Noah Jassmann has thrown his hat into the ring to be the AMS’ next VP finance, running on a platform of improved student engagement and increased funds for sustainable initiatives.
The fourth-year Sauder student has served as the president of the Interfraternity Council (IFC) for the past year, representing UBC fraternities. He cited a desire to have an impact on the broader UBC community as his reason for running. Jassmann sees taking part in “the biggest UBC club” as a good way to do so.
“I think I’m someone who is quite level-headed and will make decisions to benefit the widest group of people,” said Jassmann. “I understand that people have very different temperaments and beliefs and I want to kind of take everyone’s beliefs and whatnot into consideration.”
Jassmann said he has a background in handling large financial portfolios. He said his experience working at Deloitte, a major investment firm based in the United States, gave him experience providing financial advice to multi-million dollar companies.
Between that position and his role at the IFC, Jassmann feels that he can handle VP finance responsibilities.
“In terms of hard skills, I can definitely handle working with the AMS budget because I’ve dealt with budgets and companies with larger revenues and larger budgets before,” he said.
During the first debate, Jassmann said he did not see his affiliation with the IFC as a conflict of interest, even after his term as president ends in April.
"My affiliation with the IFC has absolutely no pull or motivating factors for anything in [my] position as VP finance," he said.
Jassmann hopes to prioritize communicating information about AMS resources to students if elected. He said that financial information has not been effectively communicated to students under previous VP Finance Mary Gan.
He called mental health services as such a resource. Jassmann applauded the decision to increase AMS mental health coverage from $1,000 to $1,500 per student, but felt that many students were not aware that such coverage was available to them.
Jassmann suggested weekly ask-me-anything segments on Facebook and Instagram as a means of improving communication if elected, as well as VP finance-specific social media pages.
“I really think having an opportunity for students to speak up, ask questions, implement ideas is really key,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for students to get involved.”
Jassmann also voiced his intention to increase mental health coverage even further, from $1,500 to possibly $2,000 per student. He believes this is a realistic number to fit within the AMS’s budget, although he did not specify where this extra money would come from.
Other policies that Jassmann wants to enact include the reallocation of funds to sustainability initiatives and underrepresented communities, as well as an improved club reimbursement program. The latter point has been an ongoing problem for the AMS over the past few years. He did not provide specifics on how he would achieve these goals.
Jassmann understands that providing services that benefit UBC’s entire population will be challenging, but he thinks that he is up to the task.
“If you’re making a decision for 60,000 students, not everyone is going to be benefitted or happy with your decision,” Jassmann said. “I think picking solutions and implementing ideas that benefit the largest number of people is imperative.”