Candidate profile: Sanchay Jain, VP external

Content warning: This article contains mention of racialized violence.

Sanchay Jain, a first-year Sauder student, is running for VP external to fight for equality on campus.

Jain said one of his friends “got beaten up” outside a club downtown in a fight Jain believes was started because his friend is Indian.

“[A few white people] came up to my friend, they were like ‘You are a brown guy and you’re standing ahead of us, and we are not getting in because of you guys,’” he said.

This event motivated Jain to run for office.

“I will try to convince the government to put up some campaigns or surveys … so that there would be some sort of awareness among people that this is not correct.”

Jain believes that such a campaign would reduce violence by showing people the consequences of hate crimes on victims.

Jain said he also wants to focus on social and financial support for international students, particularly during crises when they may not be able to get funds from home. He did not specify what these policies might look like past government “financial aid.”

On the topic of mental health, Jain said he sees a lack of guidance for students on how to deal with mental health problems. He wants to lobby for the creation of a “platform” that students could access to find more accessible support.

It is unclear if this platform would be different from the resources assembled by the BC government or the BC Partners for Health and Substance Use’s Here to Help platform.

On bringing student voices into advocacy, Jain said he agrees with the “data-driven” approach of 2018–20 VP External Cristina Ilnitchi. He would “try to conduct surveys” at UBC to inform his work.

Jain also wants to speak personally with as many students as possible before government lobbying to understand what problems they are facing.

When asked about continuing work with the Undergraduates of Canadian Research Universities (UCRU), a body of cross-Canada student societies that lobbies the federal government, Jain focused again on building consensus.

He said he would “try to convince all the other universities that [an] issue is faced by the majority of the people [at UBC], [then] a few of your students also must be facing this problem.”

While he emphasized he would be a fast learner, Jain showed a lack of understanding of the scope of the VP external’s role, including a grasp of the time commitment.

He said that, if elected, he would contact the previous VP to ask “how things work” as well as speak with other AMS executives and his counterparts at other universities to ask if he was doing his job well.

Follow us at @UbysseyNews on Twitter and follow our election coverage starting February 28. This article is part of our 2022 AMS elections coverage.