Student Legal Fund Society has no director nominations, AMS blames current slate for not engaging students

The Student Legal Fund Society (SLFS) currently has no directors, after no students ran for any position in the recent AMS elections.

The SLFS is a non-profit student-run organization existing to support litigation, advocacy, and other matters of law that are of concern to UBC students. Its Board of Directors is elected annually in the AMS elections, but no one ran this year. The AMS Elections Committee said it reopened nominations, but none of the seats have been filled.

The Elections Committee and AMS President Cole Evans blamed the current SLFS slate for the lack of nominations.

In a report submitted to AMS Council, the Elections Committee wrote that it tried to work with the current SLFS President Raichel Feenan, but "she was unresponsive, and was unwilling to work with us.”

“Therefore, there was not much within our power to set up their elections to be ran at the same time as AMS elections,” the committee wrote.

Evans said it is not an AMS responsibility to conduct elections for third party organizations. He described the SLFS as an organization that “put minimal effort into their own elections-related operations.”

“The SLFS is a separate organization that failed to conduct any activity that would lead to the successful execution of its own elections this year.”

In an email statement, Feenan said that the SLFS recognizes “that the confidential nature and the legal bounds of the organization make it difficult for students to understand the function of the SLFS but we encourage anyone interested in running for a position to reach out to an SLFS team member.”

“Students interested in gaining experience in the fields of law and finance, or those who have an interest to engage with UBC’s collective response to the climate emergency should consider taking on a position with the Student Legal Fund Society,” she wrote.

Feenan said her team has hosted various campus events to raise awareness about the SLFS to encourage nominations. She did not specify the exact events her team hosted. The SLFS’s Facebook page has been inactive since April 2021.

Feenan also said the SLFS organized multiple online workshops to educate students about their rights as online learners, tenants and protestors. Again, it is unclear what workshops she is referring to, and how exactly the SLFS promoted these workshops. Feenan did not reply to follow ups asking for clarification before press time.

Feenan said she plans to spearhead the nomination campaign once she receives more information from the AMS Election Committee.

The Elections Committee did not respond to multiple requests for comment.