BoG candidates challenge each other at final debate

At Tuesday’s debate, Board of Governors candidates took advantage of the opportunity to call out their opponents.

After discussing their platform points, and similar topics to the previous debates, candidates Julie Van de Valk, Veronica Knott and Tanner Bokor took some opportunities to differentiate themselves from each other.

After Bokor said he would block plans for redevelopment on University Boulevard, Knott asked how he would actually do that, given that he would only be one of three student reps on the Board.

“As a Governor, you have the right to defer an item, and I would be active in that right,” replied Bokor.

After Knott said she would join several of the Board committees to be able to effect as much change as possible, Bokor challenged her approach, arguing that most discussion happens behind closed doors and he would work to make changes there.

“I think those are great platitudes ... however the majority of discussion actually doesn’t occur in those committees,” said Bokor.

“The reason [for doing work on committees] is because we need more accountability,” said Knott.

The candidates also talked about their plans to better engage students and work with groups such as the AMS and the Graduate Student Society to make the Board more relevant to students. All three candidates said they would be as involved with the AMS as possible.

“I think this is actually one of my biggest strengths is my connectedness,” said Van de Valk.

When an audience member asked the candidates what one cause they would champion and carry over to future years, all of the candidates brought up student housing reform. While Bokor and Van de Valk said they wanted to push for increased renters’ rights for students in UBC Housing, Knott said she wanted a larger structural reform of the organization itself.

“I really want to focus on housing as well, but I kind of have a bigger picture goal. What I want is greater accountability [for housing] as an organization,” said Knott.

Voting closes Friday, March 13.