The Student Assembly (SA) of UGBC voted against re-electing Jack Carter, CSOM ’23, as student-athlete representative after holding two votes at an SA meeting on Tuesday night.
The SA confirmed three other nominees with declarative votes at the meeting. Christie Louis, MCAS ’24, will serve as the SA representative for the AHANA+ Leadership Council for the remainder of the 2020-21 term. Caira Matthieu, MCAS ’23, and Mary Su, MCAS ’22, were confirmed to serve as representatives for the Montserrat Coalition and international students for the 2021-22 academic year, respectively.
Gianna Russi, vice president-elect of UGBC and MCAS ’22, said while nominating Carter that she is confident that he can advocate for student-athletes, as evidenced by both his work in the SA and also as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
“His experience in SAAC is particularly compelling as his work within this committee has allowed him to foster connections with fellow student-athletes and administrators in the office of BC Athletics,” said Russi. “These connections have provided invaluable insight into student-athlete needs on campus across different backgrounds, teams, and experiences.”
SA Representative Taline Ratanjee, Lynch ’21, questioned Carter’s commitment to supporting AHANA+ athletes.
“How are you going to help the minority AHANA students within athletics and the community that you’re representing?” said Ratanjee, Lynch ’21. “Because I know I saw you at the [Community Relations Committee] hearing, and I was a little bit confused as to why you didn’t know the ALC acronym, or that much about it, as a minority student on campus.”
Carter, in response, cited struggles with keeping track of acronyms. Along with UGBC committees, he said, he has to keep track of all the different groups within SAAC.
“I think I proved tonight that my memory is just not there for acronyms and committees,” Carter said.
Ratanjee said it’s crucial for Carter to keep track of all the acronyms.
“Thank you for answering my questions, and I know that there’s a lot of acronyms, but I would appreciate you knowing them because, as an SA rep on UGBC, it’s crucial, especially because you’re not only representing student-athletes, but you’re representing, like, Boston College as a whole,” she said.
The first vote to confirm Carter failed, with 11 representatives voting yes and nine abstaining. Eighteen votes are required for confirmation.
In response to his confirmation failing, Carter said that he hoped that the votes of SA members were not politically motivated.
“I didn’t provide perfect answers for everything, but if this is something that’s motivated politically, like, I really try to avoid siding with one side or another,” he said. “I just want to do what’s best for the people that I represented.”
Later on in the meeting, SA Representative Douglas Baker, MCAS ’22, asked why the representative for student-athletes “always” comes from the men’s track and field team.
“One of the questions brought up was, why [is] the student-athlete representatives always going to be coming from the men’s track and field cross country team,” said Baker. “And, at the way he answered some of the questions Taline posed, I seriously think we should … give somebody else a chance at having this opportunity.”
Nicole Clermont, a member of the women’s track and field team and the director of communications and marketing of the SAAC, said Carter is one to take personal initiative.
“He’s always reached out to the student-athletes for their input,” said Clermont, Lynch ’22. “He is able to contribute at SAAC meetings and relay the message of UGBC correctly and adequately to student-athletes.”
A second vote to confirm Carter failed, this time with 12 votes in favor and eight abstentions. The only SA member to change their vote was Louis.
Louis was confirmed as the ALC representative with 21 votes in favor and no abstentions. She will replace Mitzy Monterroso-Bautista, MCAS ’22, as the representative for the remainder of this academic year.
Russi said that after written applications, interviews, and consultation with the Montserrat Office, she decided to nominate Mathieu, for the position of SA representative for the Montserrat Coalition. Mathieu was confirmed for the position with a vote of 22 yes votes and no abstentions or no votes.
“Caira demonstrated a profound passion for advocacy demonstrated in her experience working with children from underprivileged backgrounds, who have experienced trauma and hardship,” Russi said. “She is determined to advocate for all Montserrat students on campus and best represent their needs through effective and honest communication.”
Russi said she came to the decision to nominate Su, for the position of SA representative for international students after Su thoughtfully responded to questions suggested by the Office of International Students and Scholars. Su was confirmed with 21 yeses and one abstention.
“I will listen to the concerns of the whole international student body and to make sure that by representing the international students [at] BC, I can help other international students, as well, to gain a more enjoyable BC experience,” Su said.
Featured Image by Nicole Vagra / Heights Staff