Rita Jin, a second-year science student, is running to be the AMS’ next VP finance on a platform focused on making clubs more accessible to students and streamlining the club reimbursement process.
Jin said that her experience as associate VP finance (AVP) this year makes her the best candidate to replace current VP Finance Mary Gan.
Through her AVP Finance role, Jin said she has become very familiar with the AMS’s inner workings and has multiple ideas of how to benefit students. She has also served as treasurer for the UBC Business Technology club.
“I want to give back to our students because I’ve seen firsthand their needs, solutions that we’ve provided, things that we could improve on as an entire society,” said Jin.
Jin is also a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, although she said she isn’t heavily involved.
Her top priority, if elected, would be to create a subsidy to help students pay entry fees for clubs and student societies, so that finances do not limit anyone’s ability to participate in student life. She said students will be able to apply for this subsidy and that the funds would come from the Clubs Benefit Fund — which has been operating at a surplus for quite some time, according to Jin.
The fund currently has a reserve of $699,338.
“We can really reduce the amount of surplus in that Clubs Benefit Fund so that it goes towards students,” said Jin. “Especially following COVID[-19] where a lot of students want to get back on to on-campus activities, but they're kind of hesitant or they don't have enough resources to do so.”
She also argued that this subsidy would create a boost in membership fees that would allow clubs to host better events going forward.
Jin’s other priorities include an increase in AMS/GSS Health and Dental coverage — similar to the increase in mental health coverage of this past year — as well as a financial system upgrade to improve the reimbursement process for club treasurers.
The AMS is already undergoing a transition to a new financial system, which would also address the AMS’s reimbursement system — something has been a problem for clubs and contractors in the past.
“In the past year when I was working with treasurers, working with a lot of the staff, I've noticed that our current reimbursement process is a bit tedious for both sides,” Jin said. “It'll be easier for treasurers to see exactly what the statuses on reimbursements are, and it will make it easier for our staff to be able to see it and approve it as quickly as possible.”
On student engagement, Jin said she intends to establish a VP finance newsletter and regular office hours to help students understand where their funds are going.
Jin also said she intends to stay “ahead of everything.”
“Whether that be getting the information from the other offices or just being able to communicate that and adjust accordingly would be a really important thing to keep in mind to be a good VP finance.”
Follow us at @UbysseyNews on Twitter and follow our election coverage starting February 28. This article is part of our 2022 AMS elections coverage.