BU Student Government: Which Slate Will You Choose?
Voting begins today, ends next Monday
Crisp blouses and blazers bearing campaign buttons, newly printed campaign posters, and free cupcakes were all part of last week’s Student Government Election Kickoff, signaling the beginning of a week of frantic campaigning.
Executive board candidates from this year’s two competing slates, BU’s Push to Start and TrueBU, were on hand to meet with students to promote their platforms and strengthen their support. The kickoff gave student voters the opportunity to meet the candidates and voice their concerns about issues that matter to them. Voting begins online at noon today and runs through next Monday.
Heading the TrueBU ticket, whose platform emphasizes community, empowerment, and vision, is Alexander Golob (CAS’16, CFA’16), for president, Sandra Soto (SED’16), for executive vice president, Cassandra Shavney (CAS’15), for vice president of internal affairs, and Salma Yehia (CAS’15), for vice president of finance.
Golob points to his current position as CFA student government president as proof that he has the experience necessary to lead, calling the CFA government “a microcosm for the larger student government.”
“To me, I believe we should build a community, empower students, and have a long-term vision for BU so that student government is included in the BU culture, the BU DNA, and so students know it’s a way to make changes happen,” Golob says.
Those changes would include collaborating with Student Health Services Behavioral Medicine to create a peer-to-peer mental health support service, the establishment of a grant program to be funded by Student Government that would support community-oriented student projects and start-ups, and the hosting of bimonthly forums with students, faculty, and administration.
BU’s Push to Start slate, headed by current student government executive vice president Richa Kaul (CAS’16), running for president, is devoted to bringing inclusivity, continuity, and transparency to Student Government, with an overall effort to address quality-of-life issues for students and improve their university experience.
“Our slate is very much based on realistic, tangible changes,” says Kaul. “We have the ability to see what will work on this campus and how to accomplish those goals.”
Extended late night service for the BU Shuttle (BUS), more options for vacation housing, increased international student services, and a database of student talent are just some of the immediate goals of BU’s Push to Start. The candidates also hope to improve the relationship between students and administration.
“We need to work to earn students’ trust so they can come to us with their problems,” Kaul says. “But in a parallel way, administration has to realize that when we do come to them with an issue, it’s one of legitimate concern to the community…You can’t get one done without the other.”
BU’s Push to Start team: Kaul, Joe Ferme (CAS’15), for executive vice president, Jamie Ellis (CAS’15, COM’15), for vice president of internal affairs, and Josh Mosby (CAS’17), for vice president of finance.
The mission of the BU Student Government, according to its website, is to “represent the voice of the undergraduate student community…to advocate on behalf of the students…and support the continued development of all aspects of the University experience.”
“I’ve already seen a lot of growth in the amount of activity that our Student Government has in the community and the amount we’ve been able to get done as a result of the growth in our relationship with the administration,” says current president Dexter McCoy (COM’14).
Among Student Government’s most recent accomplishments are the implementation of gender neutral housing and the addition of more buses during daytime BU Shuttle service. But while student government has done much to improve the campus, challenges remain. Chief among them, says McCoy, is communication.
“Each year it seems like we try to be connected through different media, social media, but we ultimately have fewer conversations,” says McCoy. “That, I think, is the biggest challenge for my successor—fostering those conversations within the BU community.”
BU student government elections are this week. To cast your vote, log on to the StudentLink starting today, Monday, March 31, 2014, at noon and click the banner on the homepage. Voting closes at noon, Monday, April 7.
Paula Sokolska can be reached at email@example.com Comments