UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 03 | Feb.
Building student pride aim of AMS president
Apathy, provincial election, key concerns of new student leader
by Bruce Mason staff writer
Erfan Kazemi succeeded where Al Gore fell short, making the leap from
vice-president to the top job. Like George W. Bush he now has to
While it isn't the Oval Office, the president-elect of
Alma Mater Society is ultimately responsible for a budget of $12 million and
hundreds of full- and part-time employees.
Kazemi, who comes to the job from serving as AMS vice-president,
Academic and University Affairs , knows it's a big job.
"Obviously student apathy is a major issue," he says. "Only 3,122 of 33,000
students voted in the election. The AMS must be more inclusive and we
need to instill pride in UBC students and a sense that they are part of
something greater than themselves."
The Students for Students slate won all five AMS executive positions for
the second straight election, but Kazemi beat opponent Rob Nagai by only 47
A poor turnout and tight race is partly the result of recognition of a job well
done and high expectations that Students for Students would win, he says.
As well, no contentious issues emerged, unlike, in the past, when a proposal to
include campus residents in the provincial Residential Tenancy Act, national
student lobby groups, potential fee increases and role of corporations on
campus, attracted more voters.
"UBC students need to feel a sense of ownership in the AMS and
its programs, services and events throughout their career at the university, "
says Kazemi, a third-year Biology and Computer Science student.
"It's also very important that students are heard during the upcoming
provincial election, especially regarding tuition fees," he says. "The freeze
is a good idea, but funding must be put in place so that universities don't
suffer. And we need meaningful alternatives if it is lifted."
A letter of congratulations from provincial Opposition Leader
which states, "as MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey, I serve many
of the same
students as you," is encouraging. So is the perspective of
"The university's vision document Trek 2000, correctly
as a priority and we look forward to working closely with President Piper and
the vice-president, Students, Brian Sullivan on behalf of
Kazemi will be joined by vice-president elect, Academic and University
Affairs, Evan Horie, vice-president elect, External
Affairs, Kristen Harvey, vice-president elect, Administration, Mark
Fraser and vice-president elect, Finance, Yvette Lu.
Representatives of the Students' Voice slate, Hannah Roman and Brian MacLean,
will serve as senators-at-large.