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    Race Profile: Senate

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    UBC Insiders Analysis

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

    Note: Alex was a student 2008-2009 senator.

    The Senate represents one of the places where students can influence the most change over the lives of every student. The highest governing academic body on campus, the Senate drafts the academic calendar, is the final body of appeals on academic issues, and is consulted on all issues pertaining to the academic side of the house, such as the University’s budget and academic building use.

    Why the most important basis for the job is showing up, after the jump
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    I’ve been on campus for five years now. I probably know more about how the University and Student Society interact more than anyone else on campus. I also have my ear low to the ground, and can hear rumblings before they become issues. This is why I was dumbfounded when I learned that we would have a question on the referendum ballot to immediately transfer money to the “Access UBC Association of Disabled Students”, an organization I have never heard of.

    I’m a big fan of students mobilizing to change the rules of the game. This is why I helped lower the quorum for AMS general meetings. That said, when there are questions that are ill-researched, not reviewed by anyone with their head in the game, and when they come from an organization who failed to explain who they are despite having 14 days, I have to encourage everyone to vehemently vote no.

    Alex gets ranty, blames council of campus lethargy, and breaks the UBC Insiders editorial policy on endorsements prior to the weekend on the other side of the jump.

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    UBC Insiders Analysis

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

    The Vice-President External, otherwise known as the “just what are they doing” VP, is the person who, if doing a good job, isn’t around on campus much. Responsible for advocating to the provincial and federal governments as well as other student societies, the VPX is one of the most difficult roles to enter in to without a strong understanding of the Canadian student movement and provincial/federal politics.

    Included under the portfolio are things relating to the life of a student that government exercises quite a bit of control over. Included are: transportation (U-Pass), University financing and access (financial assistance, tuition), childcare (split with the VP Academic), cost-of-living and more recently the Olympics.

    Tables, profiles, and an attempt to figure out why Tim Chu is running, right around the corner.

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    The problem with having an election for five spots is you end up with a race of twelve candidates (last year aside). Fortunately for us, only seven candidates showed up today to answer some questions from the moderator, Forestry Senator and All Around Good Guy Mr. Angus Cheung, and from the audience.

    More on their answers behind le jump.

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    UBC Insiders Analysis

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

    Note: Alex was the 2008/2009 AMS VP Academic and University Affairs.

    The VP University affairs is the largest and most detail-oriented position on the executive. Best described as the executive that handles “everything else”, the VP A/UA is the single student on campus with the most influence over the way the university goes about its regular business. The job is best chunked into three broad categories: campus governance (planning, liaising, fiscals), academics (quality, funding, senate), and campus climate (culture, relations, equity).

    Traditionally a position held by wonks, a good candidate will have a strong appreciation for detail, will be strategic and organized, will learn quickly, and will be a leader when they need to be. This means an understanding of the issues, players, conflicts and rhetoric of campus, as well as having the managerial skills to organize an office that handles forty committees, tens of pages of reading a day, and countless emails.

    All that really matters is governance, and questionnaires after the jump.

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    UBC Insiders Analysis

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

    The VP Finance has traditionally been one of the most difficult jobs to be effective at in the executive committee. Tasked with crafting a budget to spend millions of dollars in three months, there’s little the VP Finance can do to shake up the status-quo in their most important task. Other parts in the job are the SUB businesses, sustainability, the AMS/GSS health and dental plan, and financial administration.

    expenses_pieBecause elections don’t yield the best accountants and because the post has been neglected in the past, the VP Finance role was once thought to be a liability to the society. To make sure the job gets done, the staff assumed much of the job. The AMS has matured since those days, and I would claim today the staff has too much control. What the job needs is an insider who understands the system, has the trust of the staff, but also has a vision on how to modernize a fiscal system that’s as rigid and cold as the building it’s housed in.

    Recently challenged at council were philosophical questions about the operations of the SUB businesses. The AMS has prided itself on being one of the only student societies in Canada that has a business operation that nets a profit, which is one way the AMS retains the lowest student fees in the country. That said, profitable businesses often come at the cost of pricier food and lower employee wages, many of whom are students. Which is better: cheap mandatory fees, or cheap Pendulum T-Birds?

    services_pieAlso challenged was the extent that the AMS should be volunteer- or employment- driven. While the undergraduate societies are largely run by volunteers, does the importance of their parent organization warrant the added accountability only paid employment can ensure? Insiders answers this question with an unequivocal yes, provided the position at hand has any significant stake in the future of the society. There is, however, a larger role that volunteers and interns can play within the AMS, as opportunities there are currently non-existent.

    Budget-wise, the VP Finance is the mastermind behind the AMS services. Operationally overseen by the hired ECSS, the VP Finance still sets the political direction of the otherwise non-political services for the year. In particular, an issue is controlling the spending of the $130,000-annual Safewalk, in which a walk costs more than a taxi-ride.

    Also, an alleged structural deficit was uncovered in the budget this year, of which not much is yet known (we asked). It will be the incoming VP Finance’s job to make sense of this hoo-hah, and hopefully use the crisis to introduce some overdue changes.

    The candidates in this race are the rather fashionable Elin Tayyar, ’09 SAC Vice-Chair, and the hyper-transparent Invisible Man. We’re elated to see a joke candidate in the running, but disappointed at the overall lack of interest for this race. Tuum Est, Elin.

    See Candidate Profiles after the jump.

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    Edit, Jan 21 2:30am: Much like the House and Senate reconciliate on health care reform, we misinterpreted how the original two questions were to be merged. The Chief Justice will still be required to be a third year law student if this referendum passes. Thanks for the comments, all. Keeps us on our toes.

    On the ballot is two questions now apparently a single question designed to change the rules of student court. Overall, the main intent of the changes seem to be the closing of the author-named Lougheed Affair, where council exercised a disallowance power to not receive a ruling from the student court. This raised a crisis about the function of the student court, a body that sparsely met prior to the Affair, and caused council to launch a third-party review.

    Being proposed is the removal council’s disallowance power, coupled with the authority of student court to interpret the bylaws, which could possibly be in contradiction with the B.C. Society Act. Beyond this change, there are also a number of riders dealing with some structural changes, and changes in the way referenda make their way to a vote.


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    The newly formed AMS Legislative Procedures committee has ruled, and the chair of Council has upheld an interpretation of a March 2009 motion of AMS council to add two questions to the referendum ballot. They interpreted the following resolution of council, brought forward by former Law councillor Clare Benton:

    “That on the recommendation of the Code and Policies Committee and the Oversight Committee, Council approve the proposed Bylaw changes contained in the report ‘Bylaw Changes – Student Court Committee Suggestions,’ such changes to be submitted to the membership at a later date in a referendum or general meeting to be called in accordance with a future Council motion.”
    – AMS Council, March 2009

    Note the last bit of that motion. Normally, Council would simply pass a motion to place the question on a referendum, except it would now be unable to do that due to a rule that says it would have to be passed 10-days prior to voting. That said, the chair in his ruling the chair argued the 10-day requirement was achieved by the original motion.


    “The spirit of the referendum question was to change the bylaws […] so I would say adding it in would be in the spirit of the original question and would be in order,” ruled the chair. It remains unclear, however, who can make such a ruling. Ironically, the final arbiter might actually be student court.

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    EA Clarifies Endorsement Ruling

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    From the Elections Administrator last Sunday:

    I have decided to allow club/group etc members to attach their title to their name when they endorse candidates, PROVIDED that they state that their opinion is their own and does not reflect upon the group they are a part of. (this is, of course, if the group decides not to endorse said candidate.)

    Second of all, I have decided to allow all candidates to seek endorsements from non-students prior to the beginning of the campaign period. For example, if a candidate wanted to seek the endorsement of a past AMS president right now, they can do so. However, no such endorsement must be made public until the beginning of the campaign period. All other rules regarding endorsements still stand.

    This is a step in the right direction. The earlier ruling at the All-Candidates Meeting that titles were not to be used was awkward and without precedent. Happy campaign prep to all candidates!

    Much of this post is since outdated. Visit our elections page for up-to-date information.

    Live from the all-candidates meeting. Lists verified with the Elections Administrator. Tentative on petition checks.

    Sean Kim
    Pak Ho Leung
    Natalie Swift
    Bijan Ahmadian

    VP Academic and University Affairs
    Rodrigo Ferrari-Nunes
    Ben Cappellacci

    VP Finance
    Elin Tayyar
    The Invisible Man

    VP Admin
    Ekaterina Dovjenko
    Michael Haack

    VP External
    Stas Pavlov
    Jeremy McElroy
    Timothy Chu
    Aaron Palm

    Sean Heisler
    Azim Wazeer
    Bijan Ahmadian ?
    Nader Beyzaei
    Philip Edgecumbe
    AJ Hajin Hajian
    Guillaume Houle
    Peter Stein

    Aminollah Sabzevari
    Blair McRadu
    Alyssa Koehn
    Syed Nayef Andrabi
    Miriam Sabzevaed
    Joël Mertens
    Nader Beyzaei
    Ryan Bredin
    Philip Edgecumbe
    Arielle Friedman
    AJ Hajin Hajian
    Sean Heisler
    Spencer Rasmussen
    Johannes Rebane
    Gary Tse
    Blake Frederick

    Siavash Ahmadi
    JJ MacLean – Students for Responsible Leadership (SRL)
    Hillson Tse – Students for Responsible Leadership (SRL)
    Aaron Sihota – Students for Responsible Leadership (SRL)
    Paul Godin – Students for Responsible Leadership (SRL)
    Alexander Shalashnly – Students for Responsible Leadership (SRL)
    Anthony Bryson – Students for Responsible Leadership (SRL)
    Kyle Warwick
    Omid Atai

    International Student Representative
    Charlott Sandor Johansen
    Brittany Purna
    Guessy Wang
    Se Won An
    Xena Hinson
    Ding Kun

    Ubyssey Publications Society Board of Directors
    Chair: Campbell Bryson
    Directors: Neil Andrews
    Oliver Thorne
    Sandy Buchanan
    Imran Habib
    Blake Frederick

    Event Date Time
    Campaigning Opens January 18th 8am
    All Candidates Forum January 19th 11am-1pm
    Candidates Debate (BoG,Sen,Intl) January 20th ???
    Candidates Debate (P,VPX,VPF) January 21th ???
    Candidates Debate (VPAD,VPAUA,SLFS) January 22nd ???
    CITR Debate (P,VPAUA,VPF) January 22nd 5pm-6pm
    Hackfest Beer Garden January 24th 7am-11am
    Voting Opens January 25th 8am
    CITR Debate (VPX,VPAD) January 25th 5pm-6pm
    All Candidates Forum January 25th 11am-1pm
    Elections BBQ January 27th 11am-1pm
    Jello Wrestling at SUB Ballroom January 27th 12pm-1pm
    Quiz Night at Gallery
    Appeals deadline feb 5th.
    January 28th 8pm
    Voting Closes January 29th 4pm
    Results Announced January 29th 6pm
    BBQ January 29th ??
    Candidate Expenses Due February 1st 12pm
    Appeals Deadline February 5th

    Spending limit $450.
    Reimbursements $300.

    One new ruling from the Elections Administrator: Individuals cannot use titles in endorsements unless notifying the Elections Committee. This comes from the general rule that groups cannot endorse candidates without informing the Elections Administration.

    Polling Station Location Dates Time
    VST January 19th and 20th 10am – 2pm
    Regent College January 19th and 20th 10am – 2pm
    Pan-Hellenic House January 20th 4:30pm – 6:30pm
    Vanier Cafeteria January 20th 5pm – 7pm
    Totem Cafeteria January 20th 5pm – 7pm
    Koerner Library January 20th, January 21st, January 22nd 10am – 2pm
    SUB January 20th, January 21st, January 22nd 10am – 2pm

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