by Evan Jimenez
The Boston University Student Government Elections voting period is underway. The current field is a diverse one, with a record-breaking five slates vying for the Executive board. With this the most crowded year in BU history, all slates are trying to distinguish themselves to attract the biggest audience possible, while also making sure they answer the big question BU students have on their minds – “How is student government going to help me?”
Aditya Jain, Presidential Candidate from ConnectBU, decided to run for President when he found that quote “we as a student body were not connected… we weren’t united.” In addition to that, Jain feels that student government has “fallen out of relevancy” in recent years, and has been unable to make big changes as they had done in past years.
As Such, ConnectBU says their focus is on bringing Students together on a wide scale to make change happen. According to their platform, the slate’s goal is to “reunite BU and solve our boldest challenges: tuition, grades, mental health, and sustainability.” This focus is reflected in their BU Games initiative, which calls for University-wide games to highlight the strengths of various students.
Jain, who served as an Engineering Senator, believes that his experiences in Student Government as a “problem solver” makes him the best qualified to serve as President.
So far, the slate has received multiple endorsements from Campus Sustainability organizations such as the BU Outing Club, and the Habitat for Humanity chapter at BU. A BU sophomore, who asked to remain anonymous, endorsed ConnectBU because she believed that Jain is someone who has committed to sustainability, and can get things done.
OneBU, led by Oliver Pour, is a slate that isn’t concerned with titles. Pour did not attend the online debate hosted by the Student Election Commission, making him the only Presidential Candidate not to appear. Instead, Nyah Jordan, who is listed as the slate’s Vice President for Internal Affairs, appeared instead.
OneBU declares that its mission is to quote “Bring the Government to the Students of BU,” and that they will work to build an environment conducive to growth and change. In an interview with WTBU News, Pour said that he wanted to address a lack of community among freshmen to help them adjust to life on campus, and keep BU spirit high.
So far, OneBU has been endorsed by 27 student organizations across BU campus, including several Jewish empowerment groups. In a statement, Pour said that the slate would not be able to make their dream of an inclusive campus a reality without endorsements like these.
Daniel Kelly, a sophomore in CAS and 4BU’s presidential candidate, transferred to BU in the fall. As he adjusted to campus life, he began to notice a lot of the issues that faced students, especially in regard to student government. It was then he decided he wanted to make a difference.
4BU says their focus is on bringing forth changes that aren’t just going to fix short term issues but establish long term changes that will create a “self-sustaining government.” One of these changes, as Kelly explained in the StuGov E-board debate, is creating focus senator positions for underrepresented individuals on campus.
Still, 4BU seems to be struggling in terms of popular support. The slate currently has only three endorsements from organizations around campus, with only a few days left of voting. Kelly has not responded to our request for a comment, and it is uncertain whether he is confident about his chances going in to April 15th.
With BeLoudBU, Archelle Thelemaque has the distinction of being the only female Presidential candidate in the crowded field. Thelemaque has focused on building a campaign of excitement and intrigue, making it known just how much she loves BU and how that passion translates to effectiveness.
BeLoudBU tells voters that they want students to be heard, whether it’s by other students, BU Administration, or the President of the United States. Thelemaque says that she wants to inspire students to be active and engaged in government in order to make their thoughts heard. In an interview with WTBU News, she said that that excitement starts with the slate.
As part of the movement that the slate insists is essential to their platform, many organizations have endorsed BeLoudBU, including the Daily Free Press, BU’s primary student newspaper. The paper’s editorial board said their support comes not just from the passion that the slate demonstrates, but their confidence quote “in this slate’s abilities to translate student concerns into actionable initiatives and utilize administration for student benefit.”
Josee Matela, a senior studying journalism and international relations, endorsed the slate because she believes that they can create a welcoming environment for students to participate.
Thelemaque said in a statement to WTBU that she believes that a diverse amount of endorsements help emphasize the connection their slate has with students, and to include them in the decision making process. “Student government needs to be for the students, and by reaching out to these organizations and getting their support while campaigning, we are starting an important conversation and making it our responsibility to be the slate that works for the students and not just student government.“
IgniteBU, led by Collin McCormick, is focused on a student-centric initiative. McCormick says that his slate is focused on making student government streamlined and effective. The name, McCormick says, came about from a desire to make student government what it has never been before.
One of the pillars of the IgniteBU slate is the Green Line initiative, which would provide free or reduced fares for students on the Green Line. McCormick argues that this is possible because of the precedents set by Boston College and Suffolk University.
Still, IgniteBU is lagging behind in endorsements in comparison with other slates. McCormick’s slate has the second-lowest number of endorsements from the BU community, but they do find support in the Leather Apron at-large party, of which McCormick used to be a member. Marisa Gregory, a member of Leather Apron, said that her help was due to an overlap in ideals between IgniteBU and her party.
The Student government field is as crowded as ever, with a record amount of slates trying to convince students that they can make a difference in government. In such a time of turmoil, at least there is still one decision that falls on the plate of student.