UGBC Holds Candidacy Meeting, New Guidelines Introduced
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 01:02
Last night in Stokes Hall, all prospective candidates for UGBC president and vice president—eight in total—gathered for a mandatory informational meeting. Although the teams are not yet official, the students who attended were Matt Alonsozana, A&S ’14; Nick Barrett, CSOM ’14; Ricky Knapp, A&S ’14; Tim Koch, A&S ’14; Molly McCarthy, A&S ’14; Matt Nacier, A&S ’14; Tim Strakosch, A&S ’14; and Chris Truglio, CSOM ’14.
Chris Osnato, A&S ’13 and current UGBC President, opened the meeting. Osnato discussed the challenges of the election process and his time as presidency. He warned students not to take the position lightly.
“The election process can be a lot of fun,” Osnato said. “I encourage all of you to get on an election team and have a good time with it … Boston College has a very unique election process and the student body really joins together during elections. However, I will warn you, the election process is very rigorous. Your grades will go down and there is a lot of stress. If you want to win, you have to put in the time and effort … It’s an intense process and it’s an intense position. There really is no such thing as a week off.”
A presentation on the election process and regulations was then given by the Election Committee, headed by co-chairs Carter Bielen, A&S ’13, Christie Wentworth, A&S ’13, and Ross Fishman, CSOM ’14.
This year’s campaign kickoff, the night on which candidates can begin their campaigning, will be held on March 18 after the 7:00 p.m. UGBC meeting. Primary debates will be held on March 20, and primary voting will be on March 25 and 26. The final voting for the top two teams,will be held on April 4 and 5.
This year, the Election Committee has altered the election process as a result of feedback from last year’s elections. A statement of candidacy, which can include the candidate’s platform, slogan, team color, and logo, is now required. Every team running for election must also appoint a student Elections Committee liaison. This campaign member is responsible for acting as a mediator between the candidate teams and the Elections Committee in case of any complaints or concerns. The budget given to teams for campaigning, originally $500 before final voting, has now been reduced to $300. Bielen said that in past elections, campaign teams felt that the $500 budget was unnecessary, but that they had to use it to stay competitive.
The sanctioning system has also been changed since last year. Violations are now broken down into two categories: minor and major violations. Campaign teams that commit minor violations will be asked to stop by the Elections Committee. If minor violations are repeated, sanctions will result. If a campaign team commits a major violation, they will face sanctions and their campaign could be suspended, or they could be disqualified. Unlike prior election seasons, according to Bielen, the Elections Committee is intending to sanction campaign teams that commit violations.
Students are now allowed to run for both a Senate seat and also UGBC president or vice president only until the primaries. If their campaign team moves to the final voting stage, they will be asked to step out of the senate race. Bielen stated that those running for both president and a Senate seat would hold an unfair advantage over other prospective Senate members.
Unlike past campaigning seasons, private endorsements are now approved by the Elections Committee. This means that while students cannot represent their organization, they can publicly endorse a team on their own accord.
“Opinions of student leaders are relevant to elections,” Bielen said. “We want students to be able to contribute and play a part in the election season.”
The Elections Committee concluded the meeting by stressing the importance of the candidates’ roles within the BC community. They asked students to abide by BC’s mission and remain exemplary models for their peers throughout the season.