Finally, a transformative & straight-forward platform
In the past year, I have fostered productive and reciprocal working relations with over 100 colleagues (students, faculty, advisors & staff) on empowering volunteer, decolonial, UBC wellbeing and course-based projects. My greatest successes came in on-boarding new collaborators, joining new teams, creating trust-based connections, providing appropriate feedback and improving team-wide communication.
Change is not possible without a dedicated team. Simply put, I succeeded in none of the above alone and drew on the strengths of my team countless times to accomplish our goals. I believe it takes a thriving AMS exec team to create a thriving student body; so, I will infuse this belief into my work as president.
My KPI: less time spent in question periods around executives’ updates & presentations at council, and more time spent in dialogue and calls between executives than via any form of messaging.
I will give every AMS member a chance to evaluate the services they fund. It will start with us gathering feedback, like instructor evaluations, but for AMS services and other student-fee supported groups. Then, committing to hear your voices in person, both managers and the coordinators will field your questions at forums before the end of each term.
Working alongside some of UBC's Student Services this year, I see great potential new partnerships could have to save the AMS from unnecessary expenditure while getting the university more tangibly involved. Meanwhile, this collaborative effort towards partnership with UBC won't hurt communities around SASC or any of the services, it will allow them more room to grow and connect with others!
I've always wondered: What are the usage rates? Why isn’t such data on the website? Is EmpowerMe cost effective? What are the admin fees? And, why do I pay for services that aren’t useful to me? Valid questions.
My KPI: Making sure you all have transparent answers to the questions above by June 1st, and that forums are well-attended by students and regarded as highly valuable by the student services team.
Why not be more intentional with the executive team? By that I mean, let's be stringent on saving money, let’s pay attention to where our staff are needed most, and let’s allow ourselves to reorganize the Alma Mater Society's leadership until we truly get it right.
The VP Admin could do more beneficial work with more focused roles and a title to match. Furthermore, some qualifications - to oversee all of the nest's operations, sustainability, mental health priorities, an art gallery and student satisfaction - aren't always found in one student running. Have they ever been?
I propose to phase out the position over the course of 2019 and make way for the opening of a new role in the tribe of 5 AMS leaders: VP Student Life & Equity. This leader would use their 40 hour work week to create an AMS more equipped to invest in the interests of all students, while keeping sustainability in the hands of those who know it best. Further, the new VP position promises to raise standards for equity in AMS workplaces, student satisfaction across events, establish a direct line of contact for AMS-members wanting to get in touch with the executive committee, and assist in the fair evaluation of clubs and services.
My KPI: Seeing the AVP sustainability on the exec committee (after being hired collectively by the 5 elected execs) and a successful VP role change, by August 7th.
Have you ever tried to book a room in the AMS? There's a guy who does it all. Problem is, he also has to work through UBC to book rooms for AMS affiliates. If you email firstname.lastname@example.org chances are that you won't get a response. He's just too full up, so it's time for a better system.
Meet the Clubs & Constituencies Administrator. They will look after clubs room booking requests within the Nest while working 20 hours a week, having a single clubhouse page to easily view every request and room available. The full-time staff member working on room bookings would now have time to attend to non-club needs, and can prioritize other AMS internal bookings however is best.
Also, there will be great hall study nights, more freedom for students to arrange space, air loungers for napping, and changes to usage as per the new mandates of the VP Equity & Student Life. I suggest tracking the usage of Hatch, our little-known art gallery. Then running a campaign to incentivize usage, and, if that leads to nothing, then turning it into an artful meeting room with an autonomous booking system for organizations that don't have the privilege of meeting or booking event space in the Nest.
My KPI: Having these plans implemented by the AMS Events, Admin and communications portfolio teams.
Thank you for reading this far! Make sure to contact me if you have any issues with my proposals, or to chat!
The AMS should find better ways to connect with it's membership and encourage the best out of us. That's probably the only way the society is going to stay relevant.
I propose a campaign to embed programming for student development, to explicitly communicate how the AMS can serve it's members, and to reach more students. We'd use all the monitors for updates on great activities take part in (i.e. "Nitobe gardens is open and has wifi!" with a quick video of the experience) and for scholarship announcements. For bringing in useful professional development opportunities, I'd be happy to collaborate with the CSI&C and student groups on weekly workshops.
Know y[our] worth is my idea for a theme to all 11 student services as well as a way for the AMS to start approaching issues of career preparation and wellbeing among the student body. "We've got your back" is not a bad motto either, but it doesn't get me to stop by the AMS when I'm not sure what my problem is, or when I’m looking to grow professionally. And does the AMS really have my back when I graduate and have to stand up for myself as - most likely - an employee? Knowing y[our] worth means embracing your student life, accepting future uncertainty, knowing how the AMS will help, and how you can thrive no matter what.
I want the AMS to be a place that promotes equity among all communities, fosters partnerships between UBC’s institutional leadership and student initiatives, opens up visible opportunities for members' growth, and a society whose worth is dependent upon the sum of those it serves. That's my inspiration.
On a final note, if we can free up space in the budget I'd like for council to vote on getting 8 month subscriptions to Headspace for every student who wants one (after securing a good rate). Perhaps this will become a useful alternative to EmpowerMe in our quest to support all student's mental health.
My KPI: Having every VP and Senior AMS Staff member ready to activate this campaign by August 21st.
As a senator-at-large I would be keenly focused on providing the details of how the Vancouver senate operates beyond the minutes. I plan to collaborate with the Ubyssey to write on our year's accomplishments and setbacks. I'll also report on all notable decisions to council.
I believe my background in educational research, interventions and presentation affirms my voice for all students on this committee. I will prioritize lived student experiences and barriers to proper instruction in discussions and contribute to all recommendations we make to the University.
The other committee I'm most eager to bring my voice to. I believe in making our campus academic facilities spaces of co-creation, and I will always encourage dialogue around permissions both instructors and students have to use academic space. I'm particularly keen on reviewing ideas from student societies.
Another reason I'm eager to be your student representative on senate is to take your feedback to those who need to hear it most. Of course, the board has final say over almost everything at UBC, but I see senate as a great starting point for bringing many concerns to our institution. So, I will promote the opening of channels for direct feedback and listen closely to student critiques.
The last time the policies surrounding co-op programs were updated was May 2004. Today each has grown and changed plenty. I plan to consult students enrolled in the program to see what can be done in senate to improve their experience. Too often I hear Co-op costs too much and has lackluster coordinators, so I will do everything in my power to improve the policy.