VP Finance – Ale Coates

The “banality of evil” is a phrase coined by Hannah Arendt to describe the thesis that the great evils in history were not perpetrated by fanatics or sociopaths; rather, they were committed by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their State, and participated with the view that their actions were ‘normal.’ While not everyone would consider the AMS a ‘great evil,’ the current administrative functions of the AMS work to manifest a student society that systemically excludes marginalized communities. This perpetuates internal dynamics where few students feel as though their representative body, and their student fees, resonate with their student experience.
Currently the most administrative position within the AMS executive, the banality of evil concept is particularly relevant for the VP Finance position. The portfolio itself includes funding allocations for the society, including the businesses, student government operations, and clubs. The VP Finance also oversees many of the AMS’ business operations. Last year, the AMS sustainability initiative, the Lighter Footprint strategy (developed by presidential candidate Blake Frederick), was put under the VP Finance portfolio.
A VP Finance that works to create a more inclusive AMS- one that disrupts status quo systems of banal evils- will have demonstrated a commitment to supporting student initiatives through the student union. They will work to ensure a diversity of clubs and other student groups have adequate access to the resources they need to function smoothly. As for the businesses, they will work to promote economic and social interactions that are mutually beneficial for students, workers, and the environment.
Ale Coates stands out as the person with the most experience and appropriate perspective for a revitalized VP Finance portfolio. She wants the student union to work for students, and has the experience necessary to get the job done. She has the environmental consciousness to ensure that programs like the Lighter Footprint strategy continue.
What stands out about Ale is that she has innovative and pragmatic ideas: she wants to centralize the student-initiative funding application process, and build community within the student body through continuing her work with SAC and FinCom to facilitate interaction between similarly minded groups. Going above and beyond calling for more bzzr gardens, these are much needed initiatives that can improve student life on campus.
Regarding the more commercial aspect of the portfolio, Ale plans to better utilize government-funded wage subsidy programs to better pay student workers. She plans to investigate how the student union could be working to provide cheaper textbooks. This is great- the UBC Bookstore’s monopoly on textbook prices has gone on long enough.
In sum, the VP Finance portfolio is not acting in the capacity
Ale’s platform is comprehensive and detailed. We look forward to her time as AMS VP Finance.

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