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Eleven Freshmen to Compete in Thursday UGBC Elections

The Undergraduate Government of Boston College will hold Senate elections on Thursday for the five Class of 2023 seats, three at-large senator seats, and one Class of 2020 seat. Eleven freshmen are running for the 2023 seats, with three students running for the at-large seats and one lone senior running unopposed for the 2020 seat, according to candidate platforms sent to The Heights by the UGBC Elections Committee.

Three Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences students—Max Fisher, ’22, Kerry Soropoulos, ’23, and Urwa Hameed, ’22—are running for the at-large seats. Patrick O’Connell, MCAS ’20, is running unopposed for the sole vacant 2020 seat. 

Ten of the candidates for the freshman seat—Patrick Dumitrescu, Louis Gleason, Dennis Wieboldt, Lorenzo Leo, Sebastian Bodkin, Rahim Jessani, James Monohan, Ted Park, Benjamin Maxwell, and Katherine Kmetz—are MCAS students. Shakay Khatua is the only student in the Carroll School of Management in the race for the seat.

Gleason is currently an opinion columnist for The Heights.

Dumitrescu is running to advocate for specifically Newton campus residents. He said in his platform that he would focus on fixing the buses that run between the two campuses.

Gleason said in his platform that he hopes to improve academic resources on campus. He promised to expand tutoring hours into evenings; allow electronic note takin in all classes; and work with professors to increase the number of textbooks available through CengageUnlimited, an online textbook aggregator. His platform also made two quality-of-life suggestions: printer accessibility on Newton campus and Uber discount codes for BC students, which he suggested would be negotiated through UGBC.

Wieboldt’s platform include expanding O’Connell House’s hours of operation, improving printer access on Upper campus, and advocating for filtered water access for Medeiros residents.

Leo said he would like to see ice machines and filtered water in student dorms, later hours at Bapst Library, expanded dining options for residents of Upper Campus, and upgrades for BC’s course selection software. In his platform, Leo suggested that UGBC should draw money from the University’s endowment or raise it through student crowdsourcing.

Bodkin said in his platform that if elected, he would draw attention to the length of the breaks that BC bus drivers take at the Stuart Dining Hall stop. His platform also said that he would like to make it easier for first-year students to get involved in clubs. 

In his platform, Jessani said that he had concerns about the price of meals at BC, suggesting that it could be an obstacle for students looking to eat healthier or accommodate dietary restrictions. He also supported a formal system that would show students the prices of textbooks on third-party rental sites. He also suggested that UGBC publish a website or physical guide to aggregate advice for incoming students. 

Monohan said that he would use UGBC to organize “social groups” comprised of students from all grades, which would meet five times throughout the semester in order to facilitate interactions between underclassmen and upperclassmen. He would also like to disperse student “stand leaders” throughout the audience at games. These students would rally the crowd during lulls in action, according to his platform. Like other candidates, Monohan expressed concerns about the price of food in the dining halls. He also proposed a weekend-only bus route into Boston.

Park listed several topics that his advocacy would focus on: support for LGBTQ+ students, mental health resources, stronger responses to racist behavior on campus, and open conversations about sexual assault at BC.

Maxwell promised to work to increase the number of events on campus that promote diversity and inclusion. He also vowed to work with campus political groups to organize town hall events and discussions on campus.

Khatua’s platform largely suggested ways to ease the transition into college life. He endorsed lengthening the fall Student Involvement Fair to span two days and creating online resources to catalogue information about clubs. In addition, he suggested that UGBC compile the large number of emails that the University sends out each day into a single newsletter to limit inbox clutter. Khatua joined several other candidates in saying that the Newton bus route requires more attention, which he suggested could be done by retooling the bus tracking app.

Khatua’s platform endorsed creating positions within UGBC with “little-to-no responsibilities that allow for proper exposure of its functions to students, spreading awareness of the organization’s activities, and encouraging members to apply for more serious positions in the future.”

Kmetz said she would facilitate participation and involvement on campus among the freshman class. She would also like to develop awareness around current and culturally-relevant events, and make it easier for students to seek assistance from University Counseling Services.

The election will run from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Staff

October 2, 2019