Jenna Omassi presents as sole VP Academic candidate at Great Debate

Jenna Omassi presented twice during the Great Debate, both as candidate for a seat at the Student Senate and as sole candidate for VP academic and university affairs.

Current president of the Arts Undergraduate Society Jenna Omassi sat to develop her platform for the first time as she could not attend last week's debate.

First talking as candidate for Student Senate, Omassi made the link between her future seating as VP academic and being able to set forward the projects that the Student Senate would study.

She also highlighted her realism, pragmatism and knowledge of past senators as defining qualities running for Senate.

Omassi expressed favour of the idea of a course pertaining to equity before the students' arrival at UBC rather than during course time, saying “work has to be done outside the classroom.”

As the only candidate for VP Academic, Omassi went through her program and answered questions unopposed. She mentioned the importance of reaching out to students to know how they want to be consulted by the AMS as an essential step towards an improved consultation process. “The AMS is consulting student leaders, not students, and when it does, it is through mass emails,” said Omassi.

Advocating for the university seeking student advice “at the beginning rather than at the end,” Omassi asserted that the university would have to listen were students to be involved in the discussion from the start.

As she answered the questions, Omassi highlighted the fact that UBC's mental health program was next to worst in Canada, and stated that it was up to the student government to make sure that the funding that has been assigned by the university be applied properly.

The candidate also evoked the case of equity and Aboriginal students and the need to reach out to them and make sure services provided to them. She mentioned the recent appointment of an Aboriginal commissioner and her wish to work in connection with the House of First Nations.

Voting continues through March 13.