Thursday, January 10, 2008

Candidate Questionnaire: Andrew Carne

Andrew Carne is a BoG candidate. Here were his answers.

Why do you want to be a student representative on the BoG?
I want to be one of the BoG reps because I am interested in university politics, administration and campus development. As my time here at UBC increases, i have found out more and more about the aforementioned topics, and what I learn often intrigues or angers me. I feel that I could do a very good job as a BoG rep, putting in the required time and effort to read through every issue in the docket, communicate important information to the students and back, as well as investigate every concerning element found in items presented to board.

How would you use your position on BoG to enhance students' voice on campus?
I would do this primarily by ensuring very open lines of communication are maintained between myself and students. I would not hesitate to speak at Board on issues raised to me by the general student body, and I would ensure that everything public discussed at board is communicated effectively to interested students.

What specific changes to the University Boulevard project would you advocate?
I can identify several issues with the University Boulevard project. The biggest one is that the most recent consultation showed a very strong dislike for housing and non-food retail, yet these elements have not been completely removed from the current project plan. I fail to see the point in running a consultation if one of the biggest identified issues is being ignored. I believe the project needs housing removed, retail largely reduced or removed, and an increase in student study/social space, for there is not nearly enough currently present on campus.

I also think some serious thinking needs to be done regarding the underground bus loop. Translink has stated that the proposed project would not be large enough to accommodate anticipated traffic in the next few years. What is the point in building this hugely expensive facility if it is going to be overcrowded almost immediately after construction. Also, since the Skytrain line to UBC was finally announced this week, it seems ridiculous to be investing this huge amount of money in a bus terminal that is going to be replaced or at least seriously renovated by 2020.

This year Jeff served as both a governor and AMS president, which seemed to strengthen his voice at the BoG table. What would be your relationship with the AMS?
I am not running for any particular AMS position, as I feel that two positions would not leave me with enough time to fulfill either one properly. I do however intend to be active in AMS activities and meetings so people can get to know me and pass information back and forth.

What experience(s) and skills do you have that will enable you to convince the Board appointees that your point of view is preferable to theirs?
In regards to experience, I have worked fairly closely with the Dean of Applied Science on several matters, which has given me a taste of higher-level interactions. I also have spent the past two years in an executive role with the Engineering Undergraduate Society, which has given me many insights into what students want on campus, and what some of the important issues are. I feel that one of the best ways to 'convince the appointees' of my point of view would be to contact members of the Board in advance (prior to the actual meeting) with questions and arguments, as this provides a more one-on-one situation. I would also ensure that my points are very well researched and persuasively phrased, which will show them that I do actually know what I'm talking about.

What is your vision for the governance model of UBC?
It has always struck me as bizarre that the Board is largely composed of provincial appointees who don't necessarily have any real interest in what goes on at UBC. They also are not stakeholders in any way, so the decisions they make don't actually effect them. It seems to me that a body making such important decisions should be made up of representatives of the people effected by it's decisions. As such, my vision would be that Board would be solely made up of the President, Chancellor, and representatives from students, staff, faculty and possibly a representative from the provincial government. In this vision, the total size of the Board would not be reduced greatly, which would mean more representatives each from students, staff and faculty.

On a related note, I would also like to see more transparency on the hiring policies and processes for senior administration (President, VPs) and Deans of faculties. I would like to see detailed guidelines showing how these people are selected, and the proper procedures for doing so. The policies currently available on the UBC website only list the composition of advisory committees and no other details.