Fourth-year commerce student Dante Agosti-Moro is running for reelection to the UBC Vancouver Senate as a student senator-at-large.
If reelected, Agosti-Moro said he will continue to push the Senate to improve the academic appeals process, to establish term limits and to implement equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) initiatives.
Although Agosti-Moro said he wants to advocate for term limits for both students and faculty, he hopes that by running for reelection, he’ll be able to continue work in addressing structural issues within the Senate and pass down his institutional knowledge about UBC.
Additionally, he said that his involvement in the Elections Committee gives him an advantage in ensuring term limits are at the “forefront” of discussions.
“Some senators stay on quite literally for decades, [and] I don’t believe that that’s acceptable,” he said. “We need to foster increased faculty involvement within the Senate.”
During his time in the Senate, Agosti-Moro — along with other student senators — was able to restrict the use of remote invigilation tools during exams as well as increase the drop deadline earlier this year to ensure a smooth transition from online to an in-person course format.
However, Agosti-Moro acknowledged that there is still work to be done when it comes to the Senate’s transparency, especially when it comes to ensuring that policy changes are being properly communicated to students.
Personally, Agosti-Moro said he hopes to be more transparent through the development of a Student Senate Caucus website — a place where students can keep in contact with student senators, access vital information and changes in academic policies.
Agosti-Moro said he would prioritize EDI initiatives if reelected.
On reviewing honorary degrees following backlash to honorary degree recipient Bishop John O’Grady, a former residential school principal, Agosti-Moro said he wants “to push for an expedited process” when it comes to degree revocation.
“The Senate is a body that is tasked with approving honorary degrees … and the discovery of the bodies and the further discovery that UBC has actually awarded honorary degrees to members who may have been complicit in these atrocities is horrifying,” Agosti-Moro said.
He hopes to bring attention to the urgency of the issue by supporting the Tributes Committee in its review, and to eventually look into other controversial recipients who have received honorary degrees. He plans to do this by consulting affected communities through the Student Senate Caucus website and social media.
Agosti-Moro said he is also committed to the creation of a distinct standing EDI committee. He also expressed his support for implementing EDI in respect to the actions of decisions of each Senate committee.
“[There is] the general challenge of students championing what they believe is important on the Senate and being only 18 voices in a body full of 90 people,” Agosti-Moro said. “That is something that we are going continue to push and I’m going to be continue to support my fellow students and rely on them to act as a collective so that we’re doing the best for the people who elected us to represent them.”