Although Elin Tayyar is a long way from his birthplace in Iran, he came to UBC after living for some years in East Van and Burnaby. He has described himself as random, and looking at his track record in university, it’s hard to disagree.
Tayyar is currently in his sixth year at UBC, “though I figure the first year didn’t count because I was a commuter and in sciences,” he laughed.
He got tired of sciences, went out on a limb with a history course he was taking at the time, transferred into Arts and decided to major in international relations. After a fourth-year course, he integrated a minor in economics.
Tayyar really considers his UBC life beginning during his second year, when he finally got into residence, and now stresses the importance of involvement and having a life on campus.
“The best part [of UBC] is opportunities,” said Tayyar, “for the variety of different things you can do. If you are a hipster, you could probably join CiTR, and if you’re a politician you can join a club or the Greek system. There’s a good variety, so it’s good for everyone.”
During his time as VP Finance, his proud moment has been the restructuring of the AMS Health and Dental Plan. “It’s not a very sexy topic but as far as measureables go, it’s been a huge impact: over a million dollars a year saved.”
And as for political slant, he’s hard to pin down. “I’m a part-time Stalinist, part-time socialist…I don’t really like the NDP. I understand economics and I believe in economic efficiency. I hate bureaucracy so that goes against the whole socialist thing. I’m pro-sustainable development, [and] I’m kind of a technocrat.”
He said the randomness of his personality has gotten worse with his position, but he’s embraced it, at least.
Following in this vein, he gave his first-year advice. “Participate. get involved. There’s a bunch of shit you can do, so do it.”
“Take a variety of different classes to make sure you know what you like. Chances are you’ll probably change your mind.”