The kickoff event for the Undergraduate Government of Boston College presidential race was held on Tuesday, March 15, in the Vanderslice Cabaret Room, where all those in the contest for office were given the opportunity to share the objectives and platforms of their campaigns in addition to participating in games.
The six candidates in contention were approved for the official UGBC presidential ballot on March 1 — a primary election is to be held on March 22 to narrow the contest to three teams preliminary to the general election.
The final teams in contention for office (the positions of president and executive vice president respectively) are Russell Simons, MCAS ’17, and Meredith McCaffrey, MCAS ’17, Nikita Patel, CSOM ’17, and Joseph Arquillo, LSOE ’17, Ryan Fairhurst, MCAS ’17, and Charlie Butrico, MCAS ’18, Andrew Meck, MCAS ’18, and Jonathan Barbosa, LSOE ’18, Matthew Ulrich, MCAS ’17, and John Miotti, MCAS ’17, and Anthony Perasso, LSOE ’17, and Rachel Loos, MCAS ’18.
Each team was given the opportunity to outline the core objectives of its campaign to the audience at the kickoff event. Accordingly, teams revealed their campaign slogans, emphasized the necessity for bureaucratic reform, and defined UGBC’s purpose and its implications for those in office. Many of the teams in contention noted the organization’s ineffectiveness in getting policies approved in the past, and stressed the importance of introducing plans aimed at improving diversity and mental health on campus.
Candidates Perasso and Loos presented first and performed a rendition of “Wonderwall.” They outlined the goals of their campaign, joked about the fact that other campaigns joined the race past the original nomination deadline, and concluded their performance with a presentation of their campaign slogan: “Bring Back the Funk.”
Candidates Fairhurst and Butrico followed and chose to redefine the goals of UGBC with specificity to the changing needs of the student body. “It is difficult for UGBC to represent one, unified voice of the students, so we feel that UGBC can serve you best by working to connect all of the different groups on campus and individual students with the administrators,” said Fairhurst. Said Butrico of Fairhurst’s plan, “We want a more productive relationship with all of the students at BC, and one of the ways to do that is to actively advocate for all students, especially continuing to advocate for marginalized groups on campus.”
The presentations were then interrupted by the “Newlywed Game,” where candidates were tested on how much they knew about their running mates. They were asked to recall what their favorite pick-up line would be, what kind of dog they would want, and where their partners lived freshman year.
Candidates Patel and Arquillo presented their platform subsequent to the conclusion of the “Newlywed Game,” and began their presentation by revealing their campaign slogan: “For BC, Not Just UGBC.” Patel noted the need for a more efficient and student-centered initiative to promote unison and productivity. “We want to make UGBC more accessible, relevant, and serviceable to the needs of the student body,” said Patel. Arquillo followed by identifying areas for improvement in the current system: “Making UGBC more accessible to students means having a more open line of communication with all students,” he said. “We want to increase representation for programs on campus that address diversity and diversity education.”
Candidates Simon and McCaffrey followed by revealing their own campaign slogan, “Strength in Unity,” and showed their official campaign video to the audience. “Our goals for this campaign are quality, inclusivity, and accessibility,” said McCaffrey. The candidates also stressed that BC is currently undergoing its strategic planning phase, and whoever is elected is poised to have a tremendous impact on the University for years to come.
“Student government has to be effective and all-inclusive, and we’re focusing on improving your BC experience while making sure your say in UGBC matters,” said Simmons.
The six teams played the “cookie game” following Simon and McCaffrey’s presentation, where they were challenged to move an Oreo cookie from their forehead to their mouth without using their hands.
Candidates Ulrich and Miotti presented next, and championed their campaign slogan, “Hype Up the Heights.” They began by referencing The Boston Globe’s article that showed the lack of attendance of BC students at athletic events. Both candidates hope to bring back school spirit to Boston College through a variety of means and programs. “Happiness is at the core of a positive college experience and school spirit, so we want to advocate for academic programs and athletic programs on campus that bring us all together and unify us as one student body,” Miotti said.
Meck and Barbosa were the final candidates to present, and referenced their experiences as transfer students to Boston College as formative of their decision to run for office and present a “New Perspective” to students at BC. “Providing support for groups on campus through funding efforts, room reservations, and recognition, and focusing on increasing this campus’ accessibility to students with disabilities are things we hope to accomplish in office,” said Meck.
Following Meck and Barbosa’s presentation, all candidates were given the opportunity to present their positions in conclusive 30-second speeches.
The general election will be held beginning on March 31, and voting will close on April 1 at 8:00 p.m.