Candidate profile: Nick Pang, VP Academic

Nick Pang wants to work for the AMS — but he says he’s willing to call the society out on its problems, if elected.

The current Senate student caucus co-chair is running for AMS VP Academic and University Affairs (VPAUA) on a platform he dubs his ‘ABCs’: accessible academics, better mental health and sexual violence support, and collaborative advocacy.

“I think I have a lot of experience … lobbying the university and also changing the way that our academic system works at UBC,” said Pang, whose past experience includes a year on the Senate and stints in undergraduate societies.

Pang is also running to be a senator-at-large.

In particular, Pang said his time on the Senate’s academic building needs committee convinced him that UBC’s classroom scheduling system and infrastructure are not up to par. He wants to make outdated classrooms accessible with lecture recording technology.

Pang is also passionate about peer support, having worked as a telephone crisis line counsellor. He wants UBC to fund more training for student leaders, arguing that community-based support builds the foundation for students to “come together” and lobby UBC for important services like increased space for counselling.

This “students-first” mentality is something the current office is lacking, according to Pang.

“I really believe [that by] investing in building a community, the entire community — rather than just the VPAUA office — can push for that change in mental health and sexual violence support,” he said.

Pang added that he isn’t afraid to criticize the office he aspires to, citing the reversed cut to the Sexual Assault Support Centre’s support services and the struggle to consult engineering students on fall reading break as its “massive downfall.”

Moving forward, he wants to continue to push for changes in UBC’s sexual misconduct policy — especially with the policy review coming up next year — and put “survivors’ voices at the forefront.”

As a fourth-year doctor of pharmacy student, Pang believes professional and graduate students might find him more relatable than other AMS executives who tend to be undergraduate students.

“I think they’re really excited to have someone who can speak first-hand on the experience of professional students and to advocate for that,” he said.

Pang says his experience advocating for students leaves him well-suited for the role of VPAUA, but he also believes he’s in a good position to challenge the society when necessary.

“I think it’s really important for students to also be critical of the AMS,” he said.