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Ballots of Notable People: Elin Tayyar

Posted By Neal Yonson On January 23, 2012 @ 10:00 am In Elections | Comments Disabled

This post was written by Elin Tayyar, AMS VP Finance 2010-2012, suspender aficionado, and a big Anton Chekhov fan.

The bitter impression left by Bijan in last year’s election makes executives endorsing anyone a bit hesitant. The controversy of those events will take a few years for hacks to forget.

After 3 years of working at the AMS, I will let UBC students, minus me, make their own mistakes with choosing their AMS executives.

I do feel encouraged to weigh in on one race, where I think I can offer a perspective: the Board of Governors. As you should know, the BoG has a lot of power and influence, not just as ‘deciders’ but also in terms of access to the University administration.

Some BoG reps are good at representing students at the table, some are good at ‘harmonizing’ their efforts with AMS executive, for better results. However, few have connected the issues with the student body. The last big effort to connect students with UBC issues was Bijan ‘the infamous’ Ahmadian, before running for President (I think he did some campaign for some campus plan, precursor to the LUP). Student engagement is something I believe students have under-valued, when coming to a decision on their BoG reps.

Having been at a few BoG meetings, I also do believe that we need a vocal voice from our reps. Ideally, someone with a strong enough personality can hold the ongoing attention and respect of other governors.

This is my rationale for the endorsement that you will see in a few seconds (or minutes depending on how fast you read). Having worked with this character in a committee/board setting, challenged with very difficult decisions, and having seen them in action (not like that) in several capacities, I do believe that they are definitely deserving of your support, as well as mine.

In my opinion, the race has 4 strong/qualified/good candidates; I have no comments on the other 3. My endorsement goes out to Erik MacKinnon. Hacks hate him for not being a bigger dick as the Elections Administrator, for being a big dick in all other situations, for his affinity towards the fraternities (yes, hacks hate fraternities. no exceptions), and for his allegedly borderline sexism (in fact, I want to make it clear that this is all alleged; I don’t want a defamation suit).

But the reality is, Erik, if elected, could be one of the most engaging BoG reps that we’ve seen in years. Maybe decades. Maybe even centuries. But this deadly willingness to engage students (whether through petitions or through his blog), combined with his rationality, respectable work ethic, decent debating abilities, and his genuine care for students make him a candidate extremely deserving of one half of the student seats on the UBC Board of Governors.

Now when I say deserving, I don’t think anyone deserves anything as far as any leadership positions go (except the whole AMS execs deserving a living wage thing…). Rather, I believe, having worked with him on the AMS Budget committee, that Erik is a man of principle, and that his presence at the Board table will be an asset to UBC students.

My current impression (and I realize I may be misimpressed) is that the hack community does not like Erik’s sometimes controversial nature. I urge you (probably a hack anyways if you’re reading this) to sit back and take your feelings and emotions out, and vote for Erik, and one of the other 3 good candidates. Erik will bring a strong, level-headed, well-reasoned, and well communicated student voice to the big wooden table (actually, it might be 5 big tables put together, but you get the idea).

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