Remy the Rat wants to become the next AMS president after the abrupt ending to his residency at Open Kitchen in January.
The rodent is running on a platform focused on food security — because “Open Kitchen for all” — climate justice and advocating for students.
“Remy was kind of unceremoniously thrown out from his position in Open Kitchen. I guess he was looking to do something else, take a break from cooking and see how he could otherwise support the UBC community,” said Esmé Decker, Remy’s human representative.
Falling back on his experience with food, Remy wants to work on existing food security initiatives on campus, like the AMS Food Bank. Decker added that Remy would consult with students on how to improve UBC’s food plans.
“Especially when Remy came to light in the Open Kitchen, people were thinking about the problems around the [UBC’s] food plan, and [its] inflexibility. So he wants to see how we can get UBC’s community more well-fed and thriving,” said Decker.
The AMS president does not have control of UBC’s meal plans, but could advocate on the issue.
When it comes to climate justice, Remy would focus on capacity building to create a new VP sustainability position, advocating to the university for “sustained, centralized funding” so the Climate Emergency Task Force recommendations can be put into place.
The AMS has an associate VP sustainability position under the VP administration’s portfolio.
Additionally, Remy wants to see increased student engagement and increased voter turnout for this year’s elections.
If elected, he would connect with students via social media but also in person, especially with students in residences and different clubs. But Decker said she’s not sure if Remy’s still living in Orchard Commons.
In terms of applicable skills, Remy is confident his experience “overseeing a team in the kitchen” will come in handy if he’s elected AMS president. Decker said that Remy is used to using a human puppet to communicate. She added that he’s an observant leader who’s aware of his team’s needs.
“In the kitchen, you have to be familiar with food and what people like, what people enjoy and also cleanliness, so lots of advocacy for those points too, from Remy,” said Decker.
Remy also thinks the strategic plan President Cole Evans has been developing can be useful to understand the organization’s vision, values and mission.
“Especially in something like student leadership that often is cycling through different people, positions get passed on, it's very important to have a clear mission, vision, values that sets apart ‘What does this organization do?’” said Decker.
When asked how he would cope with the challenges of the position, Decker said Remy’s a “very flexible guy.”
“Rats really adapt. Really [they’re] known for adapting and being able to survive and thrive in many different places and situations …. Remy is ready to listen and adapt to what the community needs,” said Decker.
Remy is running against current AMS execs Eshana Bhangu and Saad Shoaib, first-time candidates Wesley Choi, Sydney Harakal and Tate Kaufman and fellow joke candidate The Pan.