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‘The Heights’ Endorses Fiore-Chettiar & Marchese

Published: Monday, February 17, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 09:02

The Heights endorses Nanci Fiore-Chettiar and Chris Marchese, both A&S ’15, for president and executive vice president of UGBC. The Fiore-Chettiar-Marchese team’s platform offers the best and most realistic vision for Boston College’s student government in the year ahead. With well-developed plans of action for many of their platform points and extensive UGBC experience under their belts, Fiore-Chettiar and Marchese are best equipped to execute their vision for UGBC in the year ahead.

UGBC currently stands at a crossroads. Both last year and this year were spent looking inward—last year with the creation of an entirely new structure for UGBC and this year with its implementation. UGBC, and whoever leads it next year, needs to move past this transitional phase, turn outward, and focus on building new relationships with both students and the administration. In the past, UGBC’s reputation has largely been defined by the successes or failures of its most visible projects—namely, the Fall and Spring Concert. UGBC must take the recent divestment of the programming department as a chance to establish a name for itself as a serious and responsible organization with the capability to advocate for more than students’ entertainment.

MORE: 2014 UGBC Election Guide

In this new structure, Fiore-Chettiar and Marchese have the clear advantage. As current senators, both have a considerable amount of UGBC experience—Fiore-Chettiar in both the executive and legislative branch, and Marchese in the legislative branch, where he is now serving as the president pro tempore of the Student Assembly (SA). Both are well-versed in how the student government works and what steps must be taken in order to effect their proposed changes. Although they do seem like a classic example of an insider team, Fiore-Chettiar and Marchese are aware of UGBC’s past shortcomings and have expressed both frustration with the way things are currently run and a desire to change UGBC culture and the manner in which it interacts with the rest of BC. They both advocated for more transparency in the SA this year, and, if elected, they promise to increase student awareness and access to UGBC’s initiatives, advocacy, and expenditures. Their plans include regular State of UGBC meetings, town halls, and more outreach to students, all of which are promising in terms of keping the student body informed and holding UGBC accountable for its actions.

The team of Lucas Levine and Vance Vergara, both A&S ’15, on the other hand, lacks a realistic plan for implementing its platform points. While Levine and Vergara outline several short-term goals in their “100 Days Plan” that may appeal to many students, they have not detailed any coherent larger vision, or even laid out the steps they would take to execute their immediate plans. They also appear to have little understanding of how policy advocacy works. While Levine and Vergara have been extremely active over the past three weeks, they offer the student body no specific way to hold them accountable for sustaining that level of commitment and energy—which is essential for the year-long term in office. Although running as outsiders lends their team a certain amount of strength, it is far more important that they seem to have no real perception of how to effect change in the organization.

Fiore-Chettiar and Marchese offer a balanced combination of short-term goals that can be accomplished during the next year and long-term objectives for which they can lay the groundwork. For example, they want to advocate for increased student rights, especially regarding free speech on campus, and use UGBC’s budget to support more green initiatives.

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