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Russell Simons, Meredith McCaffrey Elected 2016-17 UGBC President, Executive Vice President

The Elections Committee announced Friday evening that Russell Simons, MCAS ’17, and Meredith McCaffrey, MCAS ’17, will be the 2016-17 Undergraduate Government of Boston College president and executive vice president.

Simons and McCaffrey received 1137 votes, 442 votes above Matthew Ulrich, MCAS ’17, and John Miotti’s, MCAS ’17, team. Nikita Patel, CSOM ’17, and Joseph Arquillo’s, LSOE ’17, team came in third place with 668 total votes. Patel and Arquillo’s team was docked 70 votes because of unsolicited Facebook messages concerning the election, Adam Rosenbloom, co-chair of the Elections Committee and MCAS ’16, said.

“I think the students got a good opportunity to hear a bunch of different ideas and really good ideas from very different teams,” Simons said.

Both Simons and McCaffrey have been a part of UGBC in the past. Simons currently serves as vice president of student organizations in UGBC, while McCaffrey is a member of the Senate.

Simons and McCaffrey, whose campaign slogan was “Strength in Unity,” focused their campaign on three goals: quality, inclusivity, and accessibility. Simons and McCaffrey hope to focus on day-to-day improvements for BC student life, while also continuing their support for diversity and inclusion programs on campus. The duo also hopes to increase the transparency of UGBC in the coming year.

“Going forward, we hope to engage the other candidates in greater conversation about how to accomplish our respective goals for next year, since we hope this will allow students to be more informed in their voting,” Simons said in an email. “We believe in our mission of ‘Strength in Unity,’ and are excited to continue sharing our ideas with the entire student body.”

Ulrich and Miotti’s campaign would have worked to increase school spirit through different programming events, and they also wanted to increase the conversation about mental health on campus.

Patel and Arquillo’s team wanted to focus on financial aid reform, support for diversity programs, and the creation of a campus guide for first-year students.

Simons and McCaffrey will address the University’s strategic planning in the first few months of their term. The duo plans to have conversations with the administration about the future of the University, Simons said. Simons and McCaffrey will begin their work in May and continue their plans throughout the summer.

Simons and McCaffrey were also the winners of the UGBC debate held March 21. The team received the most popular votes from the audience following its discussion of diversity issues and policy implementation.

McCaffrey originally planned to run as the EVP to the current EVP, Olivia Hussey, MCAS ’17. When Hussey dropped out of the race for personal reasons, McCaffrey recruited Simons to be her running partner. The team joined the ballot when the Elections Committee decided to extend the nomination deadline to create more competition.

Prior to the original Jan. 29 deadline, Simons thought about running for UGBC president. He ultimately decided against it due to his busy schedule, he said. When presented with the opportunity to run with McCaffrey, however, he changed his mind, Simons said.

Simons believes the extended elections period this year negatively affected the teams because it was difficult for the entire student body to stay attentive for so long. A lot of the campaign’s messages were lost, Simons said.

“I think all of us who were campaigning wish it was a little bit shorter,” Simons said.

Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor

April 1, 2016