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BetterBU running on campus saftey, tuition stability, transparency

The BetterBU slate announced its candidacy for spring 2013 Student Government executive board at an official press conference Monday.

Members of the Student Government e-board slate BetterBU School of Management juniors Aditya Rudra and Justin Jones announced their candidacy for the spring 2013 term. PHOTO BY CLINTON NGUYEN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The slate is focused on ending tuition hikes, increasing safety on and off campus and instituting a holiday bus service, said Aditya Rudra, BetterBU’s presidential candidate and current SG executive vice president.

BetterBU is running unopposed as of Monday, but if elected, they aim to encourage elections to have a bigger presence on campus, Rudra, a School of Management junior, said.

“We had the same problem last semester,” Rudra said. “If elected, we will try and make elections in the future more contested.”

BetterBU is also comprised of Lauren LaVelle, executive vice presidential candidate and SMG junior, Justin Jones, vice president of finance candidate and SMG junior and Jasmine Miller, vice president of internal affairs candidate and a College of Arts and Sciences freshman.

Rudra said the slate was chosen based on the candidates’ previous experience with BU student government.

“We wanted to find people who could hit the ground running next semester without a learning curve,” he said.

Rudra said that if elected, the slate aims to increase communication between SG and other groups on campus.

“I’d like to see relations with RHA [Residence Hall Associations], and I’d like to see relations with Student Health Services,” said Rudra.

David Torres, a CAS and College of Communication senior and BetterBU’s press secretary, said the candidates are experienced.

“We’re highly motivated to see what we can get done,” he said.

Jones said tuition increases about 3 percent to 4 percent each year.

He said the candidates hope to ensure that each of next year’s incoming freshmen pay the same amount each year to attend BU.

“[Tuition stability] eliminates the possibility of them having to pay more with annual tuition increases,” Jones said.

Rudra said BU hopes to be a leader on the national issue of tuition instability.

“As the largest university in Massachusetts, we have a big role in starting a discussion and starting a network in leadership,” said Rudra.

Rudra said while tuition instability will not be resolved next semester, BetterBU hopes to set up the following year’s Student Government with what they need to make progress.

Miller said due to the armed robberies on and near the Charles River Campus, BetterBU hopes to increase communication between SG and the Boston University Police Department.

BetterBU aims to increase lighting around campus and to increase the number of blue light phones on and off campus, she said.

LaVelle said the BetterBU slate hopes to implement a holiday bus service similar to the one that BU ran in the 1990s.

“At Christmas and Thanksgiving breaks … there would be a bus service that leaves from BU campus that would take [students] to South Station or Logan,” LaVelle said.

She said the slate would also establish BU buses to New York or Philadelphia.

BetterBU is hosting campaigning activities at the SMG Starbucks, the Warren Towers complex Starbucks, the George Sherman Union link and Marsh Plaza, said campaign coordinator Jack Goldberg, a COM senior.

The slate created a Twitter, a website and a Facebook page to connect with students, Goldberg said.

“Really, what it’s about, as far as social media goes, is interaction,” he said. “We know what we think about BU. We want to know what the students feel. What do [they] feel about these issues?”

The campaigning period began at midnight on Monday, and the election voting period runs from Nov. 12 at 12 p.m. to Nov. 19 at 12 p.m., according to BU’s election website.

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