The business of directing the AMS falls to a group of five students, who are all elected annually by other students. They manage all the millions in the budget, and they represent the students of UBC in the media and in negotiations with the University.
Okay, but what do they actually do? You can check the Executive Year in Review for a big list of everything the executives accomplished in 2013-2014, or you can stop by their office and ask yourself. Again, they’re just students. You don’t have to clear security to talk to these people, they’re in your POLI 360 class.
Below is a breakdown of the different executive positions. Here is a list of the people currently filling them.
The President, is, y’know, a President. More in the “chairs meetings of the Executive Council and has a seat in all committee meetings” sense of the word than the “wears the windbreaker on Air Force 1” sense of the word. It’s a bully pulpit and all that, so the president has a lot of opportunities to set the direction of the AMS.
The President is the public face of the AMS. For this reason each and every President has been a shockingly beautiful example of the human figure. They’re also (generally) very nice people who are eager to engage with the students they represent.
Otherwise, their roles and duties include setting the agenda for council meetings and generally making sure that the policies and programs of the council are properly implemented. They go to a lot of meetings. So many meetings.
The Vice Presidents are here for two reasons:
- To take over if the President is abducted by aliens
- To manage a particular wing of the AMS
There are four Vice Presidents—the VP Finance, the VP Academic, and VP External, and VP Administration.
The VP Finance looks after the AMS’s financial wellbeing. They work with businesses, clubs and the administration to make sure everything is on the straight and narrow. They chair the Finance Commission, and sit on the CiTR board of directors. They also oversee the Sustainability Coordinator, for complicated reasons that involve the coming together of financial and ecological goals.
The VP Academic & University Affairs acts as a go-between for concerned students and the university administration. They can help you talk to the university about any ideas you have or issues you face concerning education, health, wellbeing, safety, or pretty much anything else. Befitting their broad role, they oversee everyone from the Equity Commissioner to the Campus Development Commissioner to the Mental Health Commissioner.
The VP External Affairs handles the political and outreach activities of the AMS. They do cool stuff like lobby the government on issues facing students and strike cool deals with public transit. The big priorities recently have been addressing student financing and debt, while also urging the municipal and provincial government to come up with sustainable solutions to the Broadway transit problem. They like to call themselves the “VPX” because it sounds cooler that way.
The VP Administration wears a lot of hats. They take care of the AMS’s student organizations, oversee the SAC and the Art Gallery, and keep all the clubs functioning properly. Difficult-to-categorize stuff like overseeing the construction of the Student Nest and organizing the opening thereof comes under their umbrella. If it’s really difficult and nobody knows who should be handling it, the VP Admin gets the nod.