Midterm Review: VP Admin Cole Evans is excited to continue early successes

Midway through his term, AMS VP Administration Cole Evans is confident that most of his goals will be completed by the end of the year.

Evans came into the year benefitting from experience with the AMS and student governance at UBC, having served as an AMS representative for the Arts Undergraduate Society and as Chair of the Human Resources committee last year. He believes that he has leveraged that experience into some early successes on his campaign promises.

“I really truly feel that my team has really hit the ground running this year and we've had a lot of success in a variety of areas,” said Evans. “We're really proud of the work we've been able to accomplish to this point in the year.”

Capital project success

Some of those successes have been fairly high-profile capital projects. The Commons opened its doors in the latest iteration of the clubs resource centre that now includes the AMS Student Lounge, and the Norm Theatre reopened its doors last month for the first time since 2015.

Like the Norm, another perennial item on the agenda of many VP Admins is a new room bookings system. Despite challenges from other candidates at the Great Debate in March, Evans was confident that he would be able to change the bookings system and he’s hopeful that the new system will be in place by March or April 2020.

“It's a monumental task ... but this year we're up to the challenge and we've taken the steps to at least try our best,” said Evans. “We don't want to change the system just for the sake of changing the system but something does need to improve. And we're working diligently to identify [those] changes.”

Building support for clubs

His team is working in conjunction with the president’s office to develop the Club Experience Survey, which will gather data on a variety of aspects of the experiences of AMS clubs, from reimbursement processes to internal operations. Evans hopes that the survey will help him and his team provide clubs with better support.

“For example, if we notice that clubs are reporting that they're receiving a high number of disclosures at the club executive level, maybe that means that we're investing more time into ensuring that club executives are adequately trained on how to handle disclosures,” he explained.

On the sustainability end, Evans’ team is working on re-working the Student Driven Sustainability Strategy (SDSS) into a “brand-new document” based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This project is one of the many he pointed to as having been made intentionally year-long to give his team the time to do its due diligence.

“It gives the full year to really take a good deep look at what needs to be changed and to develop a really cohesive action plan,” he said.

In the next four months, all the loose strings will — hopefully — be tied together and all his goals completed. Evans is ready and excited to tackle the next half of his term.

“There's still so much more to do … [it] might be counterintuitive to be excited about a ton of work that still has to be done but I think that there's still a lot of great opportunities remaining to really make a positive difference for students.”