Midterm reviews: What have AMS execs accomplished halfway through their term?

Your AMS executives are halfway through their terms.

This year so far has seen executives face success and challenges. Two executives have taken leaves of absences, AMS policies faced widespread student criticism and quorum was not met at the Annual General Meeting.

During their campaigns, executives promised to improve the student experience on issues from affordability to transparency. The Ubyssey spoke to all five AMS executives about what progress they have made on their goals and what they intend to accomplish through the rest of the academic year.

Here are the summaries of how each executive has done so far. Click on each executive's name to read their full midterm review.

President: Esmé Decker

Isa S. You / The Ubyssey

Before her leave of absence, AMS President Esmé Decker had been learning on the job as she worked to accomplish her goals around relationship building with student groups and transparency — though her priorities related to food security remain uncompleted. While Decker had been successful in partnering with some student groups so far in her term, her handling of the review of PC1 and PC2 , the AMS's respectful workplace and sexualized violence policies, worsened already poor relations with the resource groups and other student advocacy groups. The president had seen more success in the area of transparency by ensuring Council updates are as specific as possible, and said she planned to address more of her food security and other priorities in the remaining five months of her term. As she is now on an indefinite leave of absence, the timeline of completion for these remaining goals is unclear.

VP academic and university affairs: Kamil Kanji

Isa S. You / The Ubyssey

Halfway through his term, VP Academic and University Affairs Kamil Kanji has focused on affordability and harm reduction. He secured $500,000 for student mental health coverage and $50,000 for the AMS Food Bank from UBC. Kanji has not included sexual violence prevention in his executive goals but said he is advocating for sexual violence prevention on the policy committee for the revision of Policy SC17, UBC’s sexual misconduct policy. Going forward, Kanji is looking to increase financial aid for international students and increase access to UBC’s emergency housing bursaries. Kanji was also appointed acting president after AMS President Esmé Decker went on a leave of absence effective November 13 with no set return date.

VP Finance: Abhi Mishra

Isa S. You / The Ubyssey

VP Finance Abhi Mishra came into office promising to strengthen the financial system and improve long-term funding for the AMS Food Bank. This year’s AMS budget projected a deficit of $738k, compared to a near $850k deficit last year. Mishra said his goal is to address the deficit through a long-term strategic plan. However, this year, all AMS businesses have lost money — except for Blue Chip. One of his most notable accomplishments addressing this goal has been the implementation of a new funding model for the AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan. This accounting model removes the AMS’s liability for deficits and moves the organization into a lower-risk insurance framework.

VP external: Tina Tong, Joshua Kim

Isa S. You / The Ubyssey

Interim VP External Joshua Kim and VP External Tina Tong, who announced her leave of absence in September, have worked towards the goals of affordability, accessibility and transparency. The external office has advocated the provincial government for a non-repayable food security grant, increasing the BC Access Grant, expanding the Residential Tenancy Act and annual funding for sexualized violence prevention offices on campus. But progress has been slow. While the goal to cap international student tuition was rejected by the provincial government, the office has successfully implemented the Summer Transit Subsidy and expanded the exemption eligibility of U-Pass. Going forward, the external office plans to continue advocating for these goals in upcoming lobby weeks. Tong is expected to return to office in January.

VP Admin: Ian Caguiat

Isa S. You / The Ubyssey

VP Admin Ian Caguiat ran on a platform of sustainability, community engagement and inclusion. His ambitious and broad on-the-ground approach has led to results, though many of his initial action items remain in progress. Caguiat has been a proponent of building off existing initiatives. So far, a successful clubs day and expansion of student services in the Nest have been highlights of his term. His goals were adjusted at the beginning of his term after criticism from AMS Council over their financial feasibility, but most are now on track within their proposed budget.