Candidate profile: Max Holmes, Board of Governors

Max Holmes is running for a fourth year on the UBC Board of Governors to see the Student Affordability Plan through and work on Campus Vision 2050.

The sixth-year geography student wants to advocate for better housing, transit and child care in the Campus Vision 2050 planning process, fight for funding on climate action and continue his work on affordability.

Holmes said his past experience working on UBC’s Housing Action Plan makes him the right student advocate to work on Campus Vision, the planning process to update the Land Use Plan and the Vancouver Campus Plan.

“[I want to] transform our campus planning so that we can get out of this profit mindset and move towards mutual community benefit,” Holmes said.

On climate justice, Holmes said he wants to champion Climate Justice UBC’s funding asks and tackle the “tough questions” on what UBC is missing in its climate action.

In specific, he expressed concern that UBC neighbourhoods are not included in Climate Action Plan 2030 targets and emissions targets.

“If we’re going to have these ambitious goals for the university, we have to recognize that when it comes to the Board, we’re responsible for the neighbourhoods too,” he said.

On the Student Affordability Task Force, Holmes said he wants to see this task force through and make sure it has proper metrics embedded. Holmes also spoke to the need for intersectionality when it comes to the affordability plan.

“Perhaps if we’re going to be talking about international financial aid, how do we use that as a mechanism to support diversity and inclusion at this university?”

If reelected, this would be Holmes’s fourth year on the Board. His bid for a lengthy term does have precedent — former student governor Jeanie Malone sat on the Board for four years.

But last year, students criticized Holmes for running for a third year on the Board.

Holmes pointed to his extensive consultation with student groups as a way to bring in new voices, and his track record as to why he should be reelected.

“I’m rerunning because I get results,” Holmes said. “I’ve gotten more impossible [things] done for students than anyone else.”

Holmes pointed to his work on the academic concessions policy review and fall reading break when he was a senator. Holmes spoke of the need for an affordability plan in his candidate interview with The Ubyssey in 2020 and 2021 — and now the Student Affordability Task Force is working on developing that plan.

“I do think that I’m somebody who has shown uniquely through the time that I’ve been here that I can get results,” he said.

Holmes said he’s done a significant amount of mentorship in his time as a student advocate, and would do even more over the next year.

“Ultimately, this will be my last year on the Board,” he said. “Something that I’ll be spending the entire [next] year doing is trying to encourage a really diverse group of people to run for this position.”

Follow us at @UbysseyNews on Twitter and follow our election coverage starting February 28. This article is part of our 2022 AMS elections coverage.