The Student Assembly (SA) of UGBC confirmed Emma Searle, MCAS ’23, and Avery Olsen, Lynch ’22, to the 2021-22 Executive Council on Tuesday night.
Searle and Olsen will serve as the directors of communications and Student Initiatives (SI) for the next academic year, respectively. Both will work alongside UGBC President-elect Jack Bracher and Vice President-elect Gianna Russi, both MCAS ’22.
The SA approved Olsen and Searle unanimously, with multiple representatives voicing their support.
Bracher spoke to Olsen’s positive attitude, desire to create a welcoming environment at BC, and her three years of experience in SI, a division within UGBC that creates programming to address student needs and concerns.
SA representatives also voiced their support of Searle, citing her ability to lead and her passion for communications. Bracher mentioned that Searle plans to get the student body excited about UGBC and its initiatives by expanding its presence on social media.
SA Representative Samuel O’Connor, MCAS ’21, asked both candidates if they would take a salary in light of current UGBC president Christian Guma, CSOM ’21, and his staff’s decision to forgo their salaries this year.
Searle and Olsen both said they have yet to discuss the topic with Russi and Bracher. SA representatives Ivy DiBiase, MCAS ’22, and Sarah Farnan, MCAS ’23, objected to a discussion of the topic altogether, saying the topic was insensitive to students with differing socioeconomic backgrounds.
“I personally do not believe that’s an appropriate question,” DiBiase said.
The SA also confirmed SA Representative and Parliamentarian Dennis Wieboldt, MCAS ’22, as the president pro tempore of the SA, effective immediately following the resignation of Laura Perrault, MCAS ’21, on Monday.
Wieboldt proposed a resolution that called for the creation of a number of regulations for presidential rule-making, which passed unanimously Tuesday night. These new regulations include requiring the president to consult with OSI, provide an impact statement for a rule-making decision, and describe the rule in an executive memorandum.
Mitzy Monterroso-Bautista, MCAS ’22, was not confirmed after receiving Bracher and Russi’s nomination for director of diversity and inclusion for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Monterroso-Bautista, current SA representative and ALC policy coordinator, received 13 votes to confirm her nomination and one vote against. Six SA representatives abstained from voting, leaving Monterroso-Bautista five votes shy of the supermajority needed for confirmation.
SA representatives called into question the process Bracher and Russi used to select Monterroso-Bautista.
According to the UGBC Constitution, membership in the Executive Council is left to the discretion of the UGBC president with the “advice and consent of a supermajority of the Student Assembly.”
The UGBC Constitution does not stipulate how the president should choose a candidate.
After receiving what Bracher called an “unprecedented number of applications” for the diversity and inclusion director position, he and Russi created a five-person team made up of themselves and current diversity and inclusion council members Chinenye Ugocha, MCAS ’21, Thomas Boyce, CSOM ’21, and Nick Claudio, MCAS ’22.
Bracher said that the team chose five candidates out of the 12 or 13 that applied, and proceeded to use rank-choice voting to determine which of the five candidates would be chosen for the nomination.
Bracher said that Monterroso-Bautista’s time in UGBC, her lived experience, and her passion for making BC more inclusive qualified her for the position.
Monterroso-Bautista, at the beginning of the discussion and during a period of questioning, stressed her experience with ALC, the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center, and as an orientation leader as grounds for her qualification.
She also outlined plans for improving communication between the SA and the diversity and inclusion division, and said she would meet regularly with members of UGBC to prioritize and promote the interests of disenfranchised groups at BC.
“It’s hard to be a marginalized student on campus,” she said.
Douglas Baker, MCAS ’22, took issue with this selection process and questioned why Urwa Hameed, MCAS ’22, wasn’t included as one of the five final candidates considered, despite her focus on intersectional policies as outlined in her UGBC presidential bid earlier this year.
“I was never afforded the chance to be there in the first place,” Hameed said.
Bracher asked that Hameed speak with him directly if she had any questions about why she was not ultimately chosen for the diversity and inclusion director position and defended his decision to nominate Monterroso-Bautista.
“Do I feel like it was in any way partisan?” Bracher said. “No.”
Conor McCormick, MCAS ’22, is the current director of the diversity and inclusion division. He, along with representatives Leonardo Escobar, MCAS ’22, and Alexandra Katz, Lynch ’23, all applied for next year’s director position but were not chosen.
Despite not receiving the nomination, all three spoke in support of Monterroso-Bautista.
“[Mitzy] has passion for UGBC that is hard to find,” McCormick said.
Monterroso-Bautista and members of SA—including DiBiase, Jack Carter, CSOM ’23, and Farnan, among others—argued that the debate had devolved into partisan squabbles.
In addition to her plans for diversity and inclusion director, the SA also discussed Monterroso-Bautista’s decision not to support the addition of an Italian Heritage Day, her role in Guma’s impeachment, and whether SA representatives were making sour faces at one other over Zoom.
Bracher and Russi will be nominating Moterroso-Bautista again at next Tuesday’s SA meeting, The Heights confirmed.
To close the meeting, current UGBC Vice President Kevork Atinizian, CSOM ’22, condemned personal attacks he said have been going on for the past three weeks and threatened to remove SA members from the meeting in the future if things got heated again.
“Respectfully, to some of you, cut the shit,” he said.
Featured Image by Madeleine Romance / Heights Editor
Correction (3/29/21, 10:23 a.m.): The original version of this article referred to OSI as SI.