Candidate profile: Leonard Wang, Board of Governors

Leonard Wang is running for the Board of Governors (BoG) to work toward increasing UBC’s international reputation, improving undergraduate experiences and promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.

The fifth-year business and computer science student said his past experience as the 2021/22 president of the Computer Science Students Association and the 2021/22 Sauder student senator on the UBC Vancouver Senate prepared him to be a governor.

“All these experiences really taught me how to communicate effectively,” Wang said.

While on Senate, Wang served on the Curriculum Committee and Committee on Student Appeals on Academic Discipline. He said his experience on the Curriculum Committee allowed him to learn how to “improve student experiences” when it came to “making modifications to the curriculum.” He did not specify what these modifications were.

He also said he advocated for COVID-19 rapid testing on campus.

Wang wanted to run for BoG because he wants to be involved in strategic decision-making. “I really like the school, and I was thinking what contributions could I make before I go,” said Wang. “I think this is one of the best ways.”

He said a challenge he might face is balancing his BoG appointment with classes. But given his previous experience, Wang said he is confident he will succeed.

When asked about his predecessors Georgia Yee and Max Holmes, Wang said he agrees with what they advocated for but disagreed with Yee and Holmes’s work against tuition increases.

“Tuition is a very complicated issue,” said Wang. He said he supported tuition freezes during the COVID-19 pandemic because “people are struggling.” But, moving forward, Wang said he would advocate for incremental tuition increases.

In December 2022, BoG approved a 2 per cent for domestic students, 3 per cent for returning international students and 5 per cent for incoming international students, after 92 percent of students said they opposed the proposed tuition increase according to UBC’s annual tuition engagement survey.

Six per cent of students said they agreed with the increase, while two per cent were unsure.

“We don't want to just increase tuition unreasonably. [We need to] do student consultations and do them at a slower, steadier pace,” said Wang. “Just make sure that we're striking a balance between improving the university with a capital but at the same time, not putting too many students into financial stress.”

He did not specify what he meant by a steadier pace.

Wang also said he would like to serve on the Finance Committee.

When it comes to outreach, Wang spoke about “leveraging social media platforms” to engage with students and increasing the number of consultations done by the BoG.

Wang did not attend either candidate debate as he is doing an internship based outside of Vancouver.

Wang is running against AMS President Eshana Bhangu and first-time candidates Kareem Hassib, Onyekachukwu Odenigbo and Sultana Razia.

Follow us at @UbysseyNews on Twitter and follow our election coverage starting February 27. This article is part of our 2023 AMS Elections coverage.