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What Am I Voting For in the AMS Elections?

Click HERE to vote in the AMS Elections!

The Alma Mater Society, or AMS, is the student government on campus representing over 50,000 graduate and undergraduate UBC students. The AMS provides support to students through services like SafeWalk and Speakeasy, executes events such as Welcome Back BBQ and Block Party, and provides businesses like the Pit Pub and Blue Chip Cookies to the general population (at least until the new Student Union Building opens!).

Every year, the AMS elects its executive board from the student body of UBC. Elections are currently underway, and voting is occurring until this Friday, March 13th. In May, the new AMS Executives will take their positions and begin another year of student governance at UBC.

The AMS elections may come across as overwhelming with the constant Facebook updates from candidates and the elections committee, the posters and classroom announcements, and the e-mails from the AMS saying: “Hey! Time to vote now! Click here! Please.” With tens of thousands of students at UBC, one would think that a large number of those students could make it to their e-mail and take the 3 minutes to vote that is required. However, this is not the case – students are somewhat ambivalent about who manages the budget, oversees the committees, and makes decisions about student organizations, and it is made obvious by the meager numbers that turn out to vote online.

In order to make the elections more palatable – and encourage YOU to take responsibility for who represents you at UBC – here are breakdowns of the executive positions in the AMS that you should know about to make an educated vote – look for these qualities in your candidates and their platforms!

The following descriptions have been provided by the AMS website (click here for more).

President

“The President, is, y’know, a President. More in the “chairs meetings of the Executive Council and has a seat in all committee meetings” sense of the word than the “wears the windbreaker on Air Force 1” sense of the word. It’s a bully pulpit and all that, so the president has a lot of opportunities to set the direction of the AMS.

The President is the public face of the AMS. For this reason each and every President has been a shockingly beautiful example of the human figure. They’re also (generally) very nice people who are eager to engage with the students they represent.

Otherwise, their roles and duties include setting the agenda for council meetings and generally making sure that the policies and programs of the council are properly implemented. They go to a lot of meetings. So many meetings.

This year’s candidates are:

  • Aaron Bailey
  • Cheneil Antony-Hale

 

Vice-President Academic and University Affairs

“This VP acts as a go-between for concerned students and the university administration. They can help you talk to the university about any ideas you have or issues you face concerning education, health, wellbeing, safety, or pretty much anything else. Befitting their broad role, they oversee everyone from the Equity Commissioner to the Campus Development Commissioner to the Mental Health Commissioner.”

This year’s candidate is:

  • Jenna Omassi

 

Vice President Administration

“The VP Admin wears a lot of hats. They take care of the AMS’s student organizations, oversee the SAC and the Art Gallery, and keep all the clubs functioning properly. Difficult-to-categorize stuff like overseeing the construction of the Student Nest and organizing the opening thereof comes under their umbrella. If it’s really difficult and nobody knows who should be handling it, the VP Admin gets the nod.”

This year’s candidates are:

  • Ava Nasiri
  • Alexander Remtulla
  • James Jing

 

Vice President Finance

“Looking after the AMS’s financial wellbeing is no easy task when the budget is a multi-million dollar one. The VP Finance works with businesses, clubs and the administration to make sure everything is on the straight and narrow. They chair the Finance Commission, and sit on the CiTR board of directors. They also oversee the Sustainability Coordinator, for complicated reasons that involve the coming together of financial and ecological goals.”

This year’s candidates are:

  • Mateusz Miadlikowski
  • William Pigott

 

Vice President External Affairs

“If VP A&UA is the connection to the University, this person is the connection to the outside world. The VPX handles the political and outreach activities of the AMS. They do cool stuff like lobby the government on issues facing students and strike cool deals with public transit. The big priorities recently have been addressing student financing and debt, while also urging the municipal and provincial government to come up with sustainable solutions to the Broadway transit problem. They like to call themselves the “VPX” because it sounds cooler that way.”

This year’s candidates are:

  • Janzen Lee
  • Jude Crasta

 

When examining the platforms of candidates, look for indicators that they understand the job description of the position and that they have the experience and/or knowledge on how to be an effective leader in the role.

The official campaign begins March 3rd and closes on March 13th. Visit http://www.ams.ubc.ca/elections for more information on candidates, as well as instructions on how to vote! Voting is currently underway.

 

Katie (she/her) has a Graduate Diploma in Business from Queen's University and a BA in Psychology with a minor in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice Minor from the University of British Columbia. She is a former Campus Correspondent of HC at UBC and is passionate about people and their wellbeing, photography, and food.
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