Candidate profile: Pooja Bhatti, VP Administration

A fourth-year science student, Pooja Bhatti aims to strengthen the relationship between the AMS, constituencies and clubs. This platform is motivated by her experiences working with the AMS as the Science Undergraduate Society’s current VP Administration and as the UBC Canadian Liver Foundation’s former president.

She also believes that there’s a need to “rebuild this relationship” with clubs and constituencies because the executives of “the past years have been more focused on [the Nest].”

To achieve this goal, her platform has four pillars — restructure the AMS-constituency relationship, improve outreach to and by clubs, increase sustainability and accessibility of the Nest, and enhance campus culture.

For the first pillar, Bhatti aims to implement the recommendations to the issues laid out in a recent report established by the ad-hoc committee on the AMS’s relationship with constituencies. One particular issue is the lack of “structured support” from the AMS, which Bhatti also considers a major problem.

“I feel that a lot of the constituencies had to reach out, but there wasn’t much outreach from [the VP Administration] and all of the AMS,” said Bhatti. “I feel like something quite drastic had to happen to hear from them and I don’t think that’s a responsible way to run.”

In response, the recommendations include “improved communication,” “a resource package” and “AMS VPs reaching out to respective constituencies' roles.”

The next two pillars plan to empower clubs by increasing communication between them and the AMS, as well as their awareness about the Student Life & Sustainability Centre. Bhatti also wants to streamline the current booking process in the Nest, the inefficiency of which was likewise pointed out by Julien Hart, another candidate.

“I’d like to make it an online booking system,” said Bhatti. “This is something we’ve established in our Abdul Ladha Science Student Centre and it works really well.”

For comparison, Hart aims to implement “a simple, more reliable” booking system. However, the specific details of what this simpler system would look like are not provided.

For the last pillar, Bhatti intends to incorporate clubs and constituencies into the planning process of events like Block Party in order to increase student engagement beyond the academic realm. She considers this the goal of her platform that will be hardest to achieve.

Overall, Bhatti believes that her extensive experiences at both the club and constituency levels are what would allow her to carry out her platform and give her an edge.

“I have been able to play up to some of the AMS VP Administration’s responsibilities [in the SUS], so it’s like I’ve done it on a smaller scale before,” said Bhatti.