Friday, January 12, 2007

Candidate Questionnaire - Tom Masterson

1)Why VPX?

Not why VPX, but rather why AMS? In my opinion, the AMS is an organization in need of reform; a revamped image, both to students and outsiders, new ideas, and a lot of energy. In my opinion, this type of change cannot be brought about by someone who is already jaded by politics, but rather must be effected by a fresh face. I believe that I am an ideal person to match that description: a hard worker with a strong set of ethics, and an intelligent person with charisma and a sense of fun. In addition, being someone with a wide background on campus (Commuter, ex-varsity athlete, diligent student, volunteer, and party goer), I represent the needs and desires of an extremely broad range of students.

2) How would you handle relationships between CASA and CFS schools?

This was addressed thoroughly in the debate, but again I will stress unity. Working together with our peers from the CFS, particularly at UBCO, will provide us with the greatest lobbying strength. One of my first orders of business would be to develop immediate relationships with their VP Externals, or equivalents, to get a jump start on the process.

3) What do you see as areas of co-operation with UBC-Okanagan?

UBCO is viewed by many as a B-Rate UBC, and this notion has to stop. UBC-O Students have a powerful voice and can be our allies and our friends, provided we get to know them. I would attempt to learn everything about their needs, and try to find some overlap with our own.

4) Would you support the raising of a U-Pass fee for UBC students in order to guarantee a universal U-Pass for all college and university students served by Translink? Similarly, how do you feel about the U-Pass Coalition?

If that is one small concession that UBC has to make to earn the trust and support of the other schools, then yes, I would support the move. A marginal fee on the UPass could pay off 100-fold should the unified front of lobbying pay off as so many, including every other VPX candidate, feel that it would.

5) How would you argue for a provincial grant program?

The statistics presented in the AMS 2020 submission are rather staggering, and could not be overlooked by government officials. I would present these facts in advance of the 2020 review, at least laying the ground work for future negotiations, if not making immediate impact on the governing bodies.

6) How would you evaluate the effectiveness of Policy 72?

7) What experience do you have, that will help you in the position?

With regard to experience, I have little in the way of politics, the closest being elected president of a local chapter of an international honour’s society. I do however have experience in delegation and mass organization, as gained through my aforementioned presidency and the running of a few charity events, benefiting organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, The Canadian Cancer Society and The Raising the Roof Foundation. My work ethic was honed in the classroom, the workplace and on the rugby pitch. My attention to detail has been developed through my woodworking hobby and my love affair with competitive Barbecue (2004 Canadian National Champion – I knew I could sneak that in somewhere!). So, despite my lack of experience, I believe that my basic skill set, coupled with my strong resolve and ethics, will allow me to do an exemplary job as the VP External of the AMS. (Tim: some of that was a bit goofy, use it if you want to)

8) What are your lobbying priorities?

I intend to lobby strongly for a reinstitution of the grant program, which is far more proactive than the shortsighted, though well-intentioned, remissions program.

9) If you could change one thing about the AMS, what would it be?

I believe that the public image of the AMS should be the primary issue, not only for the election, but also for the AMS in general. Dissatisfied, disenchanted and uninformed students plague this campus, and strong AMS leaders can help to reform this issue. By making solid decisions, and letting students know about them, the AMS will achieve a stronger image, and as such will hold more clout in its affairs.