AUS Candidate Profiles: President

The President is essentially the face of the organization. In order to fulfil the role effectively, the President must be firm in outlining priorities for the AUS and setting an agenda for the year. This must be balanced with flexibility and adaptability to coordinate a strong and dynamic executive.

Name: Justin Yang (Twitter, Website)

Please express your campaign platform in the form of a haiku. (Bonus points if you submit your haiku in the form of a video.)
stranger from a strange
land brings his experience.
renaissance to come.

What is your actual platform?
I’d like to address systemic changes that have impeded the AUS in its attempts to be the premier undergraduate society on campus. Broadly, I want to address:
1. Institutionalizing Accountable Budgeting
After joining the AUS to address the budget crisis, there remains much work for the AUS as an institution to ensure financial stability, transparency and accountability.

2. Reviving the Great Arts Send-Off
Having contributed towards the first cost-neutral Science Graduation event, I want to bring my expertise to develop a sustainable model for a faculty-wide Arts graduation celebration.

3. Engaging an Academic Strategy
The AUS has underperformed as an academic resource for students due to disparate efforts in advocacy and resources – I want to unify these into a cohesive strategy to make the AUS the premier academic resource for Arts students.

4. Develop a Robust, Year-Round Industry Relations Strategy
Industry relations is critical for any undergraduate society for both sponsorship and job opportunities for Arts graduates – I want to ensure that we engage in an industry relations strategy to develop the AUS brand. .

5. Instill Faculty Pride
Arts has always been challenged by the sheer diversity of its constituents but I think, far from being a weakness, this is our strength – we need ways to showcase our Arts pride and to cater to all Arts students.

For more information, check out my website at www.votejustin.ca

Looking back on the past year, what would you consider some of the AUS’s highlights? What are things you want to improve upon?
Highlights of this past year include our stellar capstone event to Arts Week, Mardi Gras, changes to council that will enable the AUS to enter the new academic year stronger than ever and institutional changes, including financial, contributing towards greater stability. We have truly shown the campus that while the AUS no longer plans the Arts County Fair, our strengths make us leaders in event planning and reaching out to students. Our internal changes, both to our Code and to our Budget, mean that institutionally, we are stronger than ever before – a robust organization with the infrastructure in place to enable and encourage a spirit of adventure.
Work that can continue to be improved upon include our financial situation, our disparate approach to academics, and our insular nature. Financially, the AUS draws student fees from the largest student body but has not historically handled fees in a way that these students find accountable or transparent. I have made moves this year to make our ongoing work more honest and more sustainable but there remains much to be done in this field. Additionally, our academic strategy is currently spread out across several positions within the society, contributing to replication of efforts and a general lack of coordination among academic stakeholders. This should not be so. With a cohesive strategy, the AUS is poised to be a strong lobby group on behalf of Arts students, especially to a faculty that has always been sensitive and responsive to our needs. Finally, the AUS has suffered from a general lack of participation in the public sphere – we don’t reach out to enough students and we don’t participate in our community. Events like The Great Arts Send-Off and Arts Last Lecture, previously run, have been challenged with a variety of financial problems. They should be held – they address the student body at-large and so I am committed to making them work. Finally, we need to approach our community in order to better engage Arts students with the real world – we need to find sponsors who are invested in our events as well as engage industry officials in a bilateral relationship, leading to jobs for Arts graduates.

Why do you believe that you are the best person to lead the AUS?
I’m the right candidate for this position because I have the right combination of experience, passion, and leadership. I’m uniquely positioned insofar that I possess four years of experience in constituency politics, engaging in a variety of projects that have come to fruition, while also being a relative newcomer to the AUS. I am truly passionate about the potential I see in the AUS and how we can serve students better. The people invested in the mission of the AUS and their dedication inspires me to work harder to serve students. Additionally, my leadership style is well-suited to the disparate nature of the AUS council; I seek conciliatory consensus and am always willing to pitch in to help out. I am as familiar with working with students as I am with faculty and administration.

Which real-world leader do you relate to? Which fictional leader do you relate to? Please explain.
I’m not altogether sure who I can compare myself to — on one hand, it wouldn’t do justice to the numerous inspirational world leaders for me to compare to them. On the other hand, I like to believe that a bring a unique combination of personality traits and experience to create my own leadership style.

___________ is to infinity as the AUS is to _____________.
Negative infinity is to (positive) infinity as the AUS is to AUSome.

In which house would the Sorting Hat put you? Why?
Ravenclaw. I’m the type to think with my head before my heart. Also, in case of battle, the Astronomy Tower is a prime location to establish defenses.

Name: Arash Ehteshami (Twitter, Website)

Please express your campaign platform in the form of a haiku. (Bonus points if you submit your haiku in the form of a video.)
Arts is Purple
As is my AUSome Platform

What is your actual platform?
Having served as an AUS Executive since October, I have a very good idea of what I want to accomplish as president.
One of the projects that I have started this year and will continue as president is the restructuring of our AUS grad event in order to make it more cost-efficient, sustainable, and memorable. In fact I opted out of continuing The Great Arts Send-Off this year in order to restructure it for future years.
Our student space is another area where I want to see some changes done. I want to streamline our MASS booking system to be accessible online, and open talks with the Dean’s office about a possible new students space for Arts students.
On top of that I am aiming to provide more services for Arts students, such as hosting forums for increased first year involvement with Orientation and tutoring programs.
As I have done with my VP Internal position, it is my goal to increase accessibility by providing absolute transparency by maintaining an online blog. This year I want to start an executive blog in order for students to be able to follow the AUS every step of the way.
Ultimately it is my goal to create a stronger AUS that empowers its members and supports its constituents. I want to foster stronger ties between our students and the faculty, and make sure that the AUS is once again looked up to as the best run undergraduate society here at UBC.

Looking back on the past year, what would you consider some of the AUS’s highlights? What are things you want to improve upon?
The No-Pants Dance and Mardi Gras would have to be on the top of my list when it comes to AUS highlights in the past year. In fact all of our parties have been nothing short of extraordinary. What the AUS would need to improve on, which I will pursue as president also, would be trying harder to involve more every-day students in the AUS’s day-to-day activities. This will come in the form of more members-at-large in council, empowering clubs to be more appealing to potential members, academically supporting students by working hand-in-hand with the faculty and UBC tutoring networks.
I want to make sure that the AUS is not just a place where people can come to party lots, but also a place to turn to when they are seeking academic or involvement support.

Why do you believe that you are the best person to lead the AUS?
The reason I believe that I am the best person to lead the AUS is because I have seen Arts from all different angles. I have volunteered for the faculty as a Squad Leader and Manager, I am an Arts Co-Op student, I have worked for the Dean’s office as a Communications Assistant as well as a GALA Assistant Coordinator, I have been a Senior Peer for the Arts squad in the International Peer program as well as the Emerging Leader’s program, and I am also the AUS Vice President Internal. Therefore I am a wealth of resources when it comes to getting involved in anything Arts. This experience gives me an edge by being able to relate to any and all arts students, whether they are involved, wanting to get involved, or not yet knowing how much fun involvement is. Therefore I want to use my experience in order to lead the society toward getting more involved at UBC.

Which real-world leader do you relate to? Which fictional leader do you relate to? Please explain.
John Maxwell is a real-world leader that I want to relate to, because his style of leadership is incredibly powerful, and his books are immensely helpful to those that want to learn or improve their leadership skills. John has written numerous books, and it one of the best leadership-speakers in the world, and I highly recommend his books to everyone.
A fictional leader that I can relate to is Serena von der Woodsen, and the reason is simple – she is AUSome.

___________ is to infinity as the AUS is to _____________.
Buzz Lightyear is to infinity as the AUS is to AUSome – to AUSome and BEYOND!

In which house would the Sorting Hat put you? Why?
As cliché as it sounds, this website thinks that I should be in Griffindor. My points are tied with Ravenclaw though!


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. I heard justin is very sneaky and self serving.

    Posted by Kim | March 25, 2011, 12:44 pm
  2. I heard Justin is a great leader and genuinely cares about students at UBC. You know, just basing that on the 4 years of experience he has in student politics and all the things he has accomplished in his positions.

    Posted by Alexis | March 25, 2011, 3:57 pm
  3. Kim. Really? REALLY?

    Posted by Michael Haack | March 25, 2011, 9:33 pm
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