Presidential Platform

 

Fighting for Affordable Education, Housing, and Childcare

 
  • Fight for a rent freeze and subsidized emergency housing for survivors and students in need.

    • Advocate with UBC for the province to lift the borrowing moratorium so UBC can externally borrow and implement a rent freeze on student housing

    • Continue to advocate for student housing to be turned into a government business enterprise that could borrow externally

  • Advocate for high density, low-cost housing through Campus Vision 2050 and the review of the Housing Action Plan

    • I will ensure that future student housing expansion will consider additional nano units which offer lower rental rates, offering greater choice and agency for students. The Campus Vision 2050 and Housing Action Plan Review processes are going to be a great opportunity to fight for the revival of high-density projects such as the Stadium Road Neighbourhood and more. I will ensure that the number 1 priority throughout both processes is- low cost, affordable, and accessible housing for students.

  • Implementation of the Affordability Plan

    • For years, the Affordability Plan has been an idea that student leaders keep bringing up and running on. I am the student advocate that took this “Affordability Plan” from an idea to a real, tangible, actionable plan that’s going to the UBC Board of Governors for approval in March. As your AMS President, I will ensure progress on implementation, like I have ensured its creation, from a student perspective. I will continue pushing for metrics and tracking of the impact of the recommendations so affordability is addressed across a wide range of issues - all which are at the top of students’ minds.

  • Reduce Food Insecurity on campus through the Meal Share Program, Community Food Hub, and reducing the stigma surrounding emergency supports like the AMS Food Bank.

    • I have successfully advocated for over $1 million to be invested in reducing food insecurity on campus over the past year. I want to ensure that we continue addressing this issue by supporting the Food Bank as emergency support while working to create the UBC Community Food Hub as a long-term and sustainable model. 

  • Push for more University operated child care on spaces, lessen wait times, and expand access beyond new Centres at Brock Commons Phase 2 (which will be adding 37 spaces in both infant toddler and 3-5 aged care). 

  • Implementing and supporting an incremental funding plan for the PhD minimum Funding Policy and PhD Tuition Award (e.g. PAEIA or PAEIPA) 

    • ​The University needs to adopt a funding roadmap to increase PhD minimum funding and tuition award allocations. The research and work that graduate students do are the reason that UBC is able to boast top tier rankings and accolades - it is simply unacceptable that until recently, many graduate/PhD students had funding below/just at the poverty line. I will ensure that graduate student voices are well represented from the AMS as the next President. 

    • Apart from the above, I will also push for separating TA compensation from stipends, yearly indexing of stipends and fellowships based on the cost of education increase, removing continuing fees for research Master’s students, and much more.

Centring Social Justice and Equity in

AMS Operations and Advocacy

 
  • Develop an internal policy on compensating students for their labour surrounding the representation of equity deserving groups and marginalized perspectives. 

    • For years, Indigenous students, Black Students, and all students of colour and those who come from equity deserving groups have been consulted extractive without appropriate recognition of how heavy, emotionally cumbersome, and difficult anti-racism work and representation of marginalized voices is. I will develop a policy that all equity deserving groups the AMS consults with are compensated for their representation. I want to address the root causes of inequities and not just their manifestations- recognizing the intersectional identities and burden that students from marginalized groups bear in helping AMS do EDI, anti-racism, and decolonization work is an essential step. 

  • Create a permanent, full-time equity and inclusion leadership role that is well resourced within the AMS budget (Equity Action Plan)

  • Push the University to embed the ISP in practices and budgets, advocate for Musqueam consent and not just consultation throughout the Campus Vision 2050 and Housing Action Plan. 

  • Review processes and policies to ensure the AMS is implementing the ISP within its own operations. 

  • Creation of a Disability Task Force and comprehensive review of the Centre for Accessibility with disabled students’ voices at the forefront. 

    • I have done extensive work and advocacy in getting an Accessibility audit of physical spaces on campus, but accessibility goes beyond just the physical spaces. I will ensure the creation of a Disability Task Force and comprehensive review of the way CFA is operated and run. The University must move away from treating accessibility concerns of students through a technical and legal lens to a far more compassionate view informed by disabled students. 

  • Centre climate justice and activism in our work, collaborate with climate justice groups on campus to move beyond carbon neutrality. 

    • Invest in student-led climate action initiatives and creating intentional spaces for marginalized community members.

    • Harness a culture of advocacy and civic engagement at UBC that encourages and empowers climate justice action by creating Community Councils to ensure voices of marginalized populations are heard in external climate advisory, establish a structure for long-term conversations to continue

    • Embed social and climate justice in the 3-year review of the AMS Sustainability Action Plan (ASAP) and develop outcome metrics to oversee implementation of the principles and values of climate justice in all our business, services, and leadership operations. 

  • Continue fighting for resourcing of all 28 Climate Emergency Task Force recommendations.

Increased Mental Health Support

and Harm Reduction Services

 
  • Permanently increase AMS/GSS Student psychology coverage from the AMS from $1000 to at least $1,250

  • Push UBC to commit millions towards student mental health support

    • Especially with a nuanced lens of connecting students from equity deserving groups with counsellors who can understand the intersectionality of their experiences. 

  • Creation of a Medical Amnesty Policy

    • Currently, there is a no-tolerance policy in UBC housing. I will push for the creation of a medical amnesty policy that enables students to use safely and don’t live in fear of being kicked out of the housing when they want to call for help in case of an overdose. This policy will protect students from legal and school punishments for seeking help in the event of an alcohol or drug-related emergency. 

  • Drug testing on campus

    • Partner with resource groups and organizations with specialty and licensing in drug checking to provide easy access to drug checking in the Nest on a monthly basis and more during times of high usage. 

    • Push UBC to have drug testing and harm reduction services on campus to reduce the barriers that can result in AMS

  • Widespread access to Naloxone training, kits, and Fentanyl strips in the Nest and across campus

    • My team and I ran a Naloxone training event that several groups of students attended. It’s clear that there’s a need for this on campus, and with the recent certification of some AMS Services as registered Naloxone distribution sites, I will expand access like never before to ensure proper communication and availability of these resources, in addition to making Fentanyl strips widely available to students. 

Creating a Culture of Accountability

and Transparency

  • Stringent conflict of interest rules and accountability measures for executives

    • I will develop mechanisms and policies to prevent nepotistic hiring and contracting practices along with enhancements of equitable operations that are open to students at every level in the AMS.

    • The burden of holding the student society and its executives accountable should not fall on students who are already busy with school, part-time jobs, friends, and families. The AMS is in serious need of a strong culture that holds everyone in the AMS accountable with consequences attached to actions.

  • No-limits governance review to make the AMS more accessible, transparent, and efficient for the student body. 

    • The last governance review took place several years ago and while it made some recommendations, it did not adequately offer accountability measures for AMS Executives and employees. While Council is the go-to body for that, there are several areas with room for improvements in executive goals progress and performance, ensuring AMS Leadership is being public and transparent in their advocacy and work (not just having meetings behind closed doors with not much to show for), creating a powerful AMS Council-Executive dynamic that pushes for greater transparency and accessibility in the decision making processes at the AMS, and so much more. 

  • Empower students to directly engage with, give feedback to, and hold the executives accountable without barriers

    • While the burden of holding executives accountable is not something students should have to bear, they must still have measures to do so and give feedback directly without barriers. It is one of the most important duties of an elected student representative to communicate with students, ensure that they are always available as a resource and that students have the opportunity to give feedback on their work at any given time. Over the past year, I have engaged with over 15,000 students through various campaigns, surveys, personal interactions on the ground, and email exchanges. This needs to be a norm at every level of the AMS. 

    • The AMS Equity Action Plan emphasizes the need for accessible feedback mechanisms to have difficult conversations. (Goal 3, Leadership)

  • Overhaul of AMS financial discipline to create greater transparency of AMS finances and spending of student money. 

    • I am the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee that interacts with the University’s massive operating budget and I know what financial discipline and accountability truly looks like. With the move to a new financial system at the AMS, I will enshrine the enhancement of quarterly reporting systems to ensure spending is on target, not above and not below. When the AMS works with student money, it cannot fluctuate with instability between deep deficits and surpluses. This is also an essential part of creating the culture of accountability and discipline so students can trust and rest assured that their money is being spent responsibly, with accountability, and is going right back to the students. 

  • Enhance trust with the AMS and remove barriers that prevent students from being able to access their funds 

    • The Sustainable Projects Fund, Resource Group Fund, and many more have massive amounts of student money laying unspent because there are high barriers to students being able to use this money for what it's meant for students. As your next AMS president, I will identify the barriers that come between students and the AMS related to finances and dedicate myself to reducing them starting Day 1.

Supporting International Students

 
 
  • Fighting for increased emergency bursaries and low barrier access for students impacted by the crisis in Ukraine and all students impacted by violence and trauma in their home countries

    • There is no doubt as to how devastating and difficult those situations are, I will advocate for millions to be committed to help students impacted through aid and bursaries that are easily and readily available.

  • Review of Board Policy LR10 to make international students eligible for need-based aid

    • Currently, Policy LR10 ‘Financial Aid Policy” regarding access to UBC, explicitly states that International students are not covered by this policy that assures domestic students that their education will not be interrupted for financial reasons. It is unacceptable that international students make up a significant part of the UBC community, yet the University fails to commit to helping this large group of students. 

  • Introduce need-based aid for continuing international students

    • Currently, most (if not all) awards for international students are merit-based or hybrid (merit with consideration of need) and are targeted towards incoming students as a recruitment effort by the university. There is the bare minimum (if any) support for international students who are here. I will ensure millions of dollars are put towards the creation and distribution of need-based aid for continuing international students.

Senate Platform

 

Reducing the Cost of Learning Materials

 

The pandemic has drastically increased usage of digital learning materials in courses taught aour University, I truly believe that any tools used to assess students in a classroom should be considered part of tuition, not an extra burden for students to bear.

 

I  have worked on drafting a policy to cap the cost of digital assessment tools at $65 which was approved in principle by the Academic Policy Committee and once re-elected as your student senator, I will ensure the completion, approval, and implementation of this policy. Beyond that, I will explore creating a policy around the accessibility of all learning materials and educational resources as part of the advocacy for UBC to adopt more Open Educational Resources.

Hybrid Education and Recorded Lectures

 

Over the past year, I successfully advocated for over $1.5 million to be put towards lecture capture technology Technology though, is one of many barriers in providing access to recorded lectures for students. As a student senator on the Teaching and Learning committee, I want to identify and tackle the barriers - whether it concerns intellectual property, privacy, engagement and attendance, or more.

Compassionate Course Withdrawal Policy

 

​I was the student senator who was drafted and put forward a motion to extend the drop date without a W standing to February 6th, 2022. My advocacy for that motion to succeed highlighted that we need to re-evaluate the way we treat these drop and withdrawal dates. I will push for a review of these policies with a compassionate lens to explore permanent extension of course withdrawal dates.

Increasing Senate Transparency

 

​We are entering the last year of the triennium this cycle and I want to provide strong representation for students in the Senate Triennial Review process. I will push for greater transparency between the Senate and the UBC community, development of a Code of Conduct, and Conflict of Interest rules for everyone who serves on the Senate. I will also push for opening up Senate committee meetings to the public and keep minutes that capture decision-making and detail the deliberations of committees to improve transparency (like full Senate meetings).