Mary Gan, a recent UBC graduate with a degree in biology, is running for the University Neighbourhoods Association’s (UNA) Board of Directors.
As someone who has lived in Wesbrook Place — one of the UNA neighbourhoods for the last four years — Gan said she has seen the disconnect between most students who live in the UNA and the Board.
“I feel like most students don’t understand the representation that is there for them in the places that they work and reside in,” she said. “I thought it was really important to have individuals that are student-aged, are connected to students and have them be able to represent their thoughts and voices on the Board.”
Throughout her degree, Gan has been involved in a lot of student government positions —she is the current AMS VP Finance — where she has had the opportunity to speak with students who also live in the UNA and as a result, is better able to realize what the UNA can improve on and what it should lobby for.
If Gan wins, the three things she will focus on are student engagement, affordable housing and community safety.
Gan also hopes to improve road safety — as someone who lives with her family and has seen numerous car accidents happen in the Wesbrook Place, said she realizes that this is a cause for concern.
“I think it’s really important to lobby for more community safety, making sure that traffic around the area is regulated and making sure that we can keep the community safe.”
Further, in terms of promoting student interests to the UNA, she feels that direct communication is necessary. This can be done either through town hall meetings or making communication as accessible as possible with social media, she said.
“[This] can hopefully alleviate some of the knowledge gap for people who are interested members of the UNA and get people more involved in voicing their opinions.”
This is part of The Ubyssey’s coverage of the UNA election. We’ll be covering the candidates, the all-candidates forum and all things UNA until polls close on November 30.