Candidate profile: Leonard Wang, Board of Governors

Leonard Wang is a sixth-year business and computer science student running for the Board of Governors.

He hopes to leverage his investment banking background to advocate for responsible spending of student tuition, improved academic experiences and progress measuring for investments.

He said his previous co-op positions at companies Morgan Stanley, RBC and Proctor and Gamble gave him experience in financial management and investing that he intends to bring to the Board.

“All of these experiences give me a pretty comprehensive overview of how the world operates,” he said.

Wang supports UBC’s past tuition increases — although he acknowledged that his position is “controversial.”

“In order to sustain the growth for the school, I think it’s ... very important that we will keep up with inflation, and also have the capacity to grow as an institution,” said Wang. “Of course, it cannot be done without having sufficient financial resources.”

In December 2023, the Board of Governors approved a tuition increase for the 2024/25 academic year of two percent for domestic students, three per cent for continuing international students and five per cent for new international students.

In the tuition consultation survey, 92 per cent of student respondents opposed tuition increases. Wang did not say how he intends to advocate for these student interests on the Board.

He said that if elected, he intends to work closely with the UBC Investment Management Trust to centre Environmental Social Governance (ESG) priorities. This includes divesting from unsustainable industries including “oil and gas,” and choosing “fund managers with ESG credentials.”

When asked about divestment from weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin and other companies complicit in human rights abuses in Palestine, Wang declined to comment.

When asked about whether he would advocate for increasing UBC funding for food security initiatives, Wang said he was not familiar with the issue of food insecurity. He said he intends to advocate that food service businesses on campus keep operating costs low to enable lower prices.

“It's very important that we offer affordable services to the students and make sure that everyone will be able to afford meals when they need to, but it's still important that we stay financially responsible,” said Wang.

Wang also emphasized the importance of improving professor experiences by raising salaries to retain competitive faculty. He also hopes to promote better progress measuring and reporting for the Board’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives.

Wang is running against incumbent student governor Eshana Bhangu and newcomers Kamil Kanji, Jasper Lorien, Ferdinand Rother, Siddharth Rout and Enav Zusman.

This article is part of our 2024 AMS Elections coverage. Follow us at @UbysseyNews on X (formerly Twitter) and follow our election coverage starting February 27.