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Elections & Referendum

Elections & Referendum

The votes are in and the ballot has now been closed for the 2019 AMS Elections and Referendum. Thank you UBC for voting! View the Unofficial Results below.

Elected Student Positions

Candidates are running for: 1 of 5 Executive positions and/or 1 of 2 Board of Governor positions and/or 1 of 5 Senate positions and/or 1 of 6 Student Legal Fund Society positions.

The AMS Executive Team

The Executives make up the group of five elected students who run things around here, they are: the President, the Vice-President University and Academic affairs, the Vice-President External Affairs, the Vice-President Finance, and the Vice-President Administration.

See below for more details on each position.

UBC Board of Governors and UBC Vancouver Senate

The UBC Board of Governors and the UBC Vancouver Senate together govern all aspects of academics, finances, and planning for the University of British Columbia Vancouver. Student representatives are elected to each.

Student Legal Fund Society (SLFS)

The SLFS works as a team to provide advisory, legal, and financial assistance to fund, initiate and continue advocacy, lobbying and litigation to improve education and access to education at UBC and other matters of law which set broad precedent and concern to UBC students.

In addition to case funding, the SLFS provides many services to UBC students, including ‘Know Your Civil Rights Workshop’, ‘Know Your Tenancy Rights Workshop’, and a Lawyer Referral Subsidy.

Visit the SLFS website to learn more.

Need More Info?

What does the President do?

The President ensures that everything the AMS does is influenced by student needs and opinions by consistently engaging with the community and going to A LOT of meetings. They work with the elected vice presidents on a daily basis, supporting their respective portfolios, so meticulous knowledge of their work and ongoing projects is essential. The President is also the public face of the AMS, so when media comes knocking, it’s the President who communicates our message (80% of the time) on a whole range of topics, from AMS business performance to policy revisions to our stance on university initiatives. Being able to take a step back and understand how all the pieces fit into the rather difficult, rather large, AMS puzzle is critical.

What does the VP Academic and University Affairs do?

The VP Academic and University Affairs acts as the go-between for concerned students and the university administration and represents student interest on academic policies and university governance. The position is also involved with several ongoing projects, including Concession Policy review and the Academic Experience Survey. Key issues that the portfolio tackles ranges from tuition increases to campus planning, and sexual violence to sustainability. Essentially, any issue that is considered a key university issue falls under this portfolio, so the individual must have the capacity to absorb huge amounts of complex information, and put it into student-centered action

What does the VP External do?

The VP External Affairs (VPX) develops, researches, and communicates positions and policies taken by the Society on relevant student issues to external bodies and agencies – primarily the municipal, provincial, and federal governments. The VPX digs deep into research in order to educate and engage decision-makers on solutions to student issues, and collaborates with many different groups to amplify the AMS’ voice. The culmination of much of this work is the lobby trips to Victoria and Ottawa to convince politicians to support student causes. Expect to be doing everything possible to get students’ civically engaged, like updating them on lobby trips and what the AMS is advocating for, and be figuratively, or literally, screaming for better support for students. There’s also some sitting on external boards and policy writing for good measure.

What does the VP Finance do?

The key holder to the AMS finances,  the VP Finance is responsible for all financial matters relating to the organization, the AMS sustainability office, the Health and Dental Plan, as well as clubs and constituencies. They work with teams of students and professional s to make sure everything is on the straight and narrow money-wise, so aside from being good with numbers, they must have a knack for dealing with people. Money talks, but people do too, so like any other elected position you must have a collaborative, team approach to work.

What does the VP Administration do?

Arguably the biggest task under this portfolio is looking after the 350+ AMS clubs on campus, making sure that every club fills a niche in the campus community, and operates fairly and properly. The VP Administration works with the Operations Committee to manage the AMS Student Nest (including the Hatch Art Gallery), pushes sustainability initiatives, and liaise between the AMS and AMS Clubs, Constituencies, and Resource Groups. This position calls for an organized, detail-orientated individual who doesn’t mind making tough decisions.

What does UBC Board of Governors (BoG) do?

The Board of Governors is responsible for all non-academic matters at UBC. This includes topics such as tuition policy, the university budget, and campus buildings. Large portions of Board meetings are open for anyone to attend. The Board of Governors has 21 members; two members are UBC-Vancouver students, and one member is a UBC-Okanagan student.

What does UBC Vancouver Senate do?

The UBC Vancouver Senate is responsible for all academic matters at UBC-Vancouver. This includes topics such as admissions, examination policy, academic discipline, and student awards. The Senate also approves course curriculum and new departments and confers degrees. Meetings of the Senate are open for anyone to attend.

What is a Referendum?

In short, a referendum is a campus wide vote on important issues. Referendums are one of the most impactful and important ways in which we can exercise our right to vote to inform and implement significant changes to our community. The U-Pass that you know and love is an example of a campus-wide referendum, as well as the fee collected to build the Nest. For these referendum to pass, they need to reach quorum. Quorum is the minimum number of student votes needed for the referendum to be successful and binding. For the referendum to reach quorum, 8% of active Society members need to vote in favour. This year, the number of students needed to reach quorum is 4572. In addition to reaching quorum, Bylaw Amendments need two-thirds of the votes, in favour, to be approved. For more information, or for any questions regarding the Referendum, please contact:

SASC Student Fee Referendum

Support a $5.67 student fee increase to ensure increase AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) is able to continue providing the UBC community with comprehensive sexual assault support seven days a week. Why should you support this?

  • To ensure continued support for survivors of sexual assault on campus. This is the first significant fee referendum in 14 years, yet demand for SASC services has grown exponentially in that time. To keep up with demand the SASC:
    • Extended its hours to 8:00am – 10:00pm, seven days a week
    • Provides accompaniment services for survivors to UBC Urgent Care Centre
    • Expanded its educational outreach and events
    • Provides free menstrual supplies, condoms, lube, and pregnancy tests
    • Supports family and friends who are supporting survivors
  • Your support gives survivors choice. Our independence from UBC on top of our extended office and on-call hours and hospital accompaniment provide survivors more options if/when they need it.
  • Together we are creating a better UBC through our education and outreach efforts, reducing incidents of sexualized violence and creating a climate of consent across campus.
  • Sexualized violence can happen to anyone, of any gender, at any time. It may never happen to you, but if it does we are here to support you.

For more information, including FAQs, please visit Yote Yes for SASC Fee Referendum.

Indigenous Student Fee Referendum

Support the establishment of a $.95 student fee to ensure Indigenous students are fully integrated into the UBC community. The fee will help build respectful dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and provide space for Indigenous students to connect with and share their various cultures with the UBC community. Why should you support this?

  • This fee will go towards sharing Indigenous knowledge and culture with non-Indigenous students through Indigenous events such as a Powwow or art show; events are open to all students.
  • It will help build a respectful dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students about important student and social issues, such as stereotypes, racism, decolonization, and reconciliation.
  • It will support your fellow students through the creation of Indigenous scholarships and bursaries, and maintenance of Indigenous spaces on campus.
  • Establish an Indigenous presence within the AMS, which will aid in the facilitation of reconciliation and decolonization on campus.


1. How will the money be used?

  • To fund an annual Indigenous event such as a powwow, or arts event, where everyone is welcome.
  • To create Indigenous scholarships and bursaries.
  • Bring Indigenous guests to lecture on campus.
  • Aid in maintenance of Indigenous spaces on campus.
  • Provide financial support for Indigenous student clubs or other events for Indigenous events on campus.

2. How will non-Indigenous students be affected by the fee?

  • Being able to attend Indigenous events on campus that are funded by this fee, allowing all students the opportunity to learn about Indigenous cultures from across Canada, the United States and Internationally.

3. Why should non-Indigenous students care about this fee?

  • Canada, as a nation, is going through a period of ‘reconciliation’, where the Indigenous population is asking for acknowledgement and action when it comes to how Indigenous people are treated and represented in government, in society, and in colonial institutions, such as the University of British Columbia. The Indigenous Committee is asking for the support of UBC’s student body, to stand as an ally with the Indigenous Committee and the Indigenous student population at UBC, which will allow the Indigenous Committee and Indigenous students a respectful space on campus to represent our authentic selves, both individually and collectively. Such support will also open a dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students on what ‘reconciliation’ and ‘decolonization’ can potentially look like on campus, a dialogue that will be centered in a place of kindness, respect and understanding.

AMS By-Law Amendment Referendum

Support amending the AMS by-laws to reflect the needs of today’s students. Amendments include abolishing the Student Court, preventing unclear referendum questions, revising the AMS membership period, and changes to Executive vacancies, among others. All amendments can be found at here. Why should you support this?


1. What is Student Court? Why haven’t I heard of it before?

  • Since its creation in the mid-70’s, the Student Court was designed to serve as an autonomous disciplinary body that would settle internal conflicts and election disputes, as well as suggest the position that the AMS should take in contentious situations. However, it has not been filled regularly since 2009.
  • Even when Student Court is constituted, Council was not bound to follow its rulings, and so there was no true teeth to its rulings.
  • Since then, its other duties have been executed by other AMS bodies, such as the Elections Committee and the Ombudsperson, and appeals to Council’s decisions can be brought up through a member-at-large statement or a petition.
  • In 2018, abolition of Student Court was put on a referendum ballot. The results were in favour of abolishing Student Court but did not meet the quorum requirement.

2. What responsibilities did it have in the past? What processes are used now?

Student Court was originally responsible for:

  • Assisting AMS Council with rewriting unclear referendum questions, which can be done solely by Council with the proposed by-law changes related to clarifying referendum questions;
  • the interpretation of its Constitution, Code of Procedures, and Bylaws, along with hearing cases from members of the Society that involve alleged breaches of the AMS Constitution, Code of Procedures, or Bylaws, which can be done by third-parties with legal background;
  • Elections appeals, which are now taken in by the Elections Committee, and appeals to decisions of the Elections Committee is done by the Elections Appeals Committee;
  • Disciplinary cases are heard and dealt with by the Ombudsperson, the University, or the RCMP; and,
  • If there was a wish to appeal Council’s decision, the matter could be brought up through a member-at-large statement or even a petition if necessary.

3. What documents would be covered under the proposed amendment? Can you give me some tangible examples?

If this question passes, no immediate changes to document accessibility will be made – it simply gives Council a mandate to develop proposed changes, after debate and consultation.

Some example of documents that could potentially be covered under this bylaw include:

  • Documents relating to communication between lawyers and clients in legal cases where the AMS is involved;
  • Documents related to negotiations between the AMS and third-parties, such as unions;
  • Confidential information related to the operations of a third-party that may be working with the AMS (for example, the usage results of software that the AMS is beta testing)

Graduating Class Fee Reduction Referendum

Support reducing the Graduating Class Fee by $4.00 going forward. This fee is collected annually from fourth-year students and goes toward purchasing a grad gift for UBC. Thousands of dollars go unused each year and accumulate in a fund. Why should you support this?

  • Over the years the fees collected have been in excess of the gift purchased. Reducing the fee will better utilize the money collected by purchasing impactful, sustainable grad gifts at a lower price point.


1. What has this money been used on in the past?

The money has been used to buy gifts that aim to improve our campus in some way. Gifts from previous years have included:

  • Funds towards establishing the AMS Sustainability Center
  • Restoring the Symbols for Education mural on the outside of Brock Hall Annex
  • The UBC Pride Installation on an outside wall of the Nest
  • Trees with plaques commemorating different Graduating Classes

U-Pass Term Extension Referendum

Support the extension of the U-Pass agreement until April 30, 2025, ensuring students access to the most affordable transit option to/from UBC. The agreement is contingent on approval of a $1.50 per month increase to the U-Pass fee starting May 1, 2020 and approval of annual increases to the U-Pass Fee of up to 2%. Why should you support this?

  • The U-Pass program is the most affordable, multi-zone transit pass program in the province, providing UBC students with access to bus, Seabus, Skytrain, and Canada Line for only $41.00 a month – 57% cheaper than a regular one-zone pass and 77% cheaper than a multi-zone pass.
  • Access to affordable transit means students are contributing to a greener environment through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, traffic congestion, and oil consumption.
  • Even if you commute to UBC by other means, supporting the U-Pass referendum means fewer cars to/from campus, reducing traffic congestion and freeing up parking spaces.


1. Why am I voting for this again? Didn’t we do this last year?

  • Previously, the AMS has only been able to secure 1 to 3 year contracts with Translink relating to the U-Pass, thus, there have generally been referenda with each new contract.
  • As well, as the price of the U-Pass goes up every so often, which reflects rising costs of operation, expanded service, and inflation, the AMS must ask students if they approve of this price increase.
  • However, this year, the AMS has negotiated a 5-year contract, which will only consist of the price increases listed above, and will not require a referendum on the U-Pass question until 2025.

2. I drive and never use the bus – why should I vote for this?

  • Even if you commute to UBC by other means, supporting the U-Pass referendum means fewer cars to/from campus, reducing traffic congestion and freeing up parking spaces.

3. I can’t afford the U-Pass, but can’t opt out.

  • If you don’t qualify for an exemption (outlined here), but have financial hardship, you can find information about applying for an AMS subsidy here.

Campus Culture and Performance Fee Referendum

The UBC Campus Culture and Performance Fee (CCP) is a pre-existing fee that provides funding for UBC clubs that encourage collaboration, learning and innovation both within and beyond the UBC community. CCP clubs seek to promote various performance-based activities on campus that include but aren’t limited to: dance, music, theater, spoken word, film and other performance arts. CCP funding is used towards funding events and acquiring new equipment or resources to make these activities more accessible to all UBC students. Currently, seven AMS Clubs have access to this fund: Blank Vinyl Project, UBC Slam, UBC Debate Society, UBC Film Society, UBC Players Club, Musical Theater Troupe, and UBC Jazz Café. With this referendum, we are hoping to bring more accessible and inclusive funding for student-lead clubs at UBC that promote performance arts and elevate campus culture. This will not change the amount of student fees scheduled to be collected, and we can do that by gradually adding more clubs into the fund. Please vote YES for inclusive funding for Campus Culture and Performance Clubs!

Learn more about the CCP Fee Referendum here.

Permanent Thrift Shop on Campus Fee Referendum

Do you support the AMS establishing a refundable fee of $0.95 to contribute to the establishment of a permanent thrift store location on campus?

Note 1: The fee would be fully refundable upon request.

Note 2: The fee would be levied annually on all active AMS members beginning in September 2019 until the thrift store is self-sustaining as determined by Project Imagine executives in consultation with the AMS.

Note 3: The fee would be used for operational purposes.

Note 4: The fee is indexed annually to the BC Consumer Price Index.”


Our goal is to establish a permanent thrift shop on campus! We are completely donation based and run by UBC students and neighbouring communities. Get Thrifty is currently a series of monthly pop-up thrift shops and has garnered an abundance of support.

Our operations are entirely volunteer-run and items carefully curated. We decrease waste by encouraging sustainable and cyclical usage, and subsidize various costs for students and staff alike.

The thrift store sell items such as books, misc. household items, and sanitized clothing. Eventually, the thrift shop will also be a location used to promote student art, music, and organizations that support sustainability and student culture!

Learn more here: