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Heckelman, Garrigan Elected Next UGBC President and VP in Historic, Uncontested Election

Meghan Heckelman and Katie Garrigan are officially UGBC’s next president and vice president, following the first uncontested presidential and vice presidential election in Heights archival history.

“I’m feeling really good, really excited,” Heckelman, LSEHD ’25, said.  “I think this was a really solid year, and I’m excited for another great one next year.”

In total, 543 students cast votes in Monday’s presidential election—an 81 percent decrease from last year’s turnout of 2,997 and the lowest turnout in over a decade

“I think that in an uncontested election … less people are going to come out and vote than something that’s a little bit more contested and has some stuff leading up to it,” Heckelman said.

All UGBC Senate seats were also up for re-election on Monday, 12 of which went to incumbent student senators. 

The Class of 2027’s election featured the most crowded field, with nine candidates vying for just five seats. Grant Drinkwater, CSOM ’27, Minnah Abdel-Naby, Mariame Diop, Addie Weiss, and William Rafti, all MCAS ’27, were elected to serve as student senators for their class. A total of 239 students voted in the class of 2027’s election.

The ballot for the Class of 2026, however, was fielded by just five candidates. Delphine Gareau, Cristina Gregory, Christopher Kerwin, Varun Singh, all MCAS ’26, and Cami Kulbieda, LSEHD ’26, all secured positions as student senators. A total of 167 students voted in the Class of 2026’s election.

The election for the Class of 2025 featured a noncompetitive, five-candidate pool as well. Elie Assi, Katie McCaffrey, Jon Shea, Andrew Mimmo, and Daniel Wise, all MCAS ’25, were elected as student senators. A total of 117 students voted in the Class of 2025’s election.

Heckelman and Garrigan—current UGBC vice president and intersectionality committee chair, respectively—ran unopposed after no other candidates declared an intent to run by the Election Committee’s deadline. 

“We’ve been able to really foster relationships in our organization, so so we didn’t have to worry too much about harnessing all those votes and getting people ahead of time,” Garrigan, MCAS ’25, said.

With a slogan of “forward together,” Heckelman and Garrigan, ran on a seven-point platform that seeks to improve all aspects of the Boston College student experience and meet students where they are.

“It’s not [students’] responsibility to figure out what we are doing, it’s our responsibility to communicate that with them, to get in front of them, to understand where their needs are, and how we can support them,” Garrigan said.

During a town hall event last Thursday, the team stressed the importance of intersectionality and pledged to increase support for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts with the AHANA+ Leadership Council, Queer Leadership Council, and Council for Students with Disabilities. 

In the coming months, Heckelman and Garrigan said they plan to continue ongoing UGBC Senate initiatives, including laundry subsidies for Montserrat students, potentially funding transportation costs for clinicals and practicums, and advocating for environmental justice.

“[Funding transportation for clinicals] has been something that I’ve been passionate about since my freshman year—it is a complete equity issue,” Garrigan said. “Students are trying to get to their programs to complete credits for their education, and if there’s some way that we can help make that easier for them on the institutional level, then that is absolutely on the top of our priority list.”

Monday was markedly quieter than past UGBC election days, which have often featured students canvassing for votes around campus and occasional drama as candidates compete for the presidency—a contentious 25-point vote deduction decided last year’s election.

“I think we’ve been using the past couple weeks—just kind of knowing what was coming—to lay the foundation and figure out logistics for the transition so that we can spend the bulk of our time on the vision for UGBC and talking about meeting students where they are,” Heckelman said.  

Update (4/10/2024, 12:50 a.m.): This article was updated from a previous version to include statements from Meghan Heckelman and Katie Garrigan.

April 9, 2024