AMS candidates answer our questions: VP Administration

Another year rolls around, another set of AMS Elections. We at the Talon aim to ask hard-hitting critical questions, and in that spirit, we invited all candidates in the election to answer a set of questions that we hope will help our readers in casting their ballot. Over the next few days we will be publishing the responses for all positions. In this article are the responses for candidates for VP Administration.

Vote here from February 29th to March 4th.

Click on the candidate name to expand and see their responses

Chris Scott


  • Why are you running for your position?

What separates me from many other students who run in AMS elections is that I am not simply running for an executive position. I am running to fix a system. Over my term as SAC Vice-Chair, I’ve spent countless hours attempting to patch over the inefficiencies of the VP Admin portfolio, including but not limited to SAC operations, the clubs system, and the general administration of the VP Admin portfolio. What the AMS needs is a dedicated and effective leader. I’m running because I have the experience and the drive to be that leader.

  • What are the main goals you wish to accomplish during your term?

My goals for the coming year are extensive, but my three priorities are engagement, the Nest, and supporting student organizations.

  1. Engagement – The post-New SUB VP Administration should focus on building communities that will fill our student union building. I plan to do this by connecting with various groups on campus and building a student culture within the Nest.
  2. Nest – I have two priorities in the Nest. The first of these is bookings. As VP Administration I plan to move away from the system currently used and into a simpler, more consistent method. My second priority is a review of the Nest. Having used it for a year, I want to see if the building lives up to student expectations and make any changes students would like to see. I’d also like to use the survey to review the relevance of the old SUB basement renovation plans.
  3. Student orgs – There are a number of ways the AMS can and should support student organizations, but, in my opinion, the structure is too narrow. As VP Admin I will expand recognition beyond clubs to include various types of student organizations and assist them with space and publicity opportunities.
  • How will you strive to consult with and represent the diversity of voices that make up the student body?

I would like to create a stronger connection between the VP Administration office and the society’s resource groups. A tangible way I will go about this is redistributing seats on SAC to include representation for resource groups. This will ensure groups specialized in social justice issues are consulted.

Consulting with a diverse group of students before making decisions is otherwise a straightforward process. When making a decision that affects multiple parties, all parties should be consulted in a direct manner and with an open mind. Efforts should be made to represent a diversity of voices throughout any decision-making process.

  • How will you strive in your position to improve the lives of UBC’s most marginalized students?

One of the most important issues students face is creating a sense of community. Dealing most directly with student life, the VP Administration plays a major role in helping students through this process. I hope to help each student, especially those who feel like they do not belong to a larger community, find a niche by increasing publicity opportunities for various student organizations. As VP Administration I will hold lunchtime programming in the Nest so clubs can show what they do. Publicity opportunities will also be extended to smaller groups through my plan to recognize non-club organizations.

  • How does your platform engage with anti-oppressive frameworks?

Oppression takes several forms I will never understand, but I must still do my part in the fight against it. Regarding sexual assault, I believe a staff trained to handle disclosures is incredibly important. Further, mandatory workshops with SASC for club executives need to be implemented, which is a step I have already taken for this year’s orientations in March. Otherwise, I believe visibility is the most important contribution I can make as VP Admin. As I stated in my platform, I will strengthen resource groups and allow groups publicity opportunities so everyone knows there is support out there.

  • How do you define accessibility to the AMS? How will you strive to achieve this?

In my opinion accessibility to the AMS means a student feels comfortable, welcome, and that his/her/their voice is heard. I plan to strive for accessibility to the AMS through availability. In the new Student Life and Sustainability Centre I will ensure the SLSC has a helpdesk open every day from the hours of 12-4, with SAC Vice-Chair, Clubs Administrator, and the VP Administration each sitting at least a couple hours per week. My platform and vision will also increase accessibility throughout the year, as I believe the AMS is a society should represent all students.

  •  Do you have anything else to add?

Perhaps the most important thing to know about my candidacy is that my platform is just a very small part of changes that need to be made. After five months in the VP Administration portfolio, I am aware that there are a number of other issues students face every day. Our clubs administration platform needs work. We must develop a handbook so students are aware of the resources available to them. Mental health within student leadership needs attention. And SAC policy desperately needs to be rewritten – just to mention a few things. All of these I plan to get to as well, but these are very technical problems that, when fixed, will leave a huge impression on the society’s operations.

Alan Ehrenholz


  • Why are you running for your position?

I am running for AMS VP Administration because I feel I have the correct skill set to work in the changing VP Admin Office, which is moving toward incorporating more engagement of the student body. In the VP Admin role, I hope to take the lessons I have learned about engaging students from my last two years of EUS involvement, as President and VP Student Life, and bring them to the AMS

  • What are the main goals you wish to accomplish during your term?

If elected, I intend to reinforce the importance of engaging and supporting students in the AMS. To do this I will:

  • Work closely with AMS Events to continue to increase interest in Varsity sporting events
  • Liaise with University Administrators to ensure the continuation of great events such as Block Party and the Welcome Back BBQ, and
  • Modernize the way the AMS interacts with AMS Clubs by creating levels of support of different types of clubs.
  • How will you strive to consult with and represent the diversity of voices that make up the student body?

There are a few ways I believe that the VP Administration can consult with the diversity of voices at UBC. First and foremost, the VP Admin has to lead by example, and reach out to students at a personal level. Second, the VP Admin has to stress that the entire office be doing the same, on the ground consultation. Finally, it’s using SAC and Orgsync as effective tools to reach out to clubs, who represent so much of our student body, and garner their feedback is  imperative.

  • How will you strive in your position to improve the lives of UBC’s most marginalized students?

In working closely with the VP Academic Office, I feel that VP Administration Office can improve the lives of UBC’s most marginalized students by offering an engaging, exciting, and diverse programming in AMS buildings. In addition, the VP Administration Office could organize philanthropic movements of support to benefit these students. This brings up the need of the AMS to update the way they handle philanthropy as a whole. If elected, I intend to begin to support the various philanthropic groups on campus, and assist them in organizing their events.

  • How does your platform engage with anti-oppressive frameworks?

In the past two years we have seen multiple different global crisis which the AMS has responded to in appropriate manners. However, this type of crisis response situation has been recurring, and the AMS needs to have a set process for how to handle them. I intend to continue the work that has already begun in the Administration Office in creating such a set of processes.  Then, in partnership with the other Executives, put these processes into action.

  • What is your position on the referendum question on referendums?

This referendum question is important to the AMS, as we should not be putting oppressive or racist referendum questions to our students. However, I strongly feel students on this campus have the right to ask referendum questions to the student body, and should be able to ensure any question they put forward is in a form they approve of. I believe that the addition of mandated consultation of the group submitting the question is necessary, however I do believe that it can go into Code of Bylaws.

  • How will you work with the on- and/or off- campus indigenous communities to make campus a better place?

As the administrator of the Nest, it is very important that the Administration Office consider indigenous communities when we are using our space. Working closely with the VP Academic Office, I would like to engage with indigenous communities to program the Nest, livening the building during the day.

  • How do you define accessibility to the AMS? How will you strive to achieve this?

The dictionary definition of accessibility is “the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities.” However, to the AMS, it takes on a whole new meaning. Accessibility to the AMS is allowing ALL our students the capability to access and use our services. Student services are enshrined in the AMS Vision and Mission, and creating pathways for students to access these services should always be on our minds. I strive to achieve this by:

      • Programming the Nest for students, and
      • Creating levels of support of different types of clubs, so they can offer services to students
  • Do you have anything else to add?

I feel that I am the candidate with the correct skill set to step into the changing VP Administration portfolio. With more and more Student Life and engagement being brought into the Admin Office, someone with a diverse background of building management teams, representing clubs, and planning events is needed for this Office. Through my work as EUS President and VP Student Life the last two years, I have developed these skills and would be excited to share them with the rest of the AMS.