Student representatives on the Board of Governors have been described <http://old.ubyssey.ca/features/bog-student-reps458/> as falling to two categories: loudmouths and lackeys. The loudmouths scream and shout about whatever issue they care about, are thoroughly ignored by the appointed members who control the board and then pat themselves on the back for a job well down. Far more common are the lackeys, who cozy up to the often rich and powerful appointed members. They don’t even try to represent student interests in the hopes that by not rocking the boat they’ll get letters of recommendation or cushy job offers from business leaders on the board.
Veronica is the unique student capable of transcending both of these categories. Far from a lackey, Veronica has repeatedly stood up to the appointed members in both public and private. But she has not done so by screaming and shouting — she’s no loudmouth. Rather, she has quietly and deliberately lobbied board members on issues important to students and frequently won them over or at least softened their positions on things like tuition and university leadership issues. Given that students hold only 3 of the 21 seats on board, it is hard to emphasize what a difficult task making the student voice heard is. The appointed members, who hold a majority of the seats, are accountable to nobody and have very little incentive to what students want. To win them over, one must understand what the appointed members care about and understand how and when they make their decisions. A great student representative must pick their battles and play their cards right. The fact Veronica is liked and respected not only by student leaders at UBC but by her peers on the board show that she has succeeded in serving both students and operating in the best interest of the university at large.
With much of the board’s business happening in secret, it is difficult to see or even describe al that makes Veronica and excellent representative of our interests. But having working with her closely on the international tuition issue I can say with full confidence that Veronica well exceeds what one expects from a student representative and we can only hope she is reelected and remains a forceful presence on the board for the foreseeable future.
Afford UBC Organizer with the AMS