VP finance candidates discuss transparency and communication in second debate

At Friday’s VP finance debate, candidates agreed to pursue financial accountability and student engagement, but disagreed on how they would implement their plans.

At the debate, the candidates – AMS Governance and Strategy Lead Kamil Kanji, Associate VP Funds Lawrence Liu and the Arts Student Center (represented by Arts Councilor Mathew Ho) – discussed the AMS’s financial transparency and outreach strategy to clubs, constituencies and the community student body .

In response to a question last June about improving financial transparency amid the lack of a preliminary budget and unresolved changes to the budget, Kanji committed to producing a preliminary budget and said it was necessary to have the AMS Council “consistently” on the to keep up to date.

The ASC said it believes the AMS could approach the submission of information, such as quarterly reports, that the tax office produces differently. The information could be better attributed to public bodies such as the AMS website. Kanji agreed that the information could be presented “easier to digest”.

Regarding the budget, Liu said his priority is to “start work earlier” to ensure the finance committee has time with the budget materials.

In response to a question about the transition to the new AMS financial system, candidates had similar goals in improving communication between AMS clubs and constituencies, using slightly different approaches.

Liu expressed the need to bridge the gap between each club treasurer and the VP Finance Office in the form of town hall meetings and “create as many resources as possible,” such as: B. Canvas modules with video tutorials and workshops.

Kanji stressed the need to establish a solid reimbursement schedule and said he will frequently engage with student circle VP finances.

The ASC said actively reviewing data on issues clubs may be having with the system and establishing a faster response time is a better approach than relying on caucus meetings.

A listener questioned the candidates about their communication strategies and asked how they would improve communication performance when the department was already “extremely busy.”

The ASC said it was not opposed to adding staff in the communications department to meet the need.

“Some people think it’s necessary to cut services…the ASC isn’t opposed to having more people in the communications department to do this more effectively,” it said.

Liu said the social media communication could come from the VP finance office itself, in addition to using its connection with other student organizations to disseminate financial information.

Kanji agreed with Liu on the need to work with clubs and constituencies, but expressed the need to “reprioritize” communications.

“I think there are a lot of things that the communications department is working on related to various events and initiatives right now, but I think it’s about making sure we find the time to do that,” Kanji said.

In the closing statements, the candidates summarized the main goals of their campaigns.

Liu said he believes his platform is realistic, considering he will only serve until May next year. Kanji emphasized the detail in his platform and said he had thorough plans. The ASC ended the debate by stating that while this is considered a hoax, it does not mean its platform is frivolous.

Voting is open from Monday 26 September 00:01 to Thursday 29 September 17:00

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