Student Government has made significant reforms to Boston University in the past year, including instituting Gender Neutral Housing and increasing BU Shuttle service during peak hours on campus. However, both slates — BU’s Push to Start and TrueBU — recognize there is still much to overcome and accomplish in connecting student voices and the administration.
With the best interest of the student body in mind, both slates have created strategic platforms to bridge the gap between the student body and administration. Although both platforms are built with passionate and dedicated members, TrueBU has proven itself to have the most forward-thinking, modern and creative approach to accomplishing its goals.
Alexander Golob, a College of Fine Arts sophomore; Sandra Soto, a School of Education sophomore; and College of Arts and Sciences juniors Cassandra Shavney and Salma Yehia each are already active in affairs both inside and outside of SG. Their prior involvement in various leadership roles around campus has proven their competency as individual members, as well as a team. They recognize they still need to prove their qualifications and dedication to the student body. As a result, they have already conducted extensive planning and research on their agenda.
TrueBU plans on changing the role of the vice president of internal affairs to more than just a “glorified secretary.” Additionally, they will make SG more accessible and visible by updating the list of senators for the student body. They have already begun outlining and researching their grant program that would support community-oriented student projects and start-ups.
TrueBU has also drafted a plan to host bi-monthly forums to foster conversation between students, faculty and administrators. Although some of their plans may seem lofty, their intents are strategic, and when broken down, feasible.
TrueBU identified that the biggest hurdle SG faces is the lack of student interest. To solve this, they have built their platform on the three ideals of community, empowerment and trust. At the same time, they know none of this can be accomplished without adequate and increased communication with the student body. With constant campaigning in the George Sherman Union, TrueBU has already proven its commitment to making themselves completely visible and recognizable to the student body.
We are not discounting the credibility of BU’s Push to Start. Both slates hold similar ideals, and members from BU’s Push to Start have already played their part in accomplishing change to benefit our student body, both in and out of SG. One slate member’s direct connection with the BU Panhellenic Council is an attractive characteristic for the large Greek Life population, which could also ensure BU’s Push to Start’s victory.
On the surface, electing BU’s Push to Start would be the easy and obvious option for voters. Richa Kaul, the current vice president of SG and presidential candidate, is already a prominent and recognizable figure on campus. Jaime Ellis, the candidate for VP of internal affairs, helps lead the BU Panhellenic Council as the VP of programming. These two candidates make BU Push to Start an incredibly strong slate. In terms of the slate’s claims of superior experience, Kaul and Ellis may overshadow CAS junior Joe Ferme and CAS freshman Josh Mosby.
Members of BU’s Push to Start have an undeniable dedication and passion for SG. Two of the members have valuable depth of knowledge and connections that would attract voters, and regardless if they win or lose this election, there is no doubt Kaul and Ellis will still remain involved in SG’s affairs.
However, TrueBU has acknowledged that one of SG’s greatest problems is a lack of transparency and credit for what they have accomplished. They have recognized that the current members of SG have pushed significant changes through the administration. The fact that much of the student body is unaware of this success, however, speaks to the flaw in their execution.
Choosing a slate based on connections and tenure would continue to inflate the bubble that both TrueBU and BU’s Push to Start are trying to burst with their platforms. SG needs a slate that is both innovative and unbiased in their approach to working with the administration to pass resolutions. TrueBU is comprised of fresh new faces that would give the student body the creative and modern perspective we need to make the most out of our BU experiences.