Lucas Levine and Vance Vergara, A&S '15, are presidential and vice-presidential candidates looking to "bring UGBC down to Earth" and institute reform from a non-UGBC perspective when elections kick off on Tuesday.
We spoke to them about the fun things, a few hot-button issues and their vision of a Lucas-and-Vance-run UGBC.
What in your platform sets you apart?
Vance: What’s interesting when you check out the platforms is--at the core--a lot of things are very similar. What separates our platform, and us from the opponent is priorities. In our platform is our first 100 days in office, our “What’s the Deal Plan,” based off of the New Deal. Basically within the first 100 days in office the things that we have listed will be addressed or will be solved. That’s kind of one of the differences between our platform and platforms in the past. We’re coming out there and telling students what our priorities are and what will be addressed. Platforms are very long and it’s very unreasonable to say that you’re going to be able to accomplish every single goal. But at the same time you have to make a platform that’s ambitious and is going to keep you working hard on the all the issues that you want to address.
Lucas: Some of these ideas align with what Chris and Nanci want to accomplish as well, like better coffee in the Lower dining hall. When we’ve spoken to people within UGBC they have basically laughed at us when we said this was something that we wanted to get done. When this platform went live everyone we talked to was so pumped that was something we wanted to get done.
Lucas: I know that I haven’t read too much of the opponent's platform but I know that one of their goals is “taking our student government back” so I guess that they agree with us that the fundamental issue is re-engaging the student population that has become disenchanted with the process and has lost faith in UGBC as a vehicle for change. If this is the number one priority, I think having served for years of UGBC experience is not the number one thing to qualify someone for this position at this stage in UGBC’s development.
How would you currently describe the relationship between UGBC and the student body, and what do you want to change?
Vance: Disconnected. What’s interesting is the fact that a lot of the people within UGBC are unaware of the concerns of the student body. We were talking to members of UGBC and they would basically laugh in our face. People want to see this stuff. It’s very counterproductive to say that you’re going to do stuff and then not address it because it’s not serious enough.
Lucas: Parts of that disconnect points to a lack of a channel for the students to hold your representatives accountable and the representatives know that. If nothing is getting posted only and that people forget that UGBC exists after election season then they won’t be held accountable.
What is the biggest need you perceive in the student government?
Vance: To remain relevant and accessible. The fact of the matter is that the majority of students do not vote. I do not believe that the students really are apathetic but they are not engaged. They care very strongly about a number of issues but there are a lot of students that are disenfranchised by UGBC. One of the ways that we can re-engage the students is to make measurable difference in their lives, and listen to their concerns no matter how small they may be.
Lucas: That’s when you get big things done.
Sexual assault is a huge national issue on college campuses. Do you think BC should amend its current sexual assault policies? How so?
Lucas: It’s not something that we have come to a conclusion on in this campaign.
Vance: In regards to Title IX--I really like it. It's the only fair way to go about doing this. I can’t even comprehend having it another way. It’s one of those things that to me there really shouldn’t be any conversation--it's inherent civil rights.
How do you feel about BC’s 10-year plan?
Lucas: It’s awesome to see how BC has grown since we got here as freshmen. I’m sad that we don’t have 10 more years to be here and watch it grow, though.
Vance: There have been a lot of complications and there really hasn’t been much that they could have done about it. There hasn’t been much that anyone could have done about that.
How would you describe the relationship with your running mate in three words?
Lucas: Get shit done.
Vance: Very clear minded.
Why should students care about this election and vote?
Lucas: This really is a pivotal year for UGBC and there is no denying that. Students have lost faith in UGBC and our friends that complain about the little things that bother them; they don’t even realize that there is a way to address those things. If not now, then when?
What do you order at late night?
Lucas: Kashi Heart to Heart. But I love the chicken parm!
Vance: Chicken tenders and mozzarella sticks. Definitely easier to finish on the weekends.
Elections for UGBC president and vice-president will be held online on Tuesday, Feb. 18 and Wednesday, Feb. 19 via OrgSync.