Editor’s note: this article is a part of a series of candidate interviews. The Financial Vice President is responsible for putting together budgets, processing society funding requests, and acting as the liaison with the bursar’s office and King’s budget committee.
Victoria Gibbs (she/her) is a second-year studying Political Science and International Development. She served as Member at Large for the King’s Students’ Union this year and said the position helped her learn about council through tangible experience.
Gibbs wants to continue working with the KSU, which is why she is running for Financial Vice President.
“I think it’s kind of a unique opportunity because I am a Bachelor of Arts student,” she said.
In high school, Gibbs worked as a manager at McDonald’s. She said the experience helped prepare her for this position, as she learned how to handle financial affairs including paperwork and deposits.
Next year, Gibbs will be living about a twenty-minute walk from campus. But COVID-19 permitting, she plans to still be available to students on campus in the Galley and Prince Hall. She also plans to be available by email, social media DMs and office hours.
Gibbs said she wants to improve transparency concerning financial affairs.
“As a King’s student, you’re a general member of the KSU and every member should have access to this information,” she said in her candidate speech. “While what your fees are used for is not meant to be secretive, I understand that it may not feel readily available and accessible to everybody.”
Gibbs plans to create a finance section on the KSU’s website where students and societies can see past budgets, view an explanation of how student fees are used and access her contact information. She also wants to create a story highlight reel on Instagram that answers basic finance questions students may have and where students can access the finance section of the KSU’s website.
“I don’t want finances to seem scary or daunting to students or just completely off the grid,” Gibbs said. “I feel like a lot of King’s students might understand what the SLVP (Student Life Vice President) is up to more than the Finance VP. And I don’t want it to be like that.”
With COVID-19 pushing events online this year, many societies at King’s didn’t request funding from the KSU. Next year, Gibbs plans to contact societies directly to let them know that funding is still available for events.
Gibbs also wants to focus on advocacy. She says that living away from home for two years, paying rent, tuition and other living costs, has shown her that university is costly. She plans to advocate for affordable and accessible education for all.
“I understand that university is not affordable. I understand how it feels to be in debt and be worried and upset by the cost of university,” she said in her candidate speech.
This year, students living in residence who didn’t go home for Christmas break paid an unexpected meal plan fee. After students took action the fee was cut in half. Gibbs hopes to prevent similar issues from happening in the future.
“Hopefully, we’re going to be able to work with both residence and admin to make sure that those transparency issues do not occur,” she said.