How the President is voting

How is Kevin Keystone (current AMS President) voting in the AMS Elections this year?

So I think it’s about time that I put my name behind some people running in the AMS Elections. Congratulations to every candidate – it takes serious courage to put your name on a ballot. Without further ado…

President: Jeff Friedrich
VP Academic: Brendon Goodmurphy
VP Finance: Brittany Tyson
VP Admin: Sarah Naiman
VP External: Thomas Masterson
BoG: Jeff Friedrich, Darren Peets
Senate: Jaspreet Khangura, Tariq Ahmed, Alfie Lee, Raymond Pan, Hillson Tse

Wanna see why? Check behind the jump!

President: Jeff Friedrich

I think it’s very obvious that Jeff is the better candidate, so I’m not going to elaborate much. It’s been a real pleasure working with Jeff this year, and many times I felt like he was already doing my job. He’ll make a memorable president – I’m looking forward to it.

A word on Maxwell: kudos to him for running and bringing some attention to the race and key issues. I’m not talking about the cheap beer, I’m talking about communicating with students, and he’s absolutely right – the AMS does have shitty PR. On another note, Max is a friend of mine, and he’s been a really important support for me during my term. Shame on the person who dared e-mail him with nothing but personal attacks, and sign off calling him a faggot. No-one deserves that, least of all Max.

VP Academic: Brendon Goodmurphy

Brendon has some great ideas, good politics, and although he isn’t completely up to speed on the portfolio, he’ll learn quickly. He has the additional benefit of sitting on AMS Council, though I don’t think that’s a prereq for this position. Bruce has an interesting idea with the Citizens’ Assembly, and maybe it should be tried out, but the body who should be consulted on student opinion is AMS Council. That’s what they’re elected to do.

VP Finance: Brittany Tyson

Brit first joined the Finance Commission when I hired her to be my Vice-Chair. That was one of the best decisions I made my entire term as VP Finance. She’s smart, passionate, hard-working and astoundingly charismatic. She’ll make a terrific VP Finance. Although I was testament to the fact that VP Finance doesn’t require much experience, Brittany has a huge headstart. And with all due respect to Peter, not having experience is no excuse for not having a platform.

VP Admin: Sarah Naiman

Sarah has the right idea about VP Admin: it’s not just about SAC and the SUB, it’s about campus life in general. Call it VP Student Life. Although the YouBC TV idea might be a little wacky, her ideas are all about promoting campus community, and that’s what we need. I think SAC could be much more student friendly, and between Sarah and Suvina, I think Sarah’s more likely to advocate for change.

VP External: Thomas Masterson (with a long explanation)

This is probably a big surprise, but I’m voting for the underdog. When Ian took the position, he knew very little about it, and about post-secondary education lobbying in general. That convinces me that with hard work and passion, the position can be learned. I think Thomas has that, and he’s also really into school spirit, something close to my heart. Although it’s not necessarily his portfolio, Jess Klug was into it too, and it made her all the better a VP External for it. So what about Joel and Matt?

I think they’ll do great jobs too, which is why I’m not worried. Joel’s and Matt’s plans for a united movement are tried, tested, and haven’t worked before – both the past two VP Externals have pushed for a united “Students for BC” and didn’t get far. Doesn’t mean we should stop trying, but the plank doesn’t do much for me.

Joel’s into decreasing the involvement of the private sector in the university – I’m yet to really be convinced that’s a bad thing. I do think that the university’s academic priorities need to not be swayed to only market-driven priorities (eg. science and tech), but I don’t think that means shunning private dollars when they come. And I think the university is very concerned about protecting academic freedom, so I think you can have your cake and eat it too. In short, I think Joel has the right heart, but perhaps policies that are a little too, dare I say, radical for me (gasp!).

As for Matt, he’s got the experience and the political background, but his platform is also a mix of current AMS policy and ideas that I don’t think hold much water. I haven’t yet been convinced that we could do much to convince the provincial government to pick appointees we recommend. I’d be interested to see the “long-term tuition proportion reduction agreement”, but that essentially means either a tuition freeze and more government money, or tuition hikes and proportionally more government money. Both of those are pretty standard lobbying policy.

So to recap, I vote Thomas because I think he’ll bring a different flavour, and he won’t have trouble picking up the job. That said, I won’t be disappointed if Joel or Matt win.

Board of Governors: Jeff Friedrich, Darren Peets

I think there’s a whole lot of logic having the AMS President also sit on Board, and I think Jeff’s already made the case. As for my second seat, I pick Darren. He’s been around forever (really. since Strangway) and he’s extremely well-versed in how the BoG runs, and how to make things happen. He also has the right attitude about the position: if you aren’t willing to play the game, you’ll get shut out. I think there’s also value in having a grad student on BoG.

Senate: Jaspreet Khangura, Tariq Ahmed, Alfie Lee, Raymond Pan, Hillson Tse

Jaspreet and Tariq are obvious candidates: they’re already going strong, especially Jaz. I’m looking forward to seeing her Pass/D/Fail initiative happen. As for the others, they represent three of the four candidates (other than Jaz and Tariq) who had write-ups in the Ubyssey, and I thought they had decent things to say. Alfie wants extended library hours (it was done by Senator Gina Eom, so there’s precedent), Raymond wants to review the exam hardship policy (a very typical platform point), and Hillson is concerned about academic fraud (word of advice: see if you can get one united plagiarism policy for the entire university – right now, they’re faculty-specific). I was fairly satisfied by those choices.

So that’s a wrap! Best of luck to all the candidates, and hopefully no hard feelings.

Kevin K.


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