25
Mar
09

aus elections: the last Naylor campaign

Well, here it is – the last platform I’ll probably have to write during my degree (unless I run for something else… NO! BAD SUBCONSCIOUS!).

I’ve been a member of Council, with only a four day interruption, since April 1, 2006. It’s been a hell of a ride. I’ve learned a lot about how this society works, and I have come to feel incredibly grateful to this campus and the people that I’ve met here. I have been able work in many different capacities – as a Councilor for both Arts and Science, as the VP External, as a Committee Chair – and it’s been an amazing experience. I want to serve one last year on AMS Council because I want to use that experience to push for some of the things that will make a real difference in the lives of students.

There are two major issues that I want to focus on this year: The War on Fun, and AMS Effectiveness. As the War on Fun rages around us, we need to keep fighting back. We have made progress, but there is still a lot of work left to be done. As for the AMS, we pay a lot of money into the organization. We have to make sure it is operating efficiently, effectively, and doing the things that we, as students, need it to be doing.

The War on Fun

The War on Fun is a complex fight. We are not fighting on one front, but multiple ones. We are trying to root out long standing beliefs and change perceptions. We don’t know always where the enemy is hiding, what they will do when they strike next, or what they will do when the attack comes. Half the time we don’t even know who the enemy is – it’s not as simple as pointing to a group like the University Administration and saying that they are the problem. We have allies as well as obstacles within their ranks.

I will work to help identify specific winnable battles in the War on Fun, and work to target our resources to break down the barriers thrown up in front of our engagement. Building connections and relationships is key – if we have a working relationship with the RCMP, the UNA. UBC itself, we will be able to push our agenda and they will be much more inclined to take it seriously. The biggest effort we should make is with the next Staff Sergeant of the RCMP. Through my role on the AUS, I will make sure that we develop the kind of relationship we need to bring Arts County Fair back to campus.

We don’t have enough ammunition in this fight, and in a battle such as this, our bullets are data. We need to know more about how this war is being waged upon us and our community, and find out how we can stop it. We can’t just scream that this is an issue – we have to have the numbers to back it up. We should track the number of Special Occasion (Liquor) Licenses approved compared to how many were applied for, police complaints, average drink prices, advertising on campus, and other metrics that will help us prove what we know is going on.

Outrageous housing prices and a lack of student housing on campus are also part of this war. A number of simple changes to the housing bylaws would go a long way towards fixing our campus. I will aim to meet with members of the City of Vancouver and MetroVancouver Councils to develop ways to build, finance, buy and otherwise create student housing.

Goals for the Year

  • Work to develop good relations with the RCMP
  • Identify and act on Fun Focused Targets
  • Identify allies in the War on Fun
  • Get ACF Debt Repaid
  • Bring back Arts County Fair
  • Create the Fun Database
  • Work with our municipal governments to create student housing

The AMS Structure

One of the major promises that I made last year is that I would work to reform the Committee Structure of the AMS. I was appointed Chair of the Code and Policies Committee, and I am very happy to report that this process is only about a month away from fruition. With the reforms, I hope that the AMS is going to work better, and use a more Council driven structure to make sure that it’s our interests that are the reason that the AMS does things. Already this year, the Executive is trying to pull the wool over our eyes by sending motions to Council – important policy motions – without vetting them through the Committee process. We need to make sure that the rights of Council, your representatives, are respected, and the voice of Arts students is heard.

I want to make sure that the committee reform goes through. The AMS now has a plan to fix its severely broken committee structure, one that will streamline our process, ensure that Council is driving the agenda rather than the executive, and allow more opportunities for Members-at-Large to get involved in a meaningful way. However, it is going to take a lot of effort to make sure that this new structure is adopted – there is a lot of institutional inertia in the AMS, but it can be overcome. The biggest promise that I made to you last year was the reform of the committees. I want to follow through on the plan that we developed, and work out all the kinks that are inherent to any new system.

I want to further develop accountability mechanisms within the AMS. You should know where your money is going, and what it is being used to promote. The ridiculous discretionary spending power of the executive, with respect to the President’s Fund, should be abolished in favour of something with a greater degree of Council oversight. This was a fund that was only created because a man left the AMS President’s Fund, a Fund which to that point did not exist, a large legacy in his will. The way the Code to administrate the fund was written, it gives the executive a significant amount of discretionary, off budget (ie. Nobody would have to tell us what the money is being used for.) spending power. Discretionary, off budget spending power is the antithesis of accountability, and we need better checks – the discretionary spending power of the executive should be replaced with a committee administered fund.

Goals for the Year

  • Make the AMS more efficient and cost effective
  • Ensure that Council drives the AMS agenda
  • Pass and implement Committee Reform
  • Reform the President’s Fund

Final Thoughts

I have the experience to do this job well, and a vision for what I want our student society to be. I will work hard for you, making sure you are listened to not only around the Council table, but at any point where the issues of Arts students are at stake. It’s been an incredible honour serving on the AMS for the past three years. I’m asking for the opportunity to serve one more – there is work that needs to be done, and I want to achieve results for us and our priorities.

For more information, check out may (as yet unfinished) website, www.votenaylor.com. With your help, and your votes, we can fight the War on Fun and bring the good times back to this campus.

My name is Matthew Naylor. I am running for AMS Arts Representative. And I ask for your vote.

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