VP Admin candidates go head to head at Great Debate

In the Great Debate for VP Admin, James Jing, Alex Remtulla and incumbent Ava Nasiri went head to head once more on matters of club outreach, the future of the AMS Art Gallery, Shinerama and increasing the visibility of resource groups on campus.

All three candidates focused on collaboration between clubs and students groups and the AMS to encourage growth and visibility on campus.

Speaking on club resources, Nasiri and Remtulla mentioned online resource centres as a benefit to clubs. Nasiri specifically mentioned the new interface Org Sync that will be launching “in a matter of a few weeks” as an important resource available for clubs alongside the club resource centre in the new SUB.

If elected, Nasiri intends to use the club resource centre to host drop-in workshops on professional development, mental wellness, equity, leadership and sexual assault awareness.

“Often you find clubs and club executives to be under a lot of pressure in positions of leadership. I would use the club resource centre to make sure that clubs have efficient and effective ways to take the operations they have and have them be easier to manage so that they can expand their operations,” said Nasiri.

Moving from club resources to Shinerama, Jing and Remtulla agreed that the fundraiser plays an important role in the society’s philanthropic endeavours. Nasiri, however, questioned if Shinerama is the best option for the AMS.

“I think it’s important to really sit down and look at if Shinerama is the best option for the AMS at all, or are there other more local, more UBC-specific philanthropic endeavours that VP admin can take on,” said Nasiri. “Not only to support what students here … on our campus, are doing but also to question the status quo and see what we can change and what can we leave.”

Regarding the AMS Art Gallery, all of the candidates agreed that the gallery was an important feature in student life on campus.

“I think the art gallery is a really good platform to paint ... the diversity that the student campus has to offer,” said Jing.

Nasiri wants to improve the gallery’s visibility by hosting cultural events such as open mic nights and poetry readings in the space. Remtulla echoed Nasiri and hopes to promote art and culture at UBC through collaborative efforts with the AMS Art Gallery, clubs on campus and the Black Box theatre that will be located in the Nest.

“I think the art gallery is one of those, potentially, undervalued pieces that the AMS has…. Its move into the Nest presents a great opportunity for it to revitalize itself and reengage the student population,” said Remtulla.

Candidates spoke on the problem surrounding the opening of the Nest and inter-club conflict resolution. All three candidates once again emphasized the importance of collaboration with clubs and student and resource groups to create visibility, engagement and growth.

Voting is now open and continues until March 13.