Who should you vote for in the AMS VP finance by-election?

After a week of speaking to the candidates and attending the debates, we’re here to present our guide to the AMS VP finance by-election.

While we aren’t going to tell you who to vote for, this article should give you a clearer picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the three candidates.

Remember to vote by 5 p.m. on September 29 — you have a chance to pick who controls the AMS’s finances.

Kamil Kanji

Kanji is one of two AMS staffers running for VP finance. During the debates, he repeatedly framed himself as the only candidate with specific plans — and his website backs up this claim with a detailed platform — but the feasability of proposals like asking UBC for money to bolster the AMS’s mental health coverage remains unclear. Kanji certainly has a lot of experience in the AMS as a councillor and a member of the President’s Office. His apparent closeness with executives will likely help him hit the ground running, but it could hamper his ability to enact unique change.

Lawrence Liu

Liu is the other AMS staffer in this race. He’s a strong advocate for raising mental health coverage beyond $1,250 — though this might not be sustainable given the AMS’s deficit — and increasing awareness around funds and financial support for students. But, he hasn’t been as concrete as Kanji in how he would implement these plans. Liu has the closest experience to the job as associate VP funds, and he’s also been the clearest of the three candidates in saying he’ll reach out to constituencies to help with the new AMS financial system. He is also cognizant of his limited time to get things done if elected.

The Arts Student Centre (ASC)

The ASC may be a joke candidate, but its human representative, Mathew Ho, seems to have some serious ideas if he’s elected VP finance. While the line between the ASC and Ho was blurred at times during the debates, the ASC wants to increase AMS transparency, expand communication and improve financial sustainability. However, like Liu, the ASC was sometimes lacking in specific solutions to these issues. Unlike past joke candidates, the ASC would in theory get things done thanks to Ho’s past experience as AUS VP finance. So, if you want a VP finance who would wear a trash can on their head, vote for the ASC.