Candidate profile: Students for Students slate, Student Legal Fund Society

Ilaria Cobb, Chris Hakim, Nicholas Harterre, Sara Sebba, Molly Willson and Ryan Wong form Students for Students, a slate running for the Student Legal Fund Society (SLFS) Board of Directors.

Their platform is based on accessibility, transparency and strategic partnerships.

AMS President Hakim, who currently sits on the SLFS board as an AMS rep, emphasized the diversity of the Students for Students slate.

“We’re bringing in expertise from not just within the Student Legal Fund Society, but from the AMS, from the UBC, from our undergraduate societies, as well as from Greek life,” he said.

Sebba, a third-year political science student and current SLFS administrative assistant, said her focus is on accessibility. She believes her perspective within the SLFS staff will help her bring knowledge and experience to the role.

“Right now, the application process is a little bit unclear and the bylaws are unclear,” she said. “We really want to ensure that we have proper staff support to help assist the applicants.”

Hakim added that he wants to add a policy that would make the application approval process more transparent and to clarify the SLFS budgeting process.

“Over the years, it’s been essentially smoke rooms and mirrors for students who want to know where their money is going towards when it comes to this Student Legal Fund Society,” he said. “So coming in, we want to ensure that there is a comprehensive and transparent budgeting process so students ... know exactly how that money is being allocated.”

One focus of the budgeting process would be the $1 fee that the SLFS collects from UBC students.

“We plan on having a comprehensive review over the current fee that students paid to the Student Legal Fund Society, to determine whether we can repurpose the fee to maybe expand the mandate ... or we can reduce the fee to make to make it a cheaper cost on students,” said Hakim.

The final pillar of the SLFS platform is strategic partnerships.

“We want to build partnerships with law firms in Vancouver that bring in a diverse background and expertise in various fields of law that are directly related to student cases,” said Hakim.

He also tended to speak on behalf of most of the Students for Students, being one of only two slate members — Harterre was the other — to have been present at both debates. Against independent candidate Danny Liu, a Science Undergraduate Society representative to the AMS Council, Hakim’s insider knowledge and public speaking experience were on full display.

“What we're trying to provide students with is clear promises that will result in clear changes,” he said in his interview.