Friday, August 1, 2014
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The Daily Free Press endorses TrueBU for Student Government

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.

7 Responses for “The Daily Free Press endorses TrueBU for Student Government”

  1. Christopher Addis says:

    Thank you for your coverage of the election. I would like to respond to a few excerpts from this piece.

    “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.”

    When has arduous campaigning with craftily worded promises ever meant anything when push came to shove in the history of elections? TrueBU may be more visible, in your opinion, at the GSU (possible sample and temporal bias in your observation?) but Push to Start members are having meaningful conversations with clubs and individuals alike, behind the scenes, while also engaging publicly.

    “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.”

    This is a contradiction to your earlier claims speaking to their prior involvement. Choosing a slate based on connections and tenure is pragmatic and shows foresight and understanding of the power dynamic shared by students and administrators. While students may be the Proximate source of StuGov’s power, one should recall from BU’s history, that the ultimate source is administration. A humble approach where this dynamic is well understood and navigated is most authentic and productive. Both parties are necessary for any change in policy.

    “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 startups.”

    This program sounds great but is already in progress! Much of TrueBU’s wide margined “30 pager” are re-iterations of current initiatives executed by gov leadership. For example, a CAS student, with the support of senate and the E-board, will be financing a human powered bike station that can charge laptops and other electronics. This is a move in the sustainable direction and will help bring a new green company into the marketplace. Under the leadership of Richa Kaul and her slate, the innovation and entrepreneurship that TrueBU claims they will activate is already real.

  2. Hamilton Millwee says:

    Chris,
    This is really not the place to argue about the merits of each slate.

    The FreeP held a panel of all editors and had lengthy discussions with each party. Obviously they chose the non-incumbent TrueBU for a reason–especially since this is the first time that an incumbent hasn’t been endorsed by the FreeP in recent memory.

    Let’s both be adults and save debates like these for Thursday, when everything can be responded to in a clear, logical manner without either of the slates seeming petty.

  3. Patrick Johnson says:

    Go TrueBU! Y’all represent the change that BU needs! :)

  4. Luke Rebecchi says:

    Chris,

    Please don’t limit the depth of your argument to ‘my slate did the things the other slate is proposing before they publicly supported those things’. Or, ‘my slate got here (to SG) first, therefore we have a right to stay here.’ That crap is more vacuous than actual American elections, which we both know to be a low bar. Simply put, the campus deserve better.

    Push To Start’s campaign theme is ‘continuity’. If they lose, it’ll be squarely on their shoulders for being conservative and unimaginative. If you think the status quo is acceptable, then you are delusional. I literally have no idea what Push To Start proposes to do, other than “listen to students to figure out what they really want”. They’ve been here long enough, if they don’t know by now what students want they have no place occupying the highest seat of student leadership. They say they’ll listen because they have no ideas and no leadership.

    All I know about True BU is that their presidential candidate changes student’s minds about what’s possible on campus. He did it with the beautiful mural, with art classes through CFA, and through collaborations with the BU Hip Hop club. That is leadership, not consistently holding positions that give you the ear of important administrators, and it is extremely rare.

    I’ve been here four years, and every election the same thing happens. One slate is composed of SG regulars and they push for continuity and the other slate asks why things couldn’t be different. Leadership lies with the latter, though the former is consistently elected. This year, luckily, the more imaginative slate (TrueBU) has serious campaign skills and in my opinion they have a serious chance of winning.

    • Christopher Addis says:

      Hey Luke,

      I wanted to limit the scope of that response to context and I appreciate your observations. My claim was not that incumbents have a right to remain, but there is value in electing people in a context like this, that are already involved in conversations. Both Richa, and to a different extent Alexander, are currently having these conversations.

      If you wish, I could elaborate on the current dissonance produced by TrueBU’s campaign and what members of their team have done (or have not done this year due to poor follow-through). But that is a conversation better had eye to eye.

      I enjoy the energy of your response!

  5. To All Voters:

    Did you watch the debates?

    Here are some of my lines that left me laughing…or scratching my head.

    Richa Kaul talking about BU Students…

    “We’re really passionate about what we care about.”

    So, you care about the things that you care about? Wow. Profound. Perhaps learn how to speak before you run for office. It turns out that public speaking seems to be somewhat important in politics.

    Richa Kaul talking about a vicious cycle of student government not being taken seriously…

    “That circle is about to be bridged.”

    Huh? You can bridge circles? Is this geometry? Why would you want to bridge a vicious circle?

    Push To Start on our biggest weakness…

    “We didn’t print a bunch of flyers and make a banner because we believe in being green.”

    “We don’t have the funds to put toward flyers and campaign materials.”

    “We didn’t have the funds to print flyers and make buttons.”

    Right, because the endangered species of the world are losing their habitat because students in Boston had a banner made.

    You didn’t have the funds? Because you failed to fundraise? What political campaign shows up to a debate and says it didn’t have any money. Get real. Get off your rear end and campaign, fundraise, be creative. Ms. Ellis, how much do you pay every year to be part of Greek Life? But you cannot find a $50 for a banner??? Really? That’s what you want these students to believe?

    Richa Kaul on running last versus a slate that promoting continuity…

    “Um…what was the question.”

    You’re against continuity last year…and for it this year. Hmm…that’s convenient.

    I’m not a BU student, however I watched the entire debate.

    Watch the debate! Which group has cogent, coherent ideas? Who thinks clearly? What makes sense, and what doesn’t?

  6. Christopher Addis says:

    Hello Keen Observer,

    What a forward thinking name! You see, your anonymous comment is a bastardization of the political process by which people engage each other to discuss ideas on a human level. It also portrays a sense of cowardice. Your Ad hominum attacks only show your weakness. Please reach out to me on Facebook to get my number so we can have an eye to eye conversation.

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