The VP External position within the AMS is responsible for dealing with the bodies external to the AMS. This includes, but is not limited to, the provincial and federal governments, the university administration, Translink, unions, other student societies, including the national organizations of student unions like the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), the latter of which the AMS is an associate member. As such, the VP External is the advocate for students to these institutions that affect the student experience so greatly. Within this portfolio, the VP may attend meetings in Victoria to campaign for lower tuition fees, more financial support for childcare at UBC, or to discuss the University Act with the legislators, the bill that informs governance structures at universities across BC, in hopes of making it more democratic and transparent in nature. This is increasingly important as BC provincial elections are being held on 12 May 2009. The VP can also create links with other student societies in order to facilitate a more united student power that can deal with important issues ranging from transit to affordable student housing. Under the VP portfolio also falls the newly created Equity Program, a crucial tool for understanding inequality and working against it. Most importantly, it is hoped that the VP External can help represent those issues that are often overwhelmed by dominant identities and privileged interests.
Tim Chu is the best candidate to fulfill this important duty this year. In 2008, he was elected to both the AMS and the Arts Undergraduate Society. His work included sitting on the AMS Equity Committee, the AMS Budget Committee, and the AMS External Lobbying Committee, giving him experience in representing students. In addition, Tim Chu’s platform is full of initiatives, that if implemented, will help in making UBC more accessible. The issues that he addresses include increasing affordable student housing, dealing with rising tuition fees, working on transit and transportation services, and childcare. While it is easy for your eyes to gloss over when hearing a list of issues during election time, we believe that Tim Chu is passionate and experienced enough to sincerely confront these immense but extremely important problems that students face.