Thursday, August 14, 2014

UNA Election Statement

Charles has lived with his family in the university town since 1996.  First renting from UBC Housing on Osoyoos Crescent, then from Village Gates Homes on Hawthorn Lane and finally joining the Logan Lane faculty-staff co-development project.  Charles has been a passionate participant in, and contributor to, the life of our shared community.  Charles is employed by UBC as a professor in the Department of Anthropology at UBC.

During my term as Director and Secretary (2012-2014) I advocated for the establishment of a civic engagement committee, an editorial review board for the Campus Resident, and more effective and meaningful inclusion of residents in UBC decision making. I’ve done my best to respond to community concerns over parking, noise, and traffic. We’ve made a lot of progress.  There is, however, a lot more work to do to ensure resident voices are heard in UBC’s decision-making processes. I look forward to participating in the work that needs to be done.

I am optimistic that change is coming. UBC has taken some important first steps with their proposed engagement charter.  The UNA Board is currently in negotiations with UBC to improve the UBC/UNA management agreement.  I believe that expecting greater community control in matters that affect us is a reasonable expectation.  As residents we make a significant contribution to the UBC community and should, as a consequence, have a commensurate say in local affairs.  We need the capacity to have a real voice in decision making in planning issues that directly impact our community. My hope is that with your continued support our resident voice will be strengthened on campus. 

There are changes closer to home that we should also be making.  The UNA has a growing staff and obligation to provide critical community services. The new Westbrook Place Community Centre will expand our staff and services several fold. Yet we have not conducted an effective public and systematic review of staffing and services for many years.  As Directors we have a responsibility to ensure that our services are provided in an efficient and fair manner. Our staff does a great job. However, if we continue to expect more of them without having a clear vision and plan we will undermine their capacity to provide core services.  If re-elected my first order of business will be to ensure we have a full and transparent administrative review of staffing, services, and communications.  I believe that the UNA board needs to spend at least as much time ensuring that the UNA is properly and efficiently managed as the Board does seeking concessions from UBC.

The UNA and the university town is a great community.  It’s been a wonderful place for my partner and I to raise our family.  As an elected UNA Director I believe that I have an obligation to ensure that my colleagues and I do the best we can to keep what works in the UNA and to strive to make things even better.  

I trust that I can count on your vote in this election.


I'll also be  voting for Alan Craigie.  Alan, a newcomer to the UNA, is a longtime resident and committed community member who will represent a community of residents who have been increasingly silenced in the running of the UNA - faculty and staff who rent from UBCPT.

We need to ensure that ALL voices, not a select few, are heard and represented on the UNA Board.  Voting for Alan will go a long way toward bringing in a currently silenced voice in our community.

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