Candidate profile: Ian Sapollnik, Senate

Third-year economics student Ian Sapollnik is running for re-election after serving one term as arts student senator in the UBC Vancouver Senate, making it his third campaign for Senate since he first ran in 2015. His platform is focused on uniting tuition and curriculum approval processes, initiating a review of academic scheduling guidelines and creating a strong Student Senate caucus.

A self-described nerd, Sapollnik is confident that his past Senate experience and outspoken nature during Senate meetings will help him continue to advocate for the needs of students in UBC’s highest academic governing body.

“I am really, really passionate about academic experiences and ensuring that students at UBC are getting their best education,” said Sapollnik. Citing his achievements as a member of the Senate budget and curriculum committees this past year, a main focus of his platform is unifying the student consultation procedures for tuition and curriculum.

“They are completely separate processes,” said Sapollnik. “They are managed by completely separate people ... and that’s hugely problematic because the fees come from the curriculum and the two are inherently tied.”

A large component of achieving the difficult goal of unifying student consultations for the two processes will be getting the Board of Governors — which determines tuition fees — on board. Sapollnik noted that while progress is being made, he has realistic expectations for what can be accomplished in the short one-year term of a student senator. 

“I don’t expect that [unified student consultation] process to be formalized or codified next year. My goal by the end of next year would be to have a document that outlines that process across the table for all programs at UBC,” he said.

Sapollnik also wants to conduct a review of academic scheduling procedures — including revisiting add/drop deadlines and exam scheduling guidelines.

“I’m not committing fully to having a fall reading break or moving the add/drop deadline,” said Sapollnik. “What I’m recognizing is that a full review of these processes hasn’t happened in quite some time and things have remained the same.”

Noting that his platform extends beyond advancing his own priorities, Sapollnik would also like to chair the 18-member Student Senate caucus if re-elected, giving continuity to the group of up to four potentially new senators.

“I really intend to bring the student senators together in a strategic way to get a spectacularly strong student voice and use the different interests, the different capabilities and experiences of other student senators to unify the Student Senate caucus,” he said. “I want to be a very strong support for everyone else as well.”