Angad Singh Gill is running to be the AMS’s next VP finance on a platform focused on changing the AMS’s health and dental plan, introducing a social equity fund and increasing transparency.
If elected, his top priority would be to replace the AMS’s “one-size-fits-all” health and dental coverage with something more flexible for individual students.
He cited plans at other BC universities in which students could mix and match coverage and avoid paying for services that they don’t use as good alternatives. He did not specify which universities currently have these plans.
“I myself don’t wear any glasses or need to have contact lenses, so I basically don’t use up my vision coverage,” said Gill. “It will be helpful for [students who don't need optometry], and they can save a good amount of money in one policy term.”
If elected, Gill also vowed to introduce a social equity fund that would provide funding to student campaigns relating to affordable housing, education and environmental justice. He believes that such a fund would empower student movements across a wide range of issues.
The third-year science student is entering this race with an outsider’s perspective, but Gill believes this would help fix perceived culture problems within the organization.
“From what I have gathered, people think that the AMS is not doing a good job, that it is a toxic work environment,” he said. “I just wanted to get in myself and see where’s that gap? And if I can help bridge that gap, that’d be great.”
Gill is not a product of the finance world either. His only experience in finance is a stint bookkeeping as part of an office assistant role at Three Links Care Centre in Vancouver.
However, he said he has served in numerous human resources and financial administrative roles that have well-equipped him for the role of VP finance.
Gill added that his position outside the finance world would not hinder his ability to do his job if elected.
“The VP finance work, I believe it’s not heavily based on their knowledge about finance … we have well-qualified CPA professionals that help,” he said. “The work of the VP finance is rather the understanding of the structure and the process of the financial procedures, being able to communicate with the staff, students and counselors.”
It is also important to Gill that students understand and can contribute to how the AMS’ budget is developed.
“I want to open up the processes of the AMS to the students out there,” he said. “Being a student of UBC, I have no idea how the budget is made. And I believe that as of now, no one has gone out and actually asked the viewpoint of the students.”
While Gill said he currently keeps a low profile on social media, he intends to increase activity on social media — including Instagram, Facebook and Reddit — to enable communication with students. He would also hold quarterly town halls to get student feedback.