In his e-mail to us, Nogas acknowledged the child care problem but does not have a solution for how he would work to help increase child care spaces on campus: “I recognize its a serious, serious problem. 3 year waits are ridiculous and unacceptable, limiting access to education for many women and families. It’s not right, it’s shameful that Canada and UBC have allowed this to happen, to let it continue and grow for so long. It’s a problem that’s fixed with money, and I don’t know how I would get it, I don’t see any path or argument I could use to actually help these people.”
While Nogas seems to support work to make child care a priority in the SUB Renewal project, he also admits “Childcare is an issue I’m unfamiliar with, and one that doesn’t personally resonates with me.” Still, he does seem amenable to working with us: “Maybe it would be best if I met with you to discuss it, I’m sure you have some ideas. I’d love to hear them, what you think would be the most effective way to help, how the Vp academic could be used, what the best approach is.”
Conclusion: As far as child care goes, there are much more sympathetic candidates in the VP Academic race. We appreciate the response though!
Mr. Rebane sent us a late response, so although the rules of our endorsement competition state that we cannot endorse him, we will however give him an honourable mention. We were very encouraged to see Mr. Rebane mention child care in his personal statement AND in his platform.
His e-mail to us shows that he has put some thought into child care issues on campus and we would be more than happy to work with him in the future. Our only concern is that he didn’t mention including child care as part of the SUB Renew project or concrete ways he would get the university to expand their child care offerings, BUT he did support a proposition that we at Antigone are fond of: getting developers to pony up for child care: “As VP Academic and University Affairs, one of the greatest places I would have to effect positive change for increasing child care would be in my position on the Board of Directors for the UNA. This board decides what can be built where with regards to the University neighbourhood areas (this includes most of the development happening in south campus). One of my approaches to the committee will be to make sure that, as more residential development takes places, that developers will be required to also provide child care facilities or provide funding for child care commensurate to the amount that they are building. The land that is being developed right now is incredibly valuable, so more child care is something they should be able to afford, and something we cannot afford to ignore.”
We would be more than happy to work with Mr. Rebane to help increase child care access at UBC.
Ms. Purewal is a great candidate (and a female candidate!) who has child care in her platform. We definitely support her and are excited about her ideas for an AMS child care service. Since she articulates them so eloquently, I will let her tell you about them:
“I have discussed this with Stefanie Ratjen and Tim Chu and we agree that a non-profit AMS child care centre be created along side a community service learning program such that students in departments such as family studies and education can also benefit by gaining experience working in a related field. […]. Thus, I would work with the VP Administration to allocate space in the space program for the new SUB for a child-care facility that would meet and exceed government standards and would be run as a non-profit AMS business before the architects begin designing in the next few months. In the short term, I would work with the VP External to lobby for increased funding in childcare and I would push to create a drop in child care area in the SUB where students can leave their children in the care of a qualified child care worker for a few hours as they attend class. This plan can be implemented far quicker than a full service daycare and students can leave their children there during class and pick them up once they are done.”
The VP Academic candidates are apparently an embarrassment of riches as Mr. Wood is yet another candidate that we MUST endorse. Childcare is one of the central issues of his platform.
He definitely gets the reason why child care is so important: “Childcare is one of the central issues of my platform and campaign this year. Expanding childcare is absolutely integral towards creating a framework of equity for all students on campus. Failing to do so systematically excludes both women and families, often forcing them to terminate or prolong their studies.”
He also plans to make women’s issues an intrinsic part of his work: “I want to make my office’s work with Equity one of the most important foci of my term. The newly founded Equity Office needs to be expanded in scope and power. I want an absolutely zero tolerance policy on exploitation of women, LGBT people and minorities on campus as well as firm penalties for any who violate this policy. I want to help create a UBC consciousness that does not believe the solution to gender based violence is to just encourage women to watch their drink but that takes a strong hand in making campus a safe environment, whether through education or by demanding Frats, Frosh committees and any organizations against whom accusations of exploitation have been made be accountable for their actions by financial means, permission to advertise events or other penalties.”
And not to leave Women’s Studies out… “ UBC does not express itself as an institution that values feminism or even women when it continues to consign Women and Gender Studies to a shack on the side of Brock Hall. Along with other small vital departments like First Nations Studies I intend to fight for increased funding where it is needed so that we may say in sincerity that we feel those issues studied in these programs are worth our attention and our concern.”
Is this guy endorsed by us? Um… heck yeah!