AMS Elections Great Debate coverage: VP Finance

Tonight marked the second and final debate for the VP Finance position. There is only one candidate for the position this year — Alim Lakhiyalov. Given the lack of people to debate, the event featured questions from the moderator, followed by two questions from the audience and a closing statement.

The moderator started the debate by asking Lakhiyalov — who had served as the associate VP Finance under the current VP Finance, Louis Retief — how his approach would differ from Retief.

“I feel like our visions align with the financial future of this organization,” said Lakhiyalov. “We need to look more long-term for the future financial [structure] of this organization rather than focus on short-term adjustments,” said Lakhiyalov.

He also explained that their roles would be slightly different, as he would be implementing many projects that had been started by Retief such as the new investment policy and club credit cards.

After being asked if he planned to release a full-line item budget or a summary when releasing the budget on a quarterly basis, Lakhiyalov responded that he wanted to make quarterly budgets more summary-based so that they would be easier to understand. However, he later clarified that he planned to make the budget released in June a line item budget.

When asked by an audience member why he didn’t release the line item budget in his role as associate VP Finance, Lakhiyalov responded that he was not in charge of that decision.

The debate also touched on sustainability as the moderator asked what further steps, if any, should be taken to invest AMS funds with that aspect in mind. Lakhiyalov said any decision would be made depending on the type of investment.

“It’s really important to expand the sustainability side of the AMS — that’s something that’s one of our integral structures of the society,” he said.

When pressed as to how he would do this, Lakhiyalov said that he would work closely with the fund manager on the investment policy side, as well as with others.

Lakhiyalov highlighted the importance of collaboration, most notably when implementing the AMS investment policy change — a move which he has claimed, if done correctly, could bring more revenue into the AMS without costing students more.

He concluded the debate asking students to look at his platform. 

“I do hope you guys support this campaign, I do hope you see the vision I see and I hope we can expand this UBC community together,” said Lakhiyalov.