Editor’s note: Last year, a similar item appeared in our Secret Submissions Area (no, not that). We thought we’d thrown him off our trail by doing nothing, but our mysterious scribe returned, demanding a share of Voter Funded Money and claiming that we had “been enriched by his musings, and must be held to account.” So we offered him double or nothing and got…this.
We had a lot of trouble writing this post, for a lot of reasons.
There’s the usual boilerplate: you’re all good candidates. There wasn’t too much difference between the various campaigns. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because the AMS is moving in a pretty clear direction and it’s kind of obvious what the priorities are. We all know that communication sucks, we need to address the deficit, and people aren’t feeling engaged.
Then there’s the unusual boilerplate: “Why isn’t the sparkly unicorn blog more sparkly/unicorny/nice?” 1) you’re right and we are super-sorry about the unicorns, world gone mad; 2) awww kids have you read the archives? this is sunshine and puppy dogs, also 500% less sexual harassment. So you know what
DISENDORSEMENT: The Bike Kitchen
DISENDORSED BY: The Ubyssey
Earlier this week, our beloved campus paper produced a controversial list of endorsements. Lots of people thought the paper’s endorsements were stupid and so maybe didn’t make it until the end where the paper said you should vote against a $1 student fee for the Bike Kitchen (which will include an opt out option).
In order to examine the newspaper’s Very Good Reasons you shouldn’t give the Bike Kitchen any money, we’ve enlisted the help of “Time Machine Ubyssey,” the last survivor from the halcyon days of 2011 hackery. In March of that year, there was a big fee referendum on the ballot, which included raising The Ubyssey‘s student levy by $1—conveniently, the same amount that the Bike Kitchen is asking for now. Time Machine Ubyssey felt so strongly about that fee referendum, it published a full-page editorial on their cover urging students to vote in favour [Ed note: and then a lot of people whined about ‘journalistic integrity,’ because it would have been better if the paper pretended to be unbiased about wanting more money to do stuff and also YOU CAN’T USE THE FRONT PAGE LIKE THAT]. Obviously, their position hasn’t changed much over the past two years.
ENDORSEMENTS. As in years past, we’ve based these on our impressions in the debates and interviews with the candidates. We always weight towards the Ubyssey‘s official interviews, in part because we believe it’s fairest to judge candidates on the basis of their considered opinions in print—and because it’s easier than taking notes. NB: As a Voter-Funded Media candidate, we are technically available for dis-endorsement. Please consider us when writing your FB screeds!
DISENDORSEMENT: CONNY LIN
DISENDORSED BY: CONNY LIN
Another self dis-endorsement. Bravo.
Conny Lin was recently fined $200 by the Elections Administrator for sending an email while wearing her GSS president hat in which she endorsed herself on behalf of the organization of which she is president. Such shameless self-promotion or clueless disregard for conflict of interest isn’t grounds for disendorsement per se, since utter shamelessness is a prerequisite for running in UBC elections.
After getting called out, she knew exactly how to show contrition: Conny sent another email making it clear that, in retrospect, instead of personally sending the email endorsing her on behalf of the organization she heads, she should have forced someone else that she oversees to do it for her. “Lesson learned,” she wrote, no doubt thinking in her head “I’m such a professional communicator, how could anyone not want me on the board?”
She then sent out a third email, which News Guy Will McDonald delicately worded as “revoking her endorsement from the GSS.” DISENDORSED.
But hold on, why did the GSS endorse Conny and others in the first place? From the original email:
We need to improve our graduate student representation on the two highest UBC decision bodies: Board of Governors and Senate. GSS Council last Thursday had passed formal endorsement to all graduate students. Please vote for these candidates:
Board of Governors – Conny Lin, Erin Rennie
Senate – Jeff Abeysekerea [sic][DISENDORSED], Phillip Edgcumbe [sic], Natalie Marshall
Wow, GSS Council, endorsing people simply because they’re grad students? That’s not an arbitrary or inane reason to endorse someone at all. Here I was thinking that as someone with a penis, I should totally just vote for the Senate and BOG candidates with penises, because that’s the best way to improve the representation of my penis-y interests at the highest levels of UBC!*
*This is how I imagine the IFC’s endorsement process goes.
“Disendorsed” is a new feature we’ll be running throughout the elections season, and possibly onward as student politicans continue to fail and old hacks continue to make fun of their petty failures. Ain’t student involvement grand?
DISENDORSEMENT: Jeff Abeysekera
DISENDORSED BY: Jeff Abeysekera
“jumping_jeff_flash” (he has gas? gas? gas?) tried to put up an AMA on the /r/ubc subreddit which managed to get a whopping 0 upvotes and 4 downvotes so far. ZERO upvotes? What the fuck? Reddit automatically awards one upvote (from the post’s authour) to every. single. submission. That means Jeff has managed remove the upvote on his own post. When you don’t think asking yourself questions is a worthwhile endeavour, what does that say about your candidacy?
Luckily for us all, he did answer the one question posted, “How do you pronounce your last name?” Now, when people ask “Who’s the guy whose platform consists of four meaningless and patronizing buzzwords?” [Jay Shah’s campaign would phrase it thusly: technology. integration. social. media.] you can respond knowingly with “Jeff. Jeff uh-bay-say-ker-ah” rather than just “uh, that Jeff guy, I think?”
Conclusion: As the kids would say, “fail.” DISENDORSED.
Most days, we wake up to an inbox full of love and the occasional piece of knock-off Viagra spam [Ed note: On the other hand, our dick-sucking has lacked a certain zest lately]. But a few days ago, we received this magical screed. It’s written by esteemed former Ubyssey editor and Actual Real-Live Journalist Justin McElroy, who’s won a lot of awards—and a lot of hearts—for being superlatively great. He suggested we add some sparkly gifs (actual quote: “The Hunger Games are big with the youths these days, right?”), but we thought it was great as is. Laziness played no part in this decision.
If four years of covering UBC on a daily basis taught me anything, it’s that talking about student politician elections should be done with a heavy grain of skepticism. Every year, the same crop of eager young ones come forward with vague slogans, impossible goals and more guts than brains.
Not only that, but once upon a time AMS Elections were about (cue West Wing inspirational music) big issues. Big issues, with candidates on all sides of the political spectrum arguing for what they believe in. Who got elected really mattered, and while giant clusterfucks might happen, they were about tuition or student activism or something else which galvanized students to care.
The past two years, student political culture has turned soft, mushy, and predictable, with people afraid of trying anything or criticizing anyone. I don’t know if that has made things better or worse…but it’s certainly made things less exciting.
However, you have to choose the Leaders of Tomorrow—and I’m here to help. That, and take advantage of the fact that no longer running The Ubyssey means I can dispense with an insincere veneer of optimism, and rant like the curmudgeon I am.
But I’m here to mostly help! Plus, The Editor of this blog puts up with me drinking, yelling, and laughing with her roommate in the middle of the night, interrupting her sleep, so there’s that. [Ed note: Our walls are made of paper and spackled with my sleep-deprived tears. More after the jump.]
Somehow, the Elections team managed to hold three distinct and separate debates last week. We managed to set a new personal record and skip two of them. Luckily, since both @UbysseyNews and @AMSElections have a mandate to livetweet everything—simultaneously—with the proper hashtags—it’s just like we were there in person! twice.
The VP Finance race seems to be a big YAWN so far. The only interesting thing at all is Mateusz himself, who actually works in the Pit Pub, so when he talks about the businesses doing poorly we know who to blame. Too bad there isn’t some sort of commission system to motivate him to sell more pitchers.
Jokes aside, he can hopefully provide better insight as to why the businesses are doing poorly and what needs to change. Promoters for the Pit Pub? Discount rates on bulk beer? Pit night, two nights a week? We’re giving you GOLD, someone take this and run with it!
Joaquin puts forward some good ideas as well, such as performing full business reviews and pushing for a review of the AMS’s finances. The real question: does this review of finances include the fact that the AMS was just audited? Business and Administration Governance Board, you’re on watch.
The presidential race seems to be just as uninteresting, despite 2/3 candidates being female. This never happens! We are excite!
Beyond that, all three candidates’ platforms can be summed up in the same points: businesses are doing terribly and the AMS needs better communication with students.
Truly a heated debate.
The two VP Academic candidates challenging Kiran are focusing on increasing housing affordability on campus. It’s an admirable goal (that’s more suited to the BoG reps). Still, we have to give them some credit for trying to win over rez kids; beating an incumbent who has an average or better reputation is a tall order. They appear to be taking slightly different approaches.
Anne, for instance, tackles her rival head-on.
We still don’t exactly know what the VP Admin candidates want to do with their terms. Apparently the New SUB and club relations are important. Derek has the most fleshed out plan for online club administration, which means we’ll forgive him for missing the debate on Thursday.
We are still confident that at least one senate candidate will drop out of the race. Come on, you’re making our job way too difficult. AND STOP BEING SO REASONABLE.
As a closing note, here’s what we think you might be thinking right about now:
Q: But guuuuuuuuuuys, you’re not helping me make up my miiiiiind.
A: Don’t worry, we’ll have more “in-depth analysis” next week.
Clearly we’ve all been spending time with our Clean Modern Design textbooks this term. While nobody’s asking anyone to repeat mistakes of years past, candidate posters have been downright dull and professional this year. Also, no joke candidates. Is it the economy that’s making you all play it so safe? [Ed: …no, we don’t know what the economy does. Coming soon: our coverage of the VP Finance race!]
What do you mean dull, you bitter hacks, you say. Do you want everyone to cover their posters with glitter Myspace gifs?
but also would it kill you to use a typeface with serifs?
Normally we’d break this mother down into good-bad-ugly, but we don’t want to attract the mockery of the graphic design set [Ed. – See above, re: areas not in our expertise]. Instead, we’ve broken it down into the far duller categories of Solid as Concrete, Dynamic Red, and Firm Hand on the Tiller Blue—apparently the only three options for background colours if you’re not going for ‘blurry nature scene.’
Solid as Concrete
These gentlemen have grounded themselves on a background that says they’re stoic. Solid. Dependable. Like a rock. Note the touches of red and blue—them’s the leadership colours.
At least two of these just make us want to break out into “ABC Café“—you know? revolution! sex! STRONG OPINIONS ABOUT ANNE HATHAWAY
RED—the blood of angry hacks
BLACK—UN complaints of past
RED—the ire of students’ rants
BLACK—or grey for good contrast
We expect a full parody musical on our desk by this time next week.
Firm Hand on the Tiller Blue
With the exception of Princess Shinyhair, Queen of Efficiency, blue shows up largely as subsets of other colours, e.g. concrete:
While it may not be as musical-theatre as red, blue gives a soothing, peaceful image. Ahhh. So relaxing. Now just drift away on a sea of budget reports and mental health initiatives…
We’re a little worried by Tanner’s lack of foresight, though [insert joke about athletics fees here]:
Keep an eye out for more coverage and poster critiques in the coming days, kids.
It’s election time already? God, that just flew by.
Campaigning doesn’t start until THIS VERY DAY oh fuck it is so late #old #schoolinthemorning #ihateeverything, but here are three initial observations to tide us all over until everyone starts letting the realness out:
- There are SO MANY CANDIDATES. Someone had better drop out real soon, or our interns are going to have a rough time of it. Look at all those names they’ll have to learn how to spell and come up with puns on!
- LADIES. Running for things that are not VP Admin. YES. ROLE MODELS.
- Oh my god, we don’t even know who half these people are. Did something magically happen to make people care about the AMS? Gateman, is this your doing, with that ‘change something’ assignment? STOP THAT. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW.
- Caroline Wong: current VP Admin, best hair of any exec (w/e, Matt Parson, you get coloured streaks and then we’ll talk)
- Ekateryna Baronovskaya: current Unecorn chair, blogger, kind of came out of nowhere last year? not that that is a bad thing
- Jay Shah: current AMS ECSS (that’s services, n00bs), mellow aura, apparently like super-obsessed with Jay-Z
- Montana Hunter: Arts Councillor, does Ukrainian dance
- Kiran Mahal: Current VP Academic, former SUS President, Princess Shinyhair
- Anne Kessler: Arts Councillor, clearly didn’t coordinate this with Montana, has been to Hobbiton (Jelly.)
- Barnabas Caro: Arts Councillor, from Tanzania, every time we see him he’s like surrounded by five girls, this is what the young people like now I guess
- Justin Fernandes: SUS VP External, Councillor, ?????????
- Derek Moore: New SUB Community Engagement Dude, RA
- Olivia Yung: Asst AMS Tutoring, SLC Promotions, Dance Club
- Tanner Bokor: AMS Asst VP External, the AMS totally poached him from the Ubyssey, can only blame himself if he loses (<3 U TANNER)
- Joaquin Acevedo: AMS International Commissioner (this is a thing?!), was SUS VP Finance
- Mateusz Miadlikowski: Works at the Pit/Gallery, has probably had it up to here with people making cracks about his last name? which is too bad because we are SUPER LAZY around here sometimes
BOARD OF GOVERNORS (2)
- Tristan Miller: Current AMS VP Finance, Prince Shinyhair / Duke of Bowties, has a secret real first name
- Conny Lin: GSS President, neuroscientist (pending?)
- Harsev Oshan: AUS President, Sigma Chi
- Mike Silley: current BoG rep, former AMS VP Admin, somehow convinced Maria Cirstea to be his gf WELL DONE SIR #swag #yolo
- Matt Parson: current AMS President, plays all the sports, really into wearing that oversized bagel from the retro ad campaign for the SUB
- Erin Rennie: OLD HACK, once ran for Pres as “Mistress Rennie,” which is /exactly/ what it sounds like, it was a different time
- Ugh, God, at least one of you is going to drop out and THEN we will post a complete list, okay? Some old faces, some new faces, some faces that have already been up here because people hedge their bets
- We see you there, Philip Edgcumbe, how many years have we been typing out your name
- It’s a slate! You’ll vote for them because they want it and no one else does
- Also they’ve been doing this for a while now
- Thus far, no one has absconded with the money
- But we’ve got our eye on you, JJ #wasplife