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Student Assembly Votes Down Achampong, King’s Pick for Finance VP

Brian Lee, MCAS ’18, the pick by next year’s Undergraduate Government of Boston College leadership to be the organization’s vice president for financial affairs for 2017-18, was not confirmed for the position in a meeting Sunday night of the Student Assembly. The vote was 12-8 against in a blind vote conducted by ballot. All of the other VP picks were confirmed.

Akosua Achampong and Tt King, both MCAS ’18, next year’s UGBC president and executive vice president, said before the vote that they were impressed by Lee’s interest in making sure UGBC’s financial coordinators are passionate about the areas they work for. Lee was previously a financial coordinator for the AHANA+ Leadership Council.  

“We were excited to see that Brian both had the technical skills but also the passion for advocacy and sort of a desire to link those two things together,” King said before the vote.

Lee said before the vote that one of his goals was to bring transparency to UGBC’s finances and make people more aware of how UGBC spends its money.

Lee also wanted to make a change to how UGBC goes about spending its money. Currently, division heads each get a Purchase Card, or P-Card, with their name on it to make most of their division’s purchases. Division heads need to download bank statements and send them to financial coordinators to help carry out transactions. Lee suggested that the financial coordinators could have direct access to the bank statements to improve efficiency.

One concern raised by Niki Patel, UGBC’s current financial affairs VP and CSOM ’17, is that the person whose name is on the P-Card—always the division head—has to be the one to access the online account, because they are responsible for the charges on the card. To involve the financial coordinators in the way Lee suggested would create another step in the process and could be a liability, she said. Patel thinks a better solution would be to improve communication between coordinators and division heads.

“I just think we need to be careful about understanding the way the system is currently set up before just changing it and trying to streamline it blindly, without seeing why the procedures are there,” she said.

Achampong and King will now consider other applicants, and the SA will vote on their new choice just before the summer or once students are back in the fall.

Drew Boland, CSOM ’19, said he voted against Lee because he thinks the finance division should be more independent than Lee wanted. He also voted against Chris Kim, CSOM ’18, who was confirmed as the VP of student organizations.

“I think other candidates that applied for these respective positions were much more qualified and deserving than the ones that Akosua and Tt eventually chose,” he said.

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

May 1, 2017

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