In March, students vote in AMS Elections to pick student representatives for various governance bodies at UBC. Here’s a quick guide to each position so you can know who’s who in student governance.
There are five AMS executives, each elected individually. They run the major operations in the AMS and around the Nest.
The president — currently Esmé Decker, a.k.a Remy the Rat — focuses on the broad strategic direction of the AMS and is the face of the organization.
The VP academic — currently Kamil Kanji — focuses on student priorities within UBC, often pushing the university for more funding.
The VP finance — currently Abhi Mishra — works on all things financial, like the annual budget and club reimbursements.
The VP administration — currently Ian Caguiat — runs all things Nest operations and clubs.
The VP external — currently Tina Tong — is a student lobbyist, advocating for student priorities at all levels of government outside of UBC.
An important non-elected position in the AMS is the student services manager. They run the AMS Food Bank, Safe Walk, AMS Tutoring and Peer Support. Currently, the position of senior manager, student services is held by Kathleen Simpson.
AMS COUNCIL & COMMITTEES
AMS Council is where most major decisions in the AMS go to a vote. It has representatives from all constituencies on campus (like the Arts and Science Undergraduate Societies). They approve the annual budget and are meant to hold the executives accountable to their goals.
Committees are where a lot of AMS work happens before going to Council. Council members serve on them, but students at large (like you) can join as well! Keep an eye out on ams.ubc.ca for applications come September.
The Senate is UBC’s chief academic governing body and makes rules on everything from textbook costs to academic misconduct. The Senate also approves new courses and majors. It has 85 members, including 16 elected student representatives — one per faculty, two from graduate and postdoctoral studies and five senators-at-large.
Student senators work as an informal voting bloc called the Student Senate Caucus, currently led by Kamil Kanji and Kareem Hassib.
UBC BOARD OF GOVERNORS
The Board of Governors (BoG) essentially runs UBC — it approves the annual budget and strategic goals for the institution. The biggest story out of BoG last year was that it voted to approve tuition increases while students protested outside the boardroom. There are 21 BoG members, 11 of which are appointed by the province.
There are three elected student governors on BoG, one from UBC Okanagan and two — Eshana Bhangu and Kareem Hassib — from UBC Vancouver.