposed
investment
policy "is how
grandmas
invest," said
Retief in an
interview with
The Ubyssey.
reason why the role of managing director is gaining more
breadth — hence the name change to match the changing
responsibilities.
On changes to the Student Administrative Commission
(SAC): "Do you support and approve amending the AMS
Bylaws in accordance with the changes presented in the
document entitled Bylaw Amendments: Bylaw Changes SAC
& Budget Committee?"
SAC is a "relic from 1960s AMS," according to Scott, who
was also SAC's vice-chair last year. When it was created, the
SAC acted as the executive committee, but within four years
of its establishment, it was stripped of its power due to its
inefficiency.
'We've been trying to make it fit with the modern AMS
when in reality, it doesnt have a place," said Scott.
If this referendum passes, it will remove all mentions of
SAC from AMS bylaws. Its role in club policy and legislation
will be taken over by the operations committee and
implemented by the VP Administration and their staff. The VP
Administration will take over the SAC's role in cases where
approval is needed for functions or charity drives.
"I'm looking forward to the increased efficiency that you
will see. There will no longer be that bureaucratic loop to jump
through to get stuff done," said Scott.
On the investment policy: "Do you support and approve
amending the AMS Bylaws in accordance with the changes
presented in the document entitled Bylaw Amendments:
Bylaw Changes Investment Policy?"
The investment policy question may seem a little jargon-y
or confusing given that it regards how the AMS plans to
change the way that it invests their sizeable reserve fund of
$16.8 million.
We wrote a more detailed article on the proposed
investment policy, but essentially if passed, this would change
the current policy of 100 per cent fixed income — very safe —
investment to a policy of 70 per cent fixed income and 30 per
cent equities. That 30 per cent equity investment comes at a
higher risk financially, but could result in an extra $500,000 in
annual returns for the AMS to spend, according to VP Finance
Louis Retief.
"[What this change is] is how grandmas invest," said Retief
in an interview with The Ubyssey in February. 'The chances
of losing money are slim."
In short — higher risk, higher potential reward. 1
utAf^o-v^ yo-vur
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referendum 21 WHY THE UBYSSEY IS
DISENDORSING EVERY
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
by ubyssey staff
his year, The Ubysse/s
goal during AMS
Elections was to pivot
away from traditional
endorsements to a
more analytical approach with the
knowledge that different students
will prioritize different values
in their candidates. It worked
pretty well in our endorsements
replacement, "Who should you
vote for?"
But the presidential race this
year threw us for a loop. Never in
our collective memory has there
been such a lack of experience
and feasible platform goals
among the candidates — so
much so that our editorial board
feels confident saying that, as a
voting UBC student, you have no
good options.
There are five candidates for
president this year — three are
running seriously, one is a joke
and one can't seem to make up
his mind.
accommodate at least 20,000
students, and for it to become
a philanthropic event. He says
that the last one was "poorly
managed," which doesn't do
much to explain how he thinks
it lost over $200,000 or what
exactly he would change.
He also doesn't seem to
have a problem exaggerating
his connections or previous
experience, as demonstrated
multiple times during this
campaign.
Cohen offers few or no
specifics about how he plans
to achieve his vague goals —
something that didn't change in
our interview with him.
The campaign goal he might be
able to achieve is implementing
better career counselling, but
again, he falls flat on execution
by offering no ideas beyond
"[doing] something online."
Hooton also didn't have an
issue making a joke many found
homophobic when he punned on
the double meaning of "fruity" in
the first debate. Facing criticism,
he opted to write a post on his
campaign's Facebook page
decrying "political correctness
at UBC" for "overstepping its
bounds," saying that "people
need to stop being so sensitive."
He deleted this post soon after.
JAMES COHEN
_rty Well
is running on me "student
engagement/positivity" platform
— a favourite of candidates with
no real knowledge of what the
AMS does. That in itself wouldn't
be a problem if he had an
achievable platform to back it up
with. Instead, he's opted to fill his
Facebook event with buzzwords
like "community," "student well-
being" and "positive change."
Cohen    strongly    advocates
for Block Party to expand  and
JESSE HOOTON
dership
experience than Cohen and even
less of an achievable platform.
Hooton mentions bike theft and
sexual assault as reasons he would
like to see increased security on
campus, but offers few specifics
beyond beefing up Safewalk to
patrol main areas of campus —
something UBC Security already
does — and installing security
cameras, a task which will run up
against BC's stringent privacy laws.
Hooton also seemed to place
bike theft directly in tandem with
sexual assault. We would have liked
to see him emphasize the issue
of sexual assault on campus
as of a greater importance than
getting his bike stolen three
times. It should also be noted that
bike theft is already decreasing
on campus.
SUGAR BREWER
candidates, Brewer is probably
the best choice — and by that we
mean the least bad choice.
Brewer is running for the
second year in a row. We would've
liked to see him spend the past
year learning how the AMS works,
asking questions, getting involved
in Council, then to come back with
a beefed-up version of his student
engagement-heavy platform of
yesteryear. Unfortunately, it hasn't
changed much.
This time around, he's focusing
on the AMS app to reach students
and bring their voices to the
university administration — a
noble goal, but considering the
app's middling popularity, it's not a
likely one.
What's refreshing is his
unwillingness     to     make     big
22 Why the ubyssey is disendorsing every presidential candidate JULIAN "HOOLIGAN
JONES" DEL BALSO
ALAN EHRENHOLZ
(THE CAIRN)
_ _      run  seriously,
The Ubyssey is fully confident
that he would be the best choice.
He has served as EUS president
and chair of the AMS Executive
Oversight Committee, and he ran
for VP Administration last year —
he even got our endorsement.
Unfortunately, we don't feel
comfortable voting for someone
with no platform. At best,
Ehrenholz is asking for a leap of
that wasn't a cheap reference
to current events or pop culture.
Del Balso has been a welcome
respite from student politicians
(and student paper hacks) who
take themselves too seriously.
Normally we wouldn't disendorse
a joke candidate — especially a
good one — but we feel like "Why
The Ubyssey is disendorsing
every presidential candidate
except Del Balso" might send the
wrong message. Sorry.
Why the ubyssey is disendorsing every presidential candidate 23 asier
AMS EXECUTIVES • BOARD OF GOVERNORS
SENATE • AMS REFERENDUMS
lAk\
ams
ELECTIONS
ams.ubc.ca/elections

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