Incumbent Georgia Yee is seeking a second term on UBC’s Board of Governors to push for holistic affordability, equity and better student health, safety and career services.
The fifth-year biology student was elected to the Board last year on a platform of affordability, climate action and access to online learning. Previously, Yee was the AMS’s VP academic and university affairs. She's also running for a second term in the Senate.
Yee highlighted her work on disability at the Board this year as something she wants to see through to completion and an example of her commitment to equity work. She said she’s been consulting student advocates and those with disabilities on the creation of the Disability Task Force.
“I am working to bring a presentation to the Board and administration to raise awareness on the experiences of disabled students and this will lay the foundation for the eventual Disability Task Force,” Yee said.
On affordability, Yee expressed interest in the Policy LR10 review — the financial aid policy — and in supporting the proposal for a multi-level tuition framework from the Student Affordability Task Force.
Yee also pointed to the need to address COVID-19 safety and to keep going with technology and self-isolation bursaries as long as the pandemic continues.
Conversations about the pandemic at BoG have been opaque over the last year, and Yee agreed that the Board should have been more transparent.
“Students have absolutely every right to be concerned about the lack of transparency that has been shown by the Board,” she said. Yee added that she and current BoG member Max Holmes have been continually raising concerns about the lack of transparency in the Board’s role.
“It’s something we’re committed to: continually advocating for more transparent practices,” Yee said of her advocacy on transparency.
However, she pointed to the development of the vaccine declaration program as a big win for the Board, despite the transparency concerns that led up to that announcement.
On her own personal engagement with students, Yee said she has tried to engage students through Reddit and social media, but acknowledged that she could do more. Last year, Yee criticized the former BoG reps for not properly communicating with students about what was happening on the Board.
“I didn't necessarily see as many engagements necessarily [with those posts] as I had hoped, but there’s always room for improvement,” she said. She also stressed the need to connect with groups that aren’t actively involved or interested in university governance.
“That’s what I tried to achieve with plain-language Board explainers on [Reddit], but I think that’s something that I’m continually revising.”
Yee said she’s running for reelection to continue the work she started this year.
“Seeing the Student Affordability Plan through, seeing the Disability Task Force work through, supporting the work of the Climate Emergency Task Force Recommendations as well, being able to also have that institutional knowledge [is why I am running],” she said.
“There’s such a huge learning curve to the Board of Governors and I truly feel that I have so much to continue to give.”