Opinions, Letters To The Editor, Featured Column

LTE: An Open Letter To The Student Body From The UGBC Executive Council

We, the Executive Council of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College, are writing to better clarify and apologize for the recent personnel changes and replacement process made public on Sunday in our general UGBC meeting and in The Heights. Our administration has prided itself on transparency and openness—however, the replacement process for Executive Vice President Chris Marchese was not done in that same spirit, and for that, we apologize.

As the 11/18/2014 Heights‘ editorial rightfully points out, we did not follow constitutional guidelines, nor did we properly include the Student Assembly in our decision-making process. We wanted to act quickly to stabilize UGBC after the seat fell vacant last week in this unprecedented situation, but in retrospect, we recognize that the process was flawed. That being said, we are taking the following steps to rectify the situation. On Monday night, we met with the SA chairs and Conference Leader to apologize and develop a plan of action. We are working together to develop a re-evaluation process to determine Chris Marchese’s potential return for the spring semester as Executive Vice President. On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in Fulton 511, the senators will vote to confirm Connor Bourff as the Executive Vice President. We are proud of Connor for stepping up in this difficult situation, and we are confident in the choice for the new Executive Vice President.

We have also realized through this process that the Constitution is inconsistent and often ambiguous. Much of the last two years of UGBC have been misdirected by solely looking inward and revising documents and titles. We believe that this year has been the opposite—this year’s UGBC has made great strides in better representing the student body through policy changes and the adoption of a disability taskforce, better advancing campus health and discussion through Be Conscious and BC Ignites, and better utilizing student funds through more responsible planning and spending. We have also been working to release benchmark reports on the progress of the platform on which Nanci and Chris ran, which are planned for publication this week.

Over the holiday break, UGBC will commit resources—specifically the Rules Committee of the Student Assembly—to updating and clarifying our governing documents. These resources will be limited as to ensure that UGBC does not slow progress or lose focus of the needs of the student body. The new revisions will not interfere with UGBC’s new external approach—the goal is not to get bogged down in internal logistics and politics, but rather take a holistic and practical look at the Constitution to determine what will serve UGBC, and ultimately the student body, best. This process will be done as transparently as possible, and we will solicit student feedback throughout the process.

In their endorsement of the Nanci and Chris candidacy, The Heights wrote, “If elected, [Nanci and Chris] must also keep in mind that it is far easier to talk about transparency in someone else’s administration than it is to remain committed to their promises of an open government—when problems arise, they must be willing to stay honest with the student body about their shortcomings.” In the last week, we have acted in ways that we thought best served the student body—however, we have since realized that we made mistakes in that process. We are not ashamed to admit fault—we will always continue to address our shortcomings for the betterment of the student body.

The Executive Council of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College

Featured Image by Daniel Lee / Heights Senior Staff

November 19, 2014