Thank you readers!

Congrats, AMS! Congrats, AMS Confidential! And,


If you still haven’t voted, like me, you need to vote YES on the Upass now. And vote the highest percentage for SPILLING T!

Previous Endorsements: Matt Parson and Tristan Miller for Board of Governors

Referenda: Yes to all.

Here are a few last endorsements:
SENATE – Armin Rezaiean-Asel, Kiran Mahal, Anne Kessler
VP ACADEMIC – Anne Kessler or Kiran Mahal


Best Campaign Award goes to… Caroline Wong. Laminated tags with her beautiful campaign designs on them, promotional material all over Rez… this girl is going big! Sure, being in the penalty box and being not able to campaign for the last two days is tough. But I predict a victory for her because of her well-thought-out campaign!

Most responsive: Kiran Mahal. Such a responsible candidate. She had been very thoughtful in the questions she sent me for other candidates. Unfortunately, almost nobody else had the time to send their questions to me.

Freshest ideas: Anne Kessler
from voteanne.com: While there has been a framework drawn up by the AMS and UBC to create emergency housing in the Gage Hostel for people who have been referred there by the Sexual Assault Support Centre or UBC Health Services, we have not seen it implemented yet. If elected I will work to ensure that emergency housing is created for students and others in the community who are in a vulnerable position and need temporary housing.
The [AMS] survey lacked questions on disability and discrimination, and these are two areas of inquiry that I would include in this year’s survey if elected.

While Kiran Mahal does done amazing work in maintaining an unequivocal lobbying effort to lower the Bachelor of International Economics (BIE) tuition and to keep international tuition increases capped at 2%, among many things, her platform this year is, as she has said, a continuation of what she had set out to do last year. Noteworthy are her commitments to tuition consultations, student housing affordability and Acadia Park community needs assessment, all of which Anne Kessler addresses in her platform.

I like Anne Kessler’s fresh ideas, which are more critical of the University’s incomplete servicing of community needs.


Biggest Need: For VP External-to-be Tanner Bokor to push the execs and convince AMS Council to lobby for post-secondary education funding. Unfortunately, the campaign that AMS is involved in, Get On Board, is not about pushing for a Skytrain along the Broadway corridor. And you know, I understand this. We want to get lots of big important partners involved, so AMS should become a team player pushing for a better transit system for Metro Van as a whole. It’s a really great campaign and I am very proud of the AMS for its involvement in the campaign. I do feel though, first and foremost, we need to focus on the Where’s The Funding campaign, as AMS has lost a lot of valuable time leading up to the provincial election to bring together a strong, united voice on the need for post-secondary education funding. In fact, the WTF website has been down for at least four days now.

Did they pay their bills?
(click on the image. you won’t regret it)

















Read more »

The Social Justice Post

I have been asked who is the more socially progressive candidate of all these races. For me, I think the most interesting race for me to analyse is the AMS Presidential race.
In terms of community health and anti-oppression, we do not have a good representative warrior in any of the presidential candidates, though Ekat has proven to have more of a vision on equity facilitation and political representation. All of them seriously have a lot to learn about students’ needs for not just crisis services, but also a learning environment of social justice and equity.

Being the Executive Coordinator of Student Services, Jay Shah advocated for the needs of AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC), but garnered little attention from student groups that are ideologically in support of services for under-served people, such as the politically autonomous AMS Social Justice Centre (SJC) who endorsed candidates in other races.

*EDIT* Volunteers of AMS Services at the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) cannot endorse any AMS executive candidates, as per Manager of SASC. This is a SASC rule. In the past, individual volunteers have endorsed candidates and AMS Elections has had approved such endorsements.

As for AMS Presidential candidate Caroline Wong, she has proven to make the effort to work with Womyn’s Centre Coordinator Jannel Robertson and Emily Plommer, providing the interim arrangement of allowing a person to stay at the Womyn’s Centre for an additional two weeks, after AMS officially declared that the the AMS Womyn’s Centre cannot operate as a crisis shelter.

As for AMS Presidential candidate Ekateryna Baranovskaya, she is the only one to put Equity right onto her platform. In an interview with Ekat, she said “I want to take a look back at the study done a few years ago on the AMS and equity, and move forward with a broad equity-training initiative that we can use to train student politicians.” The study she was talking about pointed to all the structural barriers to diverse representation and participation in AMS Council.

Finally, a professional articulation of the fact that being involved in student politics require you to feel that you would be respected as a human being among your future colleagues. Also, being involved with or even just blogging about student politics can be difficult when you face the barriers of being preoccupied with the physical insecurity, financial insecurity and housing insecurity you may potentially face in daily interactions due to the prejudice in our larger society.

AMS Resource Group PrideUBC is in the middle of negotiation with AMS about multi-stall multi-gender washrooms in the new SUB.

Read more »


If anyone would like to have their opinion over endorsements that they feel are problematic, please feel free to comment here or email spillingt@gmail.com and I will publish it (and may shorten it to ~250 words or less).

Problematic Ubyssey Endorsement Article

So we know by now that the Ubyssey has released their highly problematic endorsement article. And we know that they are critical of candidates for things they either have no control over or for poor reasons. They have also said that the UBC Board of Governors “are dominated by BC Liberals.” They need to fact check this.

If any of you know me, I am highly suspicious with the criteria set by the lieutenant governor of BC when appointing board governors. However, it is clear that by mandate, the lieutenant governor of BC is to appoint people to the UBC Board of Governors in the best interest of UBC, just as, for example, the lieutenant governor of BC appoints people to the BC Multicultural Advisory Council in the best interest of British Columbians. In an ideal situation, someone should interrogate partisan influence on the appointments done by the lieutenant governor of BC and should assess the provincially appointed UBC BoG members individually to determine any potential conflicts of interests. But no. Ubyssey just calls them BC Liberals, probably thinking they are appointed by the BC government formed by the BC Liberals.

Considering this, it is an uninformed assumption to think that having worked in a BC Liberal cabinet minister’s office puts Erin Rennie in a tough position to disagree with her fellow board members. To say that Erin Rennie “was away from UBC for years and might not be up to date on the campus culture” is a complete non-statement, as it takes a phone call to Erin to know if she is up-to-date on campus culture. And really- what campus culture!? An assessment of her knowledge of campus culture is entirely up to the interpretation of the Ubyssey writers. In the debates, she had shown that she knew student needs and she knew enough about the UBC campus for them to really be able to critically analyze her POLITICS and not simply mention her not being a recent UBC student as a weakness.

AMS Presidential candidate Ekateryna Baranovskaya has written a dis-endorsement for the Ubyssey as an organization covering the AMS Elections. A noteworthy point to bring up is that Ubyssey has suggested that AMS VP External candidate Tanner Bokor will have to take three courses while working as VP External, if he gets elected, because he is an international student and his student visa requires him to take three courses per term. The Ubyssey assumed. Tanner Bokor responded on Facebook:

Regarding my immigration status, prior to becoming AVPX, I had taken necessary steps to ensure I was in full compliance with Canadian immigration procedures, and I had applied (and received) a full work permit. I informed The Ubyssey of this after the endorsement had come out, and they had posted a correction. After speaking with the CIC a few weeks prior to making my final decision to run, I had been told the steps I am taking do not jeopardize my status in Canada, and I can continue as a UBC student even if I do not take a full course load. Hope this can clear up any confusion.



Be it known that I take problem with Ubyssey’s endorsement article this year.


UBC students! You need to vote in this AMS Election to keep your Upass! Vote at https://amsvoting.as.it.ubc.ca

Don’t know who to vote for? Check out my endorsements!


Board of Governors: Tristan Miller and Matt Parson

Matt has had experience as AMS VP Academic and University Affairs and as AMS President. Representing our efforts to prevent non-student housing from being placed on our UBC bus loop,  he has shown that his style of diplomacy works. In addressing the unfair issue of BC not investing in post-secondary education, Matt, unlike the other candidates, had a prepared answer on framing this issue as one that requires the BC Government’s change of impression on university degrees. His ideas really spoke to my fear that living in a conservative time in Canada, the conservative decision-makers are killing the liberal arts, which require critical thinking.

Tristan Miller. He is the only candidate who said that he will need to critically look at the UBC master budget to determine how he would vote on the 2% increase in tuition that UBC proposes over the past years. Though he may still vote yes on the 2% tuition increase if he learns that voting no would negatively affect students’ quality of education, in the event that he is elected, Tristan Miller has shown that he has thought critically about UBC’s finances and that he will not succumb to the pressure of saying yes now, unlike the other candidates. The truth is, the other candidates seem to me that they are basing some of their ideas on the University’s financial needs based on meetings they have had with the University administration. With Tristan’s background as AMS VP Finance, I put my trust in him and his expertise of critical thinking about higher education finances. More on him to come tonight.


Ideal BoG candidates should speak confidently about convincing the UBC Board of Governors to lobby the BC Government for the creation of a B.C. higher-education price index.

Ideal BoG candidates should speak confidently about criticizing the leadership of Where’s The Funding? and acknowledging that the AMS, with a very small budget, can inspire student action on lobbying for post-secondary funding.

Ideal BoG candidates should acknowledge that AMS needs to have its own Nationbuilder or Constituency Relationship Management so when student governors are representing students’ interests in terms of post-secondary funding and tuition, they can have much more of a political standing.


No candidates are ideal. However, considering all the candidates in this race, I think Tristan Miller and Matt Parson are the candidates you should vote for.

The Great Debate! BoG Round

Board of Governors Endorsements: Matt Parson

I am initially reluctant to endorse anyone today yet, because Mike Silley was not at the Great Debate and I have not had the time to speak with him.


Ideal BoG candidates should speak confidently about convincing the UBC Board of Governors to lobby the BC Government for the creation of a B.C. higher-education price index.

Ideal BoG candidates should speak confidently about criticizing the leadership of Where’s The Funding? and acknowledging that the AMS, with a very small budget, can inspire student action on lobbying for post-secondary funding.

Ideal BoG candidates should acknowledge that AMS needs to have its own Nationbuilder or Constituency Relationship Management so when student governors are representing students’ interests in terms of post-secondary funding and tuition, they can have much more of a political standing.


No candidates are ideal. Really, I’m not sure I can speak confidently as a BoG candidate. Gosh, I should have run for AMS VP External against Kyle Warwick back in the day.


In picking parts that I thought were important in the BoG Great Debate, I am able to endorse one candidate for now. Another BoG endorsement may come later and it is going to be Mike Silley, Erin Rennie and Tristan Miller.


Debate: Nothing too tricky in this debate, as there were no questions on social policy, particularly the actual details of UBC’s contemplation on providing and funding an emergency shelter. Sad.

Because AMS Elections schedule too short of a time for all five candidates, there was no room for rebuttals and no room for us to see how they react when in argument. Regardless, Tristan’s, Matt’ and Erin’s personalities shined because when these candidates were answering on the fly, they have proven that they have thought about the themes of the questions.

I will paraphrase their responses. I will focus more on these three candidates.

In camera, when at a private board meeting, what would you do when your idea is being outweighed or your motion is being outvoted by the rest of the board?

Tristan Miller: bring supporting evidence for your stance to the board, convince with numbers and get support from AMS. Being respectful, articulate and well-prepared with research can earn you respect.

Clearly indicative of how Tristan Miller would make a good board governor.

Erin Rennie:  Work with the Board! Board of Governors appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, “the eleven fancy business people” appointed,” are just people. I’ve worked with adults of great power and influence. Board members “are vulnerable like you and they have the same interest” in building a better UBC.

Erin gives a seriously good political candidate answer. On the merit of talking about your own skill sets by simplifying the individual politics of board members, Erin showcases her skills as a good politician. She misses the point that provincially appointed BoG members may be influenced by provincial party politics here, but she does address this issue in a later answer.

Good BoG candidates should know the students they represent. Students are not concerned over the intimidating quality of fancy business people. Students considering running for BoG are concerned about feeling politically useless and being only a fly on the wall at board meetings. For some passionate folks, they are even concerned over their mental health from being so pissed off at how certain provincially appointed board members want UBC to cater more to rich international students and want UBC to get very little governmental support to tackle the issue of affordability of student living, student housing and tuition.

There’s a provincial election this Spring. There is a likely a change in power in the BC NDP. Given that eleven out of the twenty one board members are provincially appointed, how will you take advantage of the situation if it happens that  the BC NDP removes a large chunk of the already appointed members and replace them with  NDP-minded governors?

Uh. Okay fine, this one is tricky. The person who sent in this question may have wanted to see if the BoG candidates know their stuff. According to the BC University Act 19 (2)

The board of the University of British Columbia is composed of 21 members, as follows:
(a) the chancellor;
(b) the president;
(c) a faculty member who works through a part specified under section 3.1, elected by the faculty members who work through the part;
(d) 2 faculty members who work through a part not specified under section 3.1, elected by the faculty members who work through the part;
(e) 11 persons, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, 2 of whom are to be appointed from among persons nominated by the alumni association.

Though 9 is still a large chunk, let’s be clear on the fact that student BoG candidates need to have the alumni association in mind as they are political players in the makeup of the board.

Matt Parson: Painting the picture of how UBC can benefit not just the community surrounding it but the province as a whole. A university degree is really on par with other skill-based learning. UBC is viewed as having massive bags of money. We need to shift ourselves as being perceived otherwise, to be perceived as just as in need of funding as trades education.

Erin Rennie: “We have to remember that we need to build a strong working relationship without getting co-opted by whatever interest those board members represent… Agencies like UBC need to be politically neutral.”

Erin Rennie is a really great speaker who is thoughtful in her answers. Here, she has attempted to address students’ concerns that provincially appointed BoG members are not politically neutral.

I love Matt Parson’s answer here. It is here that Matt Parson has earned my endorsement.

On the domestic tuition increase of a 2% cap legislated by the BC Government and UBC taking the full 2% increase every year since the 2% cap legislation

Harsev: Well, the moderator had to explain how the domestic tuition policy work. He’s an international student. He admits that he still needs to do research on statistics and do more consultation with students about domestic tuition going up 2% a year.

Matt Parson: Matt answered that he would agree to UBC’s 2% tuition increase in the next year but he was not allowed to qualify his answer due to the moderator’s concern for time constraint. Let us note that Matt Parson is an experienced AMS exec who has had to express his views on UBC tuition for at least two years. Coming out of his office had been draft tuition policies that indicated the need for student advocacy to consider not just the BC Consumer Price Index that Erin Rennie has quoted, but also Higher Education Price Index, which is American (as we do not have a BC one).

Tristan Miller: It would depends on the budget that is presented to us.

Conny Lin: Votes yes because it is based on University needs. Before the 2% cap, UBC had to make huge increases to make up for the tuition freeze that was put in place when the BC NDP was in power. UBC made these increases so our education quality is not sacrificed.




End notes:

Michael Silley was absent from the debate.

Conny Lin recently had a meeting with Adv. Ed. on behalf of, I presume, the Graduate Student Society.

If Harsev hasn’t gone to a patronizing UBC Tuition Consultation session or has gone to the AMS University and External Relations Committee to bring up the need for AMS to revisit its tuition policy, he needs to not run for BoG or an AMS Exec position next year until he has done so.


Day 2 Recap

The Presidential race and the BoG race are both showing potential to be more exciting than the other races. First of all, the presidential candidates did a karaoke sing-off on Monday and reconvened for Day 2’s Vanier Debate. If you haven’t already, go Like AMS Elections on Facebook to follow news of election events, especially candidate meet-and-greets!

If you’ve  been following even just past AMS Elections, you’ll notice that DJ President and friends are no longer trying to make #amselxn happen again, now (re)opening up the hashtag to hashbrown cravings. (AMS Confidential: use #amselections to tweet about elections. Use #AMselections to tweet about your breakfast choices.)

If you scroll down to Latest News, you will see Ubyssey’s coverage of the first debate. I’ll cover the debates in the next few days. For now, I just want to let you know that BoG candidates Erin Rennie and Harsev Oshan have both missed their first BoG debate.

Tonight, Harsev won his bid to be the President of the Inter-Fraternity Council, which is a council of the nine Fraternities on campus. Impressive. He’s feeling a lot of love from some of these inter-frat councilors who voted him and Sebastian Silley, fellow BoG candidate Mike Silley’s brother, to become President and Secretary, respectively. I wonder if his victory speech contained any AMS campaigning or any mentioning that he’s got the right method to get us snakes out to vote.

What about Erin Rennie? Maybe shuffling her friends who are volunteering for the BC Lib to build her a data-mining machine of a campaign website. Or not.

As presidential candidate Caroline Wong talks about Customer Relationship Management to improve AMS Businesses, I’ve got to wonder… who will use constituency relationship management to improve their bidness and play their A game?

It’s still early but I already want to see campaigners coming to the forefront with pre-election petitions and surveys, instead of the tired Facebook profile picture game where you mark your friends online with your campaign smile. Believe me, posterclone is happening already. Which means meaningless endorsements are soon to comeeeeeee :S




AMSConfidential going over the candidates of the Senate Race.

Pretty much my attitude also 😛

.gif captured from this hilarious video from the Golden Globe Awards 2013

Judgment Day 1.0

0:01 – It’s after midnight and I see no websites yet! I should be hearing the sounds of tweeting and hallway postering. Caroline Wong and Ben Cappellacci did it last year, right after midnight. What will we see in the morning!?

1pm – I call this the first-wave campaign cut off. If you got your material out by now, you have made some kind of impression on me. Because the following are the first AMS things that made it to my newsfeed, I am going to give them some blogtime.


Oh hell no! “Because Oshan Guarantees!”

I remember using a mnemonic in my campaign last year and it was for platform points. Truthfully, I can’t remember what it was. I’ll remember this slogan though. But for its truly cheesy nature.

I will have you know, though, that black red and green are the colours of the Kenyan flag. Watch. I put money on Harsev doing more in his campaign to signal pan-African sentiments with the UBC Africa Awareness Initiative.

He will attend the fabulous UBC Africa Awareness Initiative Conference Week and he will campaign!

It’ll be interesting to watch the guys fight for the Greek vote for BoG, with Harsev Oshan, Mike Silley and Matt Parson all in the Greek system.

Meanwhile, nothing from hack Conny Lin and oldhack Erin Rennie yet!


Bam. First campaign poster I have seen, in the comfort of my own home. votejay.ca is not up yet though
Here’s Jay for President. A sit-down picture, a la Ben Cappellacci campaign photo in 2012.

Opting for the “Adjective. Noun.” format, this has got to be an attempt to remind students what the AMS does. I don’t dig it. But it’s the website, interviews and the debates that matter the most to me though.





Derek Moore for VP Admin

Self-promoting as honey badger, this creature is leading the VP Admin candidate pack with smiles. Hasn’t prepared much for his website yet though, but I’ll stay tuned. He seems to be the first one to have over 30 Likes on his Facebook page. Pretty impressive planning. His race is exciiiii-ting.

Can’t wait to see more of “robust” Derek on votederek.ca



Re-Elect Kiran for VP Academic
is looking good. Opening her website with a letter signed with a ‘Sincerely’ that actually sounds sincere, Kiran has proven that this election she has prepared to tell you everything she has done well and has plans of doing even better as the VP Academic. I will have to say that some parts of her platform are not memorable as I know there is a urgent need that students have identified in the past year. A need that the elected VP Academic should work into ‘their’ platform. Hint. That being said though, Kiran has a very comprehensive platform. I especially admire any candidate who offers in-depth platform explanations. More analysis on the VP Academic races and the other races later!

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What’s AMS?

AMS is UBC students' student union, which provides governance for its businesses, its student advocacy and its student services. The most relevant services to you are probably the businesses in the SUB, the AMS Health and Dental Plan and the Upass.
Read about the AMS here!

The Editor

I am a cheap, library-fine-collecting, free-food-finding, late-assignment-penalty-reduction-requesting critical student at UBC.

With the mission to "improve the quality of the educational, social, and personal lives of the students of UBC," I wish to see AMS not only provide student services for such improvements but to also advocate outside the traditional scope of academic and tuition issues, to improve the well-being of students.


UBC Board of Governors: Erin Rennie, grad student Conny Lin, undergrads Harsev Oshan, Tristan Miller, Mike Silley (incumbent) and Matt Parson

AMS President: Caroline Wong, Ekateryna Baronovskaya, and Jay Shah

AMS VP Academic: Montana Hunter, Kiran Mahal (incumbent), Anne Kessler

AMS VP Finance: Joaquin Acevedo, Mateusz Miadlikowski

AMS VP External: Tanner Bokor

VP Admin: Justin Fernandes, Derek Moore, Olivia Yung, Barnabas Caro

Senate: Read about them here.

Student advocacy? Do something with my tuition!

Let's look at what will happen to your tuition in the next few years.
UBC's international student policy is that for students who commence their studies in 2012/2013, the international tuition fees will increase by no more (but likely no less!) than 2% per year for the next 4 years. Domestic students are also facing a 2% increase in tuition a year.

This year's AMS Election is likely to be even more important for students, because it is also the same year as our provincial election. This year's AMS Execs have the opportunity to organize and gain potential to make AMS's lobbying efforts much stronger than it has been in the past four years. The AMS Execs meet with the BC Premier, provincial ministers and critics from the opposition party, along with the University Neighbourhood Association, the University, Translink, other student unions and many other important players of post-secondary life and politics.

I hate student fees.

I hear you.
Go actually take a look at your student fees.

Here's a good Ubyssey article that explains some of our student fees. You're easily paying over $200 for services you may not be able to afford.

Where else are students writing about UBC/AMS?

If you're on this site, then you already know to visit Ubyssey, UBC's official student newspaper.

There's also the SPAM Festival of AMS elections, AMS Confidential. Not the unsolicited email type, but this fun-loving type that makes so many people happy that they would dress up as such and march in a SPAM Festival.

Lastly, there's UBC Insiders. Not sure if they are covering this election but they are extremely informative. Some serious investigative critical blogging there.

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