VP Admin candidates James Jing, Alex Remtulla and incumbent Ava Nasiri talked clubs, student life and SUB delays at the first debate of this year's AMS Elections.
Given that much of the responsibility of the VP Admin in the past school year has been centred around the construction of the new SUB, the first question of the debate asked candidates what responsibilities they would prioritize this year.
Remtulla and Jing both emphasized the importance of transitioning into the new building.
Remtulla said he would focus on easing clubs into the Nest and building up their support system through OrgSync, the Student Administrative Commission's (SAC) new networking application, and an online clubs resource centre.
"People need to get comfortable with this new facility," said Jing, who believes in throwing events in collaboration with prominent campus groups to welcome students into the building, and agreed with Remtulla on offering a resource website for clubs.
Nasiri stepped away from the topic of the SUB and said she would like to move forward to better empower student groups, such as activists, on campus.
"We go to a school with a campus population of 50,000 students and yet this room is not at capacity," she said.
According to Nasiri, it is part of the VP Admin's duties to encourage all students to get involved with their AMS in one way or another. She suggested taking the position one step further to explore what else the AMS can offer students, such as job, money and housing resources, which could potentially be offered in collaboration with ESPs.
Next, moderator Joaquin Acevedo steered the debate into the topic of club support with the two following questions.
Jing said that the AMS currently lacks "tailored assistance and guidance" to clubs, which he hopes that OrgSync, in part, can help address. He also mentioned working one-on-one with club executives to offer management workshops and provide inter-club networking opportunities.
Remtulla touched on these same points and again mentioned offering online resources. He also suggested grouping similar clubs together in common office spaces within the new SUB to encourage and facilitate close collaboration.
OrgSync, the clubs guidebook and the clubs resource centre are projects Nasiri has worked on during her term and hopes to continue to develop if reelected. In addition to this, she said she would want to help clubs find sponsorship in order to offer more services and incentivize more students to join.
Jing questioned how clubs would maintain neutrality if sponsored externally, to which Nasiri responded that this wasn't an issue, and the goal is simply to help clubs grow.
The candidates will be meeting again at the Great Debate on Tuesday, March 10.