Candidate profile: Siddharth Rout, Board of Governors

Siddharth Rout is a second-year PhD student studying geophysics, running for the Board of Governors.

Rout’s platform is centered around advocating for UBC to invest more into students, and create more encouraging spaces for international and graduate students.

Rout said he sat in on board meetings when he worked at Axis Bank. As a graduate student now, Rout said he can relate to both undergraduates and masters students.

One thing Rout specifically wants to change is the culture of the Board. He said he would want to encourage for more "friendly" relationships amongst governors

Rout believes UBC starting up a large accessible kitchen for students, run by students, could help fight food insecurity, since 38 per cent of students worry about having enough food according to the 2023 AMS Academic Experience Survey.

However, Rout did not mention funding for existing food security initiatives on campus like the AMS Food Bank, Agora or Sprouts.

Rout explained that “if the scale of the kitchen is large, the kitchen would save a lot of money purchasing 1,000 kilos of peak load [and this] is cheaper than purchasing current packets of one kilo [amounts].”

The biggest challenge Rout sees facing the Board this upcoming year is the lack of student governor seats on the Board — believing there might be a disconnect between student governors' interests and the rest of the student body’s.

He thinks it’s “not a fair thing” and makes it hard to “know if [the] majority of [students] are in support of what is decided, because only a minority of the whole community is voting.”

Overall, Rout believes feedback from the student body is the most important and encourages students to voice their opinions and concerns — however, Rout did not specify how he would specifically engage with students.

“The more students we get participating, the more problems we get to know about and the more confidence [and] motivation we will [have to] solve [arising issues].”

Rout is running against current governor Eshana Bhangu and newcomers Kamil Kanji, Jasper Lorien, Ferdinand Rother, Leonard Wang 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.