Election Season in Full Swing
UGBC Teams Participate in Primary and ALC-GLC Debates
Published: Monday, February 14, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Editor's Note: In the article below, it was incorrectly reported that there is no resource center for AHANA students. There is a resource center for AHANA students, the Thea Bowman AHANA Center. It was also incorrectly quoted that 90 percent of AHANA students said they would not enroll at BC again if given the chance, the correct number is 25.5 percent.
The UGBC presidential and vice presidential teams gathered for the primary election debate yesterday in Fulton Hall, immediately followed by the AHANA Leadership Council (ALC) and GLBTQ Leadership Council (GLC) debate.
The candidates responded to questions submitted by The Heights, The Gavel, UGBC, and those in attendance.
Mike Joyce and Justin Portes, both A&S '12; Nick Domino, A&S '12 and Katrina Lutfy, CSON '12; and Mike Kitlas and Jill Long, both A&S '12 were all present to represent their campaigns. David Lalonde, A&S '12, and Ryan Tierney, CSOM '12, were not present at the debate.
Questions ranged from their views of the most important issue on campus to personal leadership experience to their response to negative views of the UGBC outside the organization and related entities.
When asked to name the most important issue on campus from the perspective of the student body, the candidates had varied responses.
Domino and Lufty said that programming coordination between the over 200 registered student organizations and clubs was the most important issue. They mentioned their desire to combine assets and resources from the organizations to create a programming body that pools students, resources, and finances.
"A combination would create programs that serve all students and provide an ample amount of funding and resources to interact with all," Lutfy said. "We know that this is ambitious and more of a two to three year plan, but in the next year we want to start with the combination of late night programming and resources. Encouraging the night program to pull together their resources will create even better and more appealing programs."
For Joyce and Portes, ensuring that undergraduates find a campus organization to be a part of early in their years was their perceived pressing issue. Kitlas and Long cited undergraduate advising.
"Undergraduate advising has been an issue at BC for many years," Long said. "Some freshmen feel they were misguided or take classes that are too hard in their freshman year. We desire to establish an academic advising seminar that teaches students how to go about the advising process and properly approach advisors. We also want to make sure advisors are familiar with the advising process."
Candidates were also posed a question as to their ideas about innovative ways to engage all in the programs, policies, and practices of UGBC.
Joyce said that direct and regular dorm walks to hear student thoughts and concerns was his proposed method to engage students and have them actively informed of UGBC initiatives. Portes, Joyce's vice presidential running mate, also stated his campaign's desire to create a student leadership council to increase collaboration between all registered student organizations and the UGBC.
Domino and Lutfy similarly stressed the importance of dorm walks in addition to the centralization of services and programs at BC, including Volunteer and Service Learning Center (VSLC) programs.
Kitlas and Long focused on information accessibility to the public, such as UGBC meeting minutes, stressing his campaign's desire to redesign the UGBC website as a platform where information is accessible.
The candidates also focused on their individual experiences of taking ideas from proposal to execution.
Domino cited his efforts proposing a cafe in O'Neill Library as an example of his execution of proposals. "With the library cafe idea we pulled all the resources we had," Domino said. "We pulled living quality surveys from the years past to see when the idea first appeared. The idea was negated in committee, but we have continued our efforts on this matter. I think this shows that we are not willing to take no for an answer."
Joyce mentioned the establishment of satellite mail distribution centers. "There used to be huge lines to get packages with lines stretching into Eagle's Nest," Joyce said. "As a result of our meetings and work, there are satellite mail rooms across campus to ease students' mail distribution problems."
Kitlas noted his work as UGBC's executive director of campus entertainment as a position where executing proposals is constant with annual events such as the fall and spring concerts. He cited his work on planning this year's inaugural Ice Jam event as evidence of his experience in executing new ideas.
As for addressing negative views of UGBC that exist among the student body, Long said that the establishment of a programming caucus under Long and Kitlas' administration would increase communication and collaboration between the UGBC and other student organizations. "Communication is key," Long said. "The only way our campus will thrive is if we collaborate to identify issues and share ideas. It is the collective that makes us strong."
For the Domino and Lutfy campaign, Lufty said that her absence in UGBC involvement brings an outsider's perspective into the organization. Lufty also noted her campaign's desire for a registered student organization caucus as another way to increase student involvement in the UGBC.
Joyce said his dorm walks, along with a student leadership council composed of representatives from a variety of campus organizations, could help increase student participation in the UGBC.
"Dorm walks are extremely beneficial and should occur outside of the campaign season," Joyce said. "It is the most effective way to tell students what we are doing. It is the most effective way to get feedback from them."