Platform

Over the last 5 years as a student at UBC, I have developed a strong opinion and perspective as to what is needed to improve our University and the Board. If elected, my main goals as the student member of the Board of Governors are:

1. Fight for Improved Transparency on Board Procedures

I feel there has been a lack of transparency surrounding the actions of the Board. I have been on the inside of this and I have witnessed the actions first hand. I feel this gives me a unique perspective on how to improve the procedures of the Board as well as be able to identify the root cause of the issues. I hope to make a bigger culture shift in the long term, but to start I want to ensure all meeting times are made public, the board conducts less business in closed, board materials are released earlier before the meetings, and stakeholders are better heard. I have simple solutions to these. For example asking for the justification for an item in closed before it’s presented. I am in an unique place to achieve these ideas as I have spent the year building relationships with Board Members and believe I can work collaboratively with them to achieve these changes.

2. Advocate for Enhanced Teaching and Student Support

There is only a limited amount of funds available at UBC. The debate often occurs between spending money on research, teaching or student support. It’s essential that the University continue to put resources to improving the teaching and student support aspects of our university. Students are paying higher tuition than ever and they deserve to have a student experience with small classrooms, dedicated teachers and enough resources to support their extracurricular and health needs.

3. Rebuild Communication between Board and Students

Julie and I have worked hard to be communicate the work of the BoG to students. We attended AMS and GSS meetings, have been available online, and done many quotes with the Ubyssey. We also attended almost all of the International Tuition Increase Consultation meetings to ensure that we saw first-hand the concerns of students and how the process was conducted. However, this has not been enough as the other events of this year destroyed most of the positive communication.  Together with my first platform point of increased transparency, I want to rebuild the communication between Board and students by increased presentations to AMS/GSS Council, writing summaries of Board dockets for students to be able to quickly understand, and being more readily available for meetings with students.

4. Ensure Promises for Diversity and Accessibility are Achieved

Last year when the Board approved the international tuition increases, which I fought strongly against, they made promises that the University would work to maintain the diversity and accessibility of our school. The Board needs to be held accountable to ensure that enrollment targets are achieved and that supports and improvements to student financial aid occur. I understand the arguments that were made behind these promises and want to ensure they are accomplished.

If you have thoughts, comments, questions or concerns – please email me at vcknott@gmail.com. I’d love to hear them!