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    The UBC Board of Governors will be holding an extraordinary Board Committee meeting tomorrow, April 21st, to approve the new Commerce student fees and a Board 3 for the Sauder building upgrades (agenda). It’s important to note that the date-stamp on the agenda is April 19th. This means that there was only two days of notice given to the public (and Board members, as I have confirmed). This gives extremely little time for any consultation or feedback to happen. As members of the public are required to apply for tickets at least 24 hrs in advance, it makes it extremely hard for any interested parties to attend.

    The agenda lists only the following four open items, and Sean Heisler, student Board rep, has confirmed that there are no closed items on the agenda:

    Finance Committee

    • 1.1 2010/2011 Tuition Fees Correction to Schedule ‘A’
    • 1.2 Alma Mater Society UBC Vancouver Commerce Undergraduate Society Student Building Fee (approved by student referendum)
    • 1.3 Graduate Student Society UBC Vancouver – MBA, ECM & MMOR Sauder Student Building Fee (approved by student referendum)

    Join Property & Planning and Finance Committee

    • 2.1 Sauder School of Business Building Project

    Considering all the controversy surrounding the CUS Building Fee, it’s alarming to see this being pushed through so quickly and under the table.

    In particular, this meeting raises a number of interesting questions:

    1. Why is this so pressing that an extraordinary meeting has to be called?
    2. Knowing the controversy surrounding this fee and the building project, is this being deliberately done semi-secretly?
    3. There is no extraordinary Full Board meeting scheduled. Will these resolutions be brought into effect prior to a resolution of the full Board?
    4. Is the Board 3 being rushed to prevent students from being able to change the building program now that they are a major donor?

    Further discussion, rampant speculation, and a detailed analysis of each item after the jump.
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    The Board of Governors meeting for March/April has once again rolled around. Today is the Board Committees Meeting, with the full board meeting being April 8th. The agenda has a number of interesting elements on it, including details of UBC’s next budget, updates on the UBC Transit Line study, the tuition fee increases for next year, and more.

    As always, if you have any thoughts or comments about these items or any others on the agenda, you can email the student Board reps, Mike Duncan and Bijan Ahmadian, who will be transitioning to the new student reps after this meeting.

    Read on for a detailed analysis of what I consider to be some of the more interesting items on the agenda.

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    The EUS Elections

    Coverage by Bowinn Ma.
    • EUS President 2007-2008
    • AMS Councilor 2006-2008
    • EUS Vice-President Internal 2006-2007
    • EUS Executive Social Coordinator 2005-2006
    Currently an Arts student, Bowinn is two years removed from the EUS. For reference, she and her government brought Engineering such initiatives and services as the Engineering Student Centre Project, the EUS Organizational Structural Changes, EUS Constitutional Reform, First Year Study Space, e-nEUS, PP Clubroom Crawl, Policy Reform, the branding and marketing reform process, and Tutoring Services.

    Candidate Forum Moderator: Matthew Naylor, Arts
    Attendance: More than at AMS Elections Debates
    Length of time: 3.5 hours.

    As per my AMS Elections coverage pieces, I must insists that this is an opinion piece. Don’t like it? Too bad.

    This election is an exciting one indeed. With a whole whackload of opposition candidates, every position is ripe with competition between the ‘bred’ candidate (ie. Got involved through the rungs and layers of volunteer positions leading up to Executive positions, high levels of experience, understanding of the inner workings of the Society, respect for the Constitution and the processes it protects) and the ‘new’ candidate (ie. Little if any understanding of the organization, next to no experience in any of its processes or student government in general, high levels of passion and anger, perhaps overly enthusiastic about what I personally believe are somewhat unrealistic goals). I describe these as I see it, based on me watching hundreds of people put in enormous amounts of effort over the greater part of a decade and seeing what can be realistically accomplished through it all.

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    This is part one of a two-part editorial series on the recently revealed AMS Electoral Fraud.

    While many of our readers have probably read the preliminary report issued by the Elections Committee, and were possibly even present at the last Council meeting, there hasn’t been a detailed technical explanation provided about exactly how the system was broken. Through brief discussions with members of the EC I believe I now understand how the attack occurred.

    The crux of the matter is that student numbers were not validated during the final submission phase, which allowed for a trivial exploit of the system. Due to the simplicity of this hack, I remain deeply concerned about the validity of any of the election results, and I will be hesitant to accept their accuracy even following the final auditor’s report.

    I would however like to emphasize that I’m not trying to tear down or belittle the work that this year’s EC did. This year’s elections were probably the smoothest and best-organized elections I have seen during my time at UBC, with this one exception. It is a new system, and mistakes do happen; albeit a rather titanic one in this case. That aside, I think the response following the discovery of the exploit has been handled very well, and I appreciate the levels of public disclosure.

    More detailed and technical analysis after the jump.

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    Race Profile: Board of Governors

    Comments Off on Race Profile: Board of Governors


    UBC Insiders Analysis

    Click here to skip to profiles of the candidates in this race.

    The 21-member Board of Governors at UBC is composed of “the Chancellor, the President, eleven persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (representing the province), three students elected by students, three faculty members elected by faculty, and two employees elected by employees.” Two of these students are elected during AMS Elections from the student population at UBC Vancouver. (the third student is from UBC Okanagan).

    These elected representatives are privy to a vast amount of information about UBC, as essentially every major decision is passed by the Board. They also have a unique opportunity to speak before the Board about student issues, and ensure that major developments at UBC are not negatively impacting quality of education or the student experience.

    We asked candidates about which Board Committees interest them; what the biggest problems with the Board are; what is important about the role of the Board; and how they will advocate and increase student accountability to the Board.

    See Candidate Profiles and what would make Andrew’s ideal BoG candidate, after the jump.

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    Aside from the referendum question to modify bylaws regarding Student Court, a second question exists with Bylaw Changes. These changes are for the most part “housekeeping” changes and are intended to close loopholes and update the Bylaws to be legally compliant with the BC Society Act.

    The heart of the changes are centered around altering the definition of Executives such that Council would be able to remove them from office through a 2/3 impeachment vote. Changes are also present which would bring the automatic removal of Councilors who miss too many meetings in line with the Society Act. In addition there are riders to grant the affiliated colleges (Regent, VST, etc.) voting seats on Council as well as a change to force any referenda which would alter fees to explicitly state that in the question.

    Explaining it in plain English, after the jump.

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    The following is a guest post by Bowinn Ma, EUS President 2007-2008; AMS Councilor 2006-2008; Former Hack, less so now.


    Bowinn, as EUS President. Martin Dee photo.

    One of the roles of guest writers is to change things up, and change things up I shall! The UBC Insiders team has done a magnificent job of creating thorough, professional, and complete postings, but what seems to be lacking is public participation. Where are the dozens of comments we used to get from people supporting and condemning opinions? Where are the flame wars and public uproars against the tragedy de jour? Where is Joe the Plumber, Little Timmy, and Big John with their stories of personal strife against the Power?

    More of Bowinn’s thoughts, after the gap.

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    With voting for AMS Elections opening in just over one week, we sat down with Ricardo Bortolon, Chief Returning Officer, to get the details on how students will be voting.

    In summary, the key points for this year are:

    1. No paper balloting (except affiliated colleges)
    2. 15 minute voting time limit – research candidates in advance
    3. AMS Executive elections using Condorcet ranked ballots, other positions remain First-Past-the-Post
    4. Elections Committee may allow groups to set up informal polling stations

    Full details about this year’s system are below.

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    In case you haven’t heard, UBC’s salary data has been released for the fiscal year ending March 2009 (available here, Excel sheet including 2008 data, compiled by UBC Insiders, available here). In accordance with the Financial Information Act of BC, this document includes a breakdown of all persons earning over $75,000 and lists both remuneration and expenses. Upon analysis of this and the 2008 data, some interesting observations can be made.

    Note: When examining this data, it is important to remember that remuneration is not purely paid salary but also includes benefits and other forms of compensation.

    One datum which immediately jumped out, upon scanning through all 3,261 names, was that former UBC President, Martha Piper received a whopping $359,127 in 07-08 and another $96,526 in 08-09. As her term as UBC’s President ended in June 2006, it is astounding to see such large amounts of compensation still being paid.

    It may also be interesting to note that UBC’s net salary increase was 8.19% from 07-08 to 08-09.

    More detailed analysis of raises and other salary data after the jump.

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