The first debate for the VP Finance position was less of a debate and more of a question period, as Alim Lakhiyalov is the only candidate running in this race.
Lakhiyalov, a fourth-year cognitive systems and computer science major, is the current associate VP Finance for the AMS, vice chair of the fund committee and vice president of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
The debate started with questions from the moderator and then later moved on to questions from the audience. Throughout the debate, Lakhiyalov placed a large emphasis on his experience as associate VP Finance, and frequently brought up people and groups that he would have to collaborate with in order to do his job.
The second question from the audience asked for Lakhiyalov’s opinion regarding the new configuration of the AMS investment policy that is being put up for referendum, and what steps would be taken if the AMS loses money due to this new policy. Lakhiyalov answered this by first speaking about how the policy would be implemented, and then moving on to voice his support for the policy.
“This policy would be a revolutionary change to how our society generates revenue,” said Lakhiyalov.
After a follow-up question regarding how the effects would be mitigated if the new investments did lose money, Lakhiyalov mentioned that the new investment policy was designed to have 70 per cent of its fund as fixed-income investments, which is a very low-risk investment ratio.
He was then asked how he saw the VP Finance portfolio assisting with mental health on campus, as the executive position in charge of the AMS health and dental plan. Lakhiyalov, after talking about how the plan was great since it gave students access to affordable healthcare, then pivoted to talk about the sexual assault aid fund, which he said would grow with allocation of more revenue to these funds.
After answering a question from the current VP Finance about the timeline surrounding releasing the AMS budget to the student community as a whole, an action that he emphasized as very important, Lakhiyalov concluded the debate by talking about why he decided to run for the position.
“I grew a passion for this place. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of developing wonderful relationships with so many executives, I understand how important they are to our UBC community as a whole [and] I want to expand that. I want to grow projects that we’ve launched.”
As with many of the other debates, another question asked by the audience was which alcoholic beverage he would be. Lakhiyalov responded that he would be a vodka shot, as he is “transparent, [mixes] well with pretty much anything and still [gets] the job done.”