Candidate profile: Jakob Gattinger, Board of Governors

Third-year mining engineering student Jakob Gattinger is running for the UBC Board of Governors on a platform of transparency, the student experience, campus safety, sustainability, diversity and communication.

Gattinger's most valuable experiences come from being Engineering Undergraduate Society VP Academic, student member of the UBC president’s search committee for the new VP Provost, and chair of the AMS governance review implementation committee.

“I think those [roles] translate over to Board quite nicely in terms of getting a feel for what students want and then speaking up for them in the context of being a governor,” said Gattinger.

Like many of the other Board candidates, Gattinger places an emphasis on the student experience in his platform. He plans to push for positive change through initiatives like UBC GamePlan, mental health support services and advocating for the student voice when allocating the Strategic Initiatives Fund.

He is also a strong voice for transparency within the Board, with one of his platform points being advocating for a solid Policy 93 — the policy governing open and closed meetings of the Board, and an especially hot-button topic over the last year.

“As BoG has committed to incorporate the work of an independent consultant in further consultation on this topic, I will push to ensure there is room in this process for further input by students,” he said.

During the debates, it became clear that one of the finer points of Policy 93 change that Gattinger wants to push for is to have the overview of Board member meeting attendance discussed in open session — as it is currently discussed in closed session — as well as the release of more documents from meetings.

Gattinger’s platform also contains points on maintaining the sustainability of financial practice through pushing for advertisement of the Sustainable Future Fund to donors, improving campus safety through Policy 131 advocacy and boosting financial commitment to the Diversity Fund.

As a candidate who is also running for Senate this year, he notes that if he were to be selected for both positions, he would strive to increase the connectivity and cohesiveness of the two bodies.

“That’s why I’m running for both — to look at some of the funding side of things from the Board, and to try and address some of the implementation aspects from Senate side.”

What Gattinger considers his loftiest goal is his plan to advocate for a third of the Excellence Fund to be put towards student experience funding.

Voting runs from Monday, March 6 to Friday, March 10.