News, On Campus, Top Story

UGBC Candidates Include Outsiders and Current Vice President

After meeting the GPA and disciplinary requirements set out by the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) and acquiring and submitting the necessary 250 undergraduate signatures by Jan. 29, three teams have been nominated for the Undergraduate Government of Boston College president and executive vice president in this year’s UGBC presidential elections. The three pairs that will make their first appearance at the Feb. 21 campaign kickoff are Anthony Perasso, LSOE ’17, and Rachel Loos, MCAS ’18; Elizabeth Foley, MCAS ’17, and Joseph McCarthy, CSOM ’17; and Olivia Hussey, current UGBC executive vice president and MCAS ’17, and Meredith McCaffrey, MCAS ’17.

According to Adam Rosenbloom, co-chair of the UGBC Election Committee and MCAS ’16, there were a few teams who submitted intent forms to run, but never submitted the required signatures.

Now that the three teams have been qualified to run, they will prepare for the Feb. 21 campaign kickoff. The event, held in the Vanderslice Cabaret Room, will begin with each team giving a short speech about its platform, followed by games the Election Committee has prepared for the teams, said Megan Azzalina, the graduate assistant for the UGBC Election Committee and GLSOE ’17. The games will be both fun and competitive, and are set up to show the skills of the participating teams, while getting the crowd involved and excited, Azzalina said.

“We want to show teamwork between the teams,” Azzalina said. “The games are meant to show how well the vice president and president work together and things like that.”

The kickoff will then be followed by a debate in the Cabaret Room on Sunday, Feb. 28., when the candidates will discuss their platforms and engage in a formal debate. This will lead up to the voting booths opening at 12 a.m. on Mar. 2 until 8 p.m. on Mar. 3. The results will then be released at 8:15 p.m. on Mar. 3.

“This is really about explaining your stance and what you believe the issues are at BC, and then just really going out and persuading others to also believe that and vote for you.”

– Adam Rosenbloom, co-chair of the UGBC Election Committee and MCAS ’16

“We’re really trying to make, as always, the election season as fair as possible,” Azzalina said. “We’re completely unbiased and we’re trying to reflect that in all of our actions, and we’re definitely really excited about it and about getting involved in this campaign … This is our time of the year, so we’re ready.”

Perasso, who is an editor for satirical campus newspaper The New England Classic, and Loos noted the similarities between their campaign and those of the U.S. presidential candidates.

“For example, part of us wants free college for everyone, and part of us wants to build a big wall,” Perasso and Loos said in an email. “We would tell you more, but we don’t even know what exactly we’re doing because we’re still being molded into the politicians our Big Corporate Donors want us to be.”

Foley and McCarthy both expressed their excitement for their team’s candidacy, explaining that it has been their goal since their freshman year. Foley said that her various positions on campus as an RA, and in the Office of First Year Experience, the First Year Service Program, and the Bystander Intervention Program have given her insight into the real issues facing BC students.

Foley noted that in the past two years, the number of students voting, along with student engagement in UGBC, has decreased. She said that the pair hopes to change that by encouraging students to see the opportunities and resources offered by UGBC, and by being as transparent as possible about their ideas for their campaign.

“Over the course of the past three years, Joey and I have committed ourselves to what we like to call ‘boots on the ground’ student affairs work,” Foley said in an email. “It is with this spirit of engagement and conversation that Joey and I are hoping to revitalize UGBC.”

McCarthy noted that the two are considered outside candidates, and expressed his hope that people will not quickly dismiss them for that. As the two move forward, McCarthy said, the focus for their campaign is to “Run for BC, not just UGBC” by presenting tangible ideas with the support of the BC community.

“With our diverse campaign team, we plan on giving this election our all,” McCarthy said in an email. “Although we cannot go too much in-depth, we just want people to know that we plan on being honest, transparent, and fun as possible as we can in the upcoming weeks.”

Similarly, Hussey and McCaffrey expressed excitement for the upcoming elections. The two said they look forward to listening and engaging with students all over campus.

“Elections are a great time for students across campus to rally together and share their ideas, and we encourage all members of the the BC community to be engaged and aware throughout the campaign process,” McCaffrey said in an email. “We cannot wait to share our vision for a better BC with the student body, and we wish the best of luck to all the other teams.”

In the meantime, the Elections Committee is aiming for a smooth, successful, and fair season as it prepares for the upcoming events, Rosenbloom said. Because this is his fourth year on the committee, he said that he is hoping to avoid any personal attacks against other candidates, which he experienced in the 2013 elections.

“This is really about explaining your stance and what you believe the issues are at BC, and then just really going out and persuading others to also believe that and vote for you,” Rosenbloom said.

Featured Image by Kelsey McGee / Heights Graphics

February 3, 2016