Category Archives: News for Noobs

Meet your new boyfriend?


Are you on Team Edward or Team Jacob?

we had to redo the 's' like five times before it was "Twilight enough"

AJ should have been the candidate to beat in this election—just like Bella should have been the star of the show. But just as we all got sick of Bella’s hemming and hawing with no action, AJ’s communications-only platform—and a few factual missteps during debates—made her a medium-strong candidate in an All-Star Race.

Let’s be clear: in any other year, we would have been happy to endorse AJ. She’s a great leader with real skills who’d do a great job as president. We have to give AJ a massive amount of credit for her work on the AMS referendum and SLC. But at the end of the day, we weren’t feeling it.

What were we feeling? That AJ’s campaign should have been for VP Administration. It’s the perfect fit for her longstanding relationships with student development. Her team-building skills would have revitalized the Clubs-based portfolios. And her interest in architecture and design are perfect for the New SUB. Even her emphasis on collaborative, clear communication in the AMS could have been achieved from this position.


So who did we endorse? check after the jump, in which we get so freaking serious. Yeah, we feel kinda weird about it too? But, like, this is important—it’s our relationship we’re talking about here. The AMS is totally our boyfriend.


Matt ran an incredible campaign. Ben ran an incredible campaign. And as many commentators pointed out, their positions on several key issues were the same. On the Gage South/land use/governance portfolio, by far the biggest upcoming issue, their answers were practically identical—and to give credit where credit is due, identically strong and student-focused.

Where the two candidates differed is in their vision of the AMS.

We don’t doubt that Matt sees the potential of the AMS, the largest student society in BC and one of the largest in Canada. We don’t doubt that he’s got big plans for the AMS—but he sure didn’t tell us about them.

Matt’s pledge is small change. Nobody’s going to give a shit—they’re never going to give a shit—and they’re going to continue to not give a shit. If we’ve learned one thing in our hours in the Ubyssey archives, it’s this. Campaigns used to talk to thousands of students in one three-week period—and student apathy was still the subject of scathing editorials that could have been written last week. If your biggest promise and the thing that sets you apart is to talk to a bunch of students, you’ve completely missed the point of what the AMS can accomplish.

Ben, on the other hand, referenced the big things the AMS can do. In fact, he brought it up time and time again in debates. And his big difference—his pledge to make us a leader across the province by fighting for a provincial lobbying group and joint lobbying initiatives—speaks to that vision of the AMS.

Some people may call us naive. Fuck those people. Student politics isn’t always about the cynical, it’s about what is reasonably ambitious. It’s about what we can accomplish with the combined power of nearly 50 thousand students, whether or not those students are aware of it. Revel in the reasonableness, as this election has been dubbed.

We’re endorsing Ben because of his ambitious vision for the AMS. And if Matt or AJ wins, we’d encourage them to think bigger and do the great job we know they can.


We realize this endorsement is not going to make everyone happy. This was a hard decision to make, and this post was delayed because frankly, we couldn’t make up our minds. Just like Bella, we were torn for three novel-length nights.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: AJ, in one perfect moment, summed up this entire Presidential race in her debate on Friday:

Congratulations to all three candidates for their excellent campaigns, intelligent responses and for making this the hardest endorsement for the best reasons.

This post was written by Kai and Taylor in the Gallery, and our endorsement is unanimous with the rest of our editorial staff.

INFOGRAPHIC: Still can’t decide?

LAZY STUDENTS. We’ve sorted through three very similar presidential campaigns to bring you this: one-sentence differences on five key issues, from the cost of education to imagining the AMS is a lady/gentleman you’re taking out on a date. Keep our chart open in another window while you’re voting!

All answers have been condensed and paraphrased from debates hosted by The Ubyssey and the AMS Elections committee, with attention to statements made in interviews. We’ve tried very fucking hard to present opinions with great accuracy and no bias, but as always, we encourage readers to read the originals and become EPIC FUCKING HACKS. Our summaries—and background information on the issues—are after the jump.

Really lazy? We’ll be putting up endorsements and semantics in the next 24 hours. Click this amazing infographic below and vote on.


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Presidential debate highlights: FRIDAY

Two presidential debates have happened in the past five days, none of which you watched. But I did, and then I transcribed and paraphrased them for a series of epic posts to come. We are trying to make this campaign somewhat amusing after it has been dubbed “REVEL IN THE REASONABLENESS”…so first up, FRIDAY!

(You can follow along by watching a very informative 30-minute video—and exploring the candidates interviews—here.) Otherwise, it’s on to

FRIDAY FRIDAY learning about your very similar approaches to governance on FRIDAY

AJ was asked by Brian, Cranky Old Man in Training and moderator, to expand on the “essay” she’s written justifying a Presidential run with no Council experience. AJ maintained that her leadership experience and development skills are the important qualification, not time on Council. But then she summed up the race as a whole: 

But only one can be the AMS’s boyfriend. Er, girlfriend. Sorry, we forgot about your difference.


Asked how they’d combat the War on Fun, engage student interest in AMS Events, and what level of subsidy they’d like to see for the same, candidates uniformly talked about that catch-all phrase, “student engagement.” But we appreciated Matt’s call-out to Arts County Fair, the last real party on campus, and how ACF engaged with students: 

That moment of absolute truth, taken in combination with Matt’s proposal of a promotions team for events, made his answer the strongest. He’s also the only candidate to reference the seamy past of Arshy Mann, Ubyssey Web Editor.

Legend has it, he was naked. Arshy, that is, not Matt. [For the story about when Matt was naked, you’ll have to stay tuned! no, seriously. he told this story.]


At one point, for five whole seconds, Ben Cappellacci stopped being his perfect, sex god meme of a self and forgot how to say ‘coordinating.’

Coming up next on So You Think You Can President we have hilarious quotes from Tuesday! So many good ones, we can hardly contain ourselves. Find out what they would do on a date with the AMS, and more! (Yes, there are answers involved that range from virginal freshmen to octogenarians*).

This post was written by Kai, who actually transcribed all of these god damn debates and will use her hard-earned 1.5 cents from each student to pay for her pending carpal tunnel.

*[Editor’s note: Taylor lost in the spelling bee finals when she was younger by misspelling “octogenarian” and has been looking for an excuse to use it ever since]

Endorsements Round Choo choo choose you

Voting has started for the 2012 AMS Elections (check your email for a vote code!) and apart from voting for us (because we’re sparkly, smart and suuuuuuper awesome) you should consider voting for actual candidates. Here are our VP picks for this year, with BoG/Senate/SLFS and your goddamn President coming. Yes, you can call these our #AMselections IF YOU MUST:

Caroline can VP Administrate me ANY DAY

Highlights from her platform: [Editor’s note: I’m super mean on this one because I used to be the VP Admin]

  • She promises a LEED Platinum Building for the New SUB and engagement with the UBC SEEDs Program. This is already happening regardless. What she should really focus on is ensuring the post-occupancy sustainability of the New SUB.
  • She wants to create an online club management system. This is promised every, single year. There’s already a financial system in place. AMS Link, an online system that did exactly that three years ago was taken down because no one used it. The focus then should be on convincing clubs to use a content management system rather than spending money on building something fancy.

Why we like her:

  • She has sat on council and numerous committees. She has also acted as the AUS’s VP External and convinced constituency presidents to dye their hair purple (that’s AUSsome).
  • She has participated in the lefty Social Justice Centre and may just be the hottest knollie we have ever seen. She’s able to see both sides to an issues and that’s a great trait to have.

Warwick for VPX: He’s Better than Nothing (Trust us, you don’t want another by-election)

His platform (and what we think about it):

  • He wants to shift lobbying from federal lobbying to focus more on provincial and municipal topics such as translink (like getting a much-needed rapid transit line to UBC!). While we agree that more should be done provincially, completely disregarding national lobbying initiatives, especially when there is NO actual national strategy on post-secondary education, is probably not the best idea.
  • He also wants to be stern and serious when it comes to UPass negotiations. While this is a valiant effort, we’re likely to keep paying more and more for our transit pass.

Why we “like” him:

  • Kyle Warwick falls into the category of heavily-partisan-hacks-that-should-graduate-already. He has sat on AMS council for three solid years and ran in the 2011 federal election for the Liberal Party in Skeena, BC (we also have NO CLUE where that is).  He has tons of experience and if he can let go of some of his Liberal Party tendencies, he’ll do a good job.

Tristan Miller for VP Finance, The Job No One Else Knows How to Do, I Don’t Care if You Have a Budget Spreadsheet

His Platform..errr. I mean manifesto?:

  • Spend less shit. (Seriously, that’s all I got from his website)

Why we like him:

  • Continuing the tradition of dapper, well-dressed gentlemen at the helm of the AMS’s finances, Tristan has a strong understanding of the AMS as the current Vice-Chair of the Financial Commission. And because we only vote based on looks, [ONLY LOOKS. JUST LOOKS, ALL THE TIME. LOOKS AND SPITE] he is an absolute shoo-in (speaking of shoes, he has SO MANY CUTE PAIRS).

KIRAN FOR VP Academic (and University affairs)

This had to be the hardest VP race for us to choose between. Mostly it’s because Carven is all sorts of fabulous and lives and breathes pure, sparkly, radical wonder. But we decided to go with Kiran Mahal. Read on to find out why.

Her platform highlights (and what we think about them):

  • She promises to address mental health and wellness. This is an ENORMOUS problem at UBC (otherwise known as the Canadian Centre for Seasonal Affective Disorder), and it would be a true benefit for the student body if the AMS can get UBC to move past “raising awareness” of issues such as suicide and mental health and ACTUALLY create better policy.
  • She wants to create an exam database. This has been attempted and failed. Much like a Clubs’ Content Management system, the trick would be to convince the many users to actually remember to post and use the system.

Why we chose her:

  • Kiran is a competent, well-spoken and hard-working individual. [Ed. note: nobody said articulate.] She is the current SUS President, worked with AMS Services AND was the President of the Young Women in Business UBC Chapter. While we would like to see her focus a little more on University Affairs such as land use and governance, she already demonstrates a firm vision of what she wants to achieve. With a strong BoG team as University allies, she could kick some major ass on both fronts.

While we all voted on the endorsements, this post written by Ekat, who was VP Admin two years ago. In candidate terms, she’s held executive office, so she’s at the Presidential experience level. In airport lounge terms, Presidential means she gets two free drinks and a newspaper. BONUS!

Think we were wrong? Candidates! Feel free to post below. It’s tough to be judged (even by someone as sparkly as us) and we would love your thoughts if you think we have it all wrong.

Return of the Jedi

Allow me to re-introduce myself, says Spencer Keys as he snuggles up to the limited female hacks who still read UBC Insiders. 

gerald deo photo

Spencer Keys was the 96th President of the Alma Mater Society and the first insufferable prat to start saying which number he was. He spent his time afterwards working for provincial and national student associations and working as a consulting lobbyist in Ottawa.

What Spencer fails to mention, is that he is in fact a minute celebrity of the reality star fame. He starred in a documentary entitled College Days, College Nights that threw some UBC students in a house together and chronicled their lives. Yes, this really happened.

In the documentary, Spencer loses an election for VP External, goes on to ban slates (HE IS THE MAN SORT OF RESPONSIBLE* FOR LAST YEAR! DO YOU GET THE CONNECTION NOW???), and then becomes President of the AMS. All under the glory of cameras. [Editor’s Note: This is honestly my dream. If any film producers are reading this, my life is very entertaining]

So, Spencer was kind of a big deal. And after doing real world things, he’s come back to UBC under “unfortunate circumstances.” You should read his article, because the lack of campaigning is seriously so embarrassing.

And because you’re probably wondering when we’re going to go all alliterative on you, yes, Spencer is Sexy. But not just because he’s a tall ginger who dubs himself a gentlemen and wears dashing, waspy attire. No, Spencer is sexy because he tweets about both football and politics. He wants to be a lawyer [Editor’s Note: KAI GOT INTO UBC LAW SCHOOL BY THE WAY] and he actually somewhat cares about student engagement without being a hack who gets off by masturbating to their own accomplishments, which is rare. He can definitely lobby his way into our loins hearts any day.

*actually not responsible for people making fake websites or slate conundrums, at all.


UBC’s Very Own Ryan Gosling

Let’s just state the obvious here:

Ryan Gosling is hot.

He had his day with The Notebook, when every girl just wanted to cuddle and fall asleep in Noah’s arms every night. And then, well, Ryan Gosling kind of disappeared. He went on to do artsy things, like indie Canadian flicks, and then took  a hiatus.

And then, BAM! Out of nowhere, after we all kind of forget about him, Ryan Gosling was back. And this time he’s not only hot…

He’s experienced.

He’s a fucking good actor, he’s everywhere, and everyone wants him. HE EVEN BECAME A MEME. 

The same could be said for Ben Cappellacci. Just like Ryan Gosling was part of the Mickey Mouse Club and Breaker High [Editor’s Note: Are you kids too young to remember Breaker High on YTV?! Are you!?], Ben was part of the frat scene, the Senate, and SafeWalk coordinator. And then he had his breakout role as VP Academic. After enjoying such fine things like land use policy, Ben went on to do artsy things, like an exchange to Paris, and took a hiatus from the AMS.

And then BAM! Out of nowhere, Ben is running for President. His name is the headline in every story, his branding is sexy as hell, and he’s here to take UBC by storm just like Ryan Gosling is going to take ALL THE AWARDS.

So, welcome to the race Ben. In honour of everyone’s favourite actor and meme, we’ll be bringing you A Ben A Day, Ryan Gosling style. Like us on Facebook to get your daily dose! 


Things we love this week.

After a long weekend of media pukefest*, it’s time to review all the awesome shit that happened over the weekend! (er, since Friday). starting with our golden boy, of course.

i don't know why there is a laser eye show, let it be


Just as we were geared up for a nailbiter of a race between two overinvolved keener candidates, a third, equally overinvolved keener candidate entered the presidential race!  Bless you, Ben Cappellacci for a) having the marketing knowhow to make sure you’re the top story on everyone’s pages; and b) giving us all a chance to break out the “HOW DOES CONDORCET WORK AGAIN??” filler story.

petty but wonnnnnnnnderful


unnnnnnnngh I’ve missed you sooooo muuuuuuuch. Kids, if you’re new to this election, here is the thing: we have rules for this shit. Awesome, pedantic rules. And the Penalty Box on the AMS Elections website tells us every single time someone breaks these rules, e.g. by starting their campaigns too early—seriously, Katherine Tyson, you’ve done this election shtick before, you should know these by now—or other minor screwups. Vindictive, petty, and totally golden. love love love.

...and I want a pony, and some ninja Legos, and a Senate seat!!


Aside from the total mind-fuck of meeting people born in 1993 in our day-to-day university life, look at this list of total unknowns running for shit. Total unknowns with awesome names. Barnabas Caro? Montana Hunter (who is so clearly a minor fanfiction character)?

[Editor’s note: OMG finally another reason for Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus references. Oh wait, shit, just Facebook creeped and Montana is in fact a dude. Oh well, it’s still happening.]

Shit, son, if that doesn’t get you excited for politics, I don’t know what will. THEY ARE ALL JUST HACKY BABIES, which ovaries dictate I must find adorable or els—


The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Frat Party

Tonight, AMS Council justified a very small part of its nonexistent paycheque by shutting down a proposal from Dayglow events to take over Block Party. Dayglow is a touring party that crams a bunch of almost-twenty-somethings into a concrete bunker/outdoor venue, has them wear all white, and then sprays them down with neon paint. Also, acrobats!

UPDATE: All the best tweets of the night, here! With video!

i feel so respected for my mind!

Can you even attend this party ironically?


Councillors quickly came to the conclusion that this was perhaps not the best choice, bringing up varying accusations of objectification of women, sexism, that time a Dayglow party sent 44 people to the hospital, etc.

Dayglow had run the idea past both the AMS Execs and the Student Life and Communications Committee before jamming this onto the Council agenda at the last minute—proving once and for all that some people actually can’t take no for an answer.

Tcha, broseph: no means no.