Concerned UBC Student

worries about you too

On Bijan’s Hurried Response

with 2 comments

Thank you AMS Gossip Guy for publishing Bijan’s attempt to respond to the challenge after the fact.

<http://amsgossipguy.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/bijan-speaks/#more-98>

On Bijan’s Response: A line-by-line sketch.

UBC Board of Governors

“I believe it is important to clarify that the recording a) represents only a fraction of a larger meeting b) was posted online without context by an anonymous blogger.”

**Bijan complains about the anonymity of the post, not realizing that the Concerned UBC Student blog is the culmination of a long lasting and larger initiative of concerned UBC students and community members. He does not even, in his own defense, comment on the contents of the recording itself. As has been pointed out in another blog, the recording speaks for itself. Any attempt to actually analyze closely Bijan’s close-door rhetoric would not make things much better for him.

UBC Board of Governors

“Based on the way this blogger frames the issue, it seems to be part of a deliberate smear campaign designed to prevent me from being re-elected to the Board of Governors. As someone who has never taken democracy for granted, I find these politics of personal destruction disheartening”

***Bijan here tries an ‘ethos’ approach, playing the victim instead of taking responsibility for the insensitivity of his approach to an AMS club, and step down. He implies that he would trade an endorsement with a particular club for furthering their particular issues (he admits to that). Just wonder at his use of the word ‘contract’ in the recording. He wrongly assumes that a single isolated person was motivated enough to try to attack him personally as a human being, and not as a strayed career politician who is not representing students and ignoring the main issues. The assumption that only an isolated individual felt his approach was not appropriate is misguiding, and if the further context Bijan wants see should be release, further embarrassment is expected.

UBC Board of Governors

“After the Friends of the Farm mentioned that they had endorsed Tristan Markle for the Board of Governors, I explored the possibility of an endorsement from them. I was invited to present to one of their meetings, at which the group was going to vote on who to endorse as a second Board candidate. I was later told that my presentation resulted in a split vote in my favour, and therefore no endorsement was made for the second Board position. Clearly, many people at the meeting understood that I am supportive of preserving the Farm”


***Bijan here tries to take something out of this exposé, but in fact Bijan was never around for Friends of the Farm meetings for the entire time of the resistance against development. He is also unable to ignore the issue even if he gets elected. There was no real vote in the meeting, and as mentioned already, the rest of the recording would make things even more complicated for Bijan. The other candidates that Bijan assumed to be competing against for the Board are Blake Frederick and Mike Duncan; Blake has been working as AVP External, Mike is the AMS President, and both were involved much more with this issue whereas Bijan has never been around, showing up, according to one shocked participant, with a threatening posture of a career politician with a personal agenda.

UBC Board of Governors

“The clip refers to a specific project beyond general support of the Farm, for which I said I needed an endorsement to signal my relationship with the Friends of the Farm. I had discussed the details of that project with the group earlier in the meeting. Given the large number of stakeholders engaged with the Farm issue, I stressed that I was reluctant to make that project a top priority if students and the university administration would not see me as legitimately speaking on behalf of farm advocates.”

***Bijan should firstly provide the details of the said “specific project beyond general support of the Farm”, since he seems to imply that particular groups or powerful individuals could be approaching him with a particular issue he would push forward in the Board through an endorsement. Bijan also confuses the general undeniable support for the Farm, which includes the greater Vancouver community and the UBC President (even if downsized), and the specific group he addressed on campus, which includes mainly more active members of an AMS club that push for 24 hectares and more.

UBC Board of Governors

“My message has been deliberately taken out of context in order to imply that I am more interested in blackmail and the accumulation of personal power than in representing students. I have served UBC students in elected capacities for a number of years, and I am not unfamiliar with the political side of student politics – but to me, that accusation goes beyond the pale”

***As we have discussed before, further release of the context we have acquired through an anonymous recording would cause more damage to Bijan’s reputation and the very legitimacy of his campaign. If Bijan would care to analyze his own words, he would apologize to the community instead of trying to come up, however hurriedly, with a rushed response that is an accusatory rant on someone who only exists as an enlightened collectivity.

UBC Board of Governors

“I have been very clear on my posters and website about my desire to ensure that the University meets its commitment to the UBC Farm through the creation of a refreshed academic plan across all disciplines for teaching and research on the Farm. While I have paid close attention to the Farm issue during my term on the Board, I am not a one-issue person. I have successfully focused on other matters such RCMP issues and student housing, and I will continue to do so if re-elected. I do not believe this election should be fought solely over one issue, and nor do I believe it should be fought through underhanded and misrepresentative character assassination”

***Bijan has voted against the AMS regarding the bus bunker, and voted in favor of it, even with the establishment of Trek Park as a protest zone and the AMS official support for Trek Park. The Farm issue is not a single issue, unrelated from many other issues, but actually student housing threatens the future of the Farm. This makes both issues very much related, and the danger of posing student housing against the Farm instead of with the Farm is a pressing concern. Further, Bijan assumes that this has something to do with an electoral tactic, undermining the role of the Concerned UBC Student as a collective persona that has watched closely how development, Properties Trust and the Board of Governors, has undermined students at UBC. Bijan, by running again, undermines the participation of younger students who could use the opportunity to represent students with a voice at the Board and get real results.

Written by wethunderbirds

January 27, 2009 at 3:57 am

Bijan Ahmadian: “If you don’t endorse me…”

with 8 comments

UBC Board of Governors

UBC Board of Governors

Thousands of people throughout the UBC community, especially students, have been working together for the past several years to save the UBC Farm from development. The campaign has been going well, culminating in a Board of Governors resolution in Dec 2009 indicating a desire to save the UBC Farm – so long as market housing needs can be met elsewhere on campus. The upcoming months will be crucial to maintain this momentum.

The upcoming election for student representatives to the Board of Governors is of utmost importance to those who care about the Farm. In this context, it was very concerning that present Board of Governors representative and candidate Bijan Ahmadian came to the Friends of the Farm meeting on Thurs Jan 22 2009 to take part in political intimidation. Mr. Ahmadian told around 20 people present at the meeting that if he received an endorsement from FotF, he would work to support the Academic Plan for the Farm. However, if he did not receive an endorsement, he stated he would not actively work to help the Farm.

Bijan Ahmadian said: “I have been kind of clear that if you endorse me [..] I will have a very solid commitment [..] but if you do not endorse me, then i won’t be emailing people saying this is my project this year. If i get your endorsement, this it is a contract for me, and anything otherwise would be a breach of contract from my perspective, and I know that this may sound like I…I’m not saying I wouldn’t be representing you if I get elected, but it’s that endorsement that says that we have a relationship now and we can build on that relationship.” He then added that he had calculated that he would likely win the election, insinuating that FotF was therefore forced to endorse him.

The progress we’ve made is too important to be squandered by our campus leaders playing political blackmail for personal power. It is important that our representatives truly believe in the goal of a world-class centre for sustainable food systems.

Written by wethunderbirds

January 25, 2009 at 3:00 am

Posted in AMS Elections