Candidate profile: Louis Retief, Board of Governors

Louis Retief, a fourth-year finance and business technology management student, is running for the Board of Governors on a three-part platform of improving financial transparency, enhancing the student experience and advocating for increased affordability and services.

In his first platform pillar of improving financial transparency, Retief combines the past year’s hot button-topic of a transparent running of the Board with his extensive financial experience. As this year’s VP Finance, Retief is in charge of managing the entire AMS budget. He’s also treasurer of the Student Legal Fund Society and of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

“I’ve worked quite extensively with the university this year. Specifically, the AMS received our first athletics and recreation budget in eight years from the university,” said Retief. “So just continuing that for multiple departments in the university and advocating to inform students on where the money is going.”

With this goal, he also hopes to increase student consultation for the allocation of the university’s Excellence Fund.

Like many of his fellow candidates, Retief’s second platform point emphasizes pushing the importance of the student experience. While he acknowledges the fiduciary duty to the university that he would have, should he be elected as a member, his platform notes that he intends to “advocate for increased spending to enhance the student community and experiences on campus.” He also plans to explore consultation opportunities to increase ties between UBC and students.

Finally, Retief wants to advocate for the affordability of services.

“I want to advocate for improved career services. It’s something I definitely see as lacking at UBC. If you look at a lot of the top-tier schools … they have some amazing access to career services, so I want to work with the university on improving those.”

Retief takes inspiration from his predecessors whom he considers “titans” on the Board.

“I have a lot of respect for both of them. They did a really good job encompassing the student voice, and really pushing that at the university and really being a loud voice in the room,” said Retief on Veronica Knott and Aaron Bailey, this past year's Board student members .

He does, however, see some room for growth in that he hopes to attend every AMS Council meeting and also regularly attend GSS Council meetings.

Voting starts Monday, March 6 and runs until Friday, March 10.