It is that time of the year again: AMS Elections are almost upon us. Voting begins Monday, March 9th and ends Friday, March 13th. There has always been a certain amount of lack of student engagement when it comes to AMS Elections, so to make it a bit easier to be informed, here is a summary of the two presidential candidates and the main points from their platforms.
Cheneil Antony-Hale is the current president of the UBC Feminist Club, which was founded this year after a bit of a skirmish in getting AMS Club status. Indeed, Cheneil includes a focus on “an overhaul of the internal AMS structure to increase responsiveness and decrease heavy-handed bureaucracy,” in her platform. This move will undoubtedly improve the relationship between student groups and the AMS.
Cheneil is also emphasizing students’ housing rights. She points out that, “Students are currently at the whims of the university in regards to housing and have no legal protection…students can be kicked out of housing with almost no notice, and complaints relating to sanitation and safety are often ignored until the issue becomes serious.” This will certainly be of comfort to the students who have been affected by the less-than-satisfactory conditions (to put it mildly) in Ponderosa Commons. Her platform also includes a push for students to have more of a say in university financial operations so as to be comparable to the amount of revenue students contribute to UBC; for all Residence Advisors to have mandatory sexual assault training, a resource centre for students with disabilities, and more of a focus on environmental sustainability within the AMS.
Aaron Bailey, past Science Undergraduate Society president and current Senior Residence Advisor, he also led the Microbrewery referendum at last year’s election. One of his presidential goals as stated on his website, ab4p.ca, is to “continue to lead the AMS’ collaborative efforts with the Faculty of Land and Food Systems to establish an AMS Microbrewery on campus as part of the new UBC Farm Center.”
Aaron has emphasized that the AMS should exist for students, and has many goals in addition to the microbrewery that will doubtless be popular with many members of the student body. These include returning the Arts County Fair by “reimagining…the AMS Block Party celebration, rebranded as the AMS County Fair, to be held on the last day of classes at Thunderbird Stadium.” He has also stated that he will work to implement student-friendly transportation from UBC to Whistler on weekends.
I wish both candidates the best of luck, and I encourage all students to take this opportunity to be involved in their campus community and remember to vote this week.
Check out this resource for more information on the different candidates.