Your AMS executives have been in their roles for almost seven months now. The five executives were elected last spring, all promising they would tackle a host of issues, from affordability to sustainability to equity. The Ubyssey spoke to each executive about where they stand on their campaign promises to students.
Our questions were based on what each executive promised when campaigning and the goals they set for themselves shortly after taking office. We’re not grading them because each executive has distinct roles and responsibilities. But we did press them on ways they’ve faltered this year, and how they’ve advocated for students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
With five months left, here’s what your AMS executives have — and haven’t — done so far. Click on the executive’s names to read the full review.
In a year of adaptation and change due to COVID-19, Cole Evans has focused on student engagement. The pinnacle of that effort was the AMS annual general meeting, which hit quorum for the second time in over 40 years. However, that engagement met criticism from students as the society spent $4,000 on prizes to attract students to the event and passed controversial bylaw changes. Evans has guided the AMS’s response to COVID-19 and was the instigator of a mask mandate in the Nest before the university mandated masks — but faced questions regarding effectiveness due to continued lack of adherence in the Nest. Next term, Evans will continue working on the AMS Equity Plan. — Alan Phuong
Kalith Nanayakkara ran on a platform emphasizing student affordability, eliminating federal student loan interest and securing funding for SkyTrain to UBC. However, his work has largely focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and the surprise provincial election, where he and other associations led a student voting campaign. Over the summer, he worked on a transit subsidy and reinstated the U-Pass in the fall, with an opt-out option for students outside the Lower Mainland. Broadway Subway construction is likely to begin early next year, but the extension to UBC remains unconfirmed. Nanayakkara, also president of ThePlug, is currently at the centre of an AMS conflict of interest review after he emailed invoices for ThePlug from his AMS email. — Charul Maheshka
Victorious in a special election at the beginning of COVID-19, Georgia Yee has a vast portfolio and dozens of goals, which she’s had to juggle in response to changing pandemic conditions. Yee represented students amid UBC’s response to the pandemic, emerging as a fierce advocate against exam invigilation software Proctorio. She’s backed student housing rights, solutions to growing food insecurity on campus and support for international students learning online. She has work to do on sexual assault prevention, anti-racism and making meaningful connections with Indigenous groups, but in that vein she plans to prioritize student well-being next term. — Elif Kayali
Sylvester Mensah Jr campaigned on a platform of sustainability and creating an active clubs community. Mensah has accomplished his post-election goals of holding monthly sustainability events, proposing more study space in the Nest and moving Hatch Gallery exhibits online with a new website. He ushered in CampusBase, the replacement to the clubs platform Clubhouse, which saw significant traffic with online Imagine Day. However, the service has seen two privacy breaches since coming online that exposed student information. Mensah planned to give marketing workshops to clubs and increase food diversity in the Nest, but has yet to do so. — Lalaine Alindogan
Heading into her second term after criticism in her first for poor communication with clubs, Lucia Liang centred her platform on automating AMS financial systems. She’s digitized most reimbursement processes and made starter money available for clubs. An unexpected overcollection of health & dental fees resulted in an extra $2 million for the society, and Liang is now seeking student feedback on what to do with the money. Liang has yet to hire a financial analyst, one of her main goals. While Showpass contract negotiations are on the backburner, a new club credit card interface and updates to the AMS accounting system are ongoing. But Liang will confront a challenge next semester as the AMS faces mounting financial pressure exacerbated by COVID-19. — Safa Ghaffar