Boston University’s student body faced a great deal of change in the past few weeks without being granted much say in the matter. And that is not the fault of COVID-19 alone — for a number of matters, the administration has decided what’s best for students without sincerely considering our respective situations. Its sometimes clumsy response to the pandemic has only shed light on an already existing problem: a lack of representation that holds an inaccessible administration accountable for students’ wellbeing.
It is time that all students’ voices are boldly projected to the university as the only constituents that matter. There is no better time than now to seek out student leaders who will unapologetically stand up for us and our needs.
It is with these principles in mind that The Daily Free Press is endorsing the BeLoudBU slate for the executive board of Student Government. Its members demonstrate a clear passion for BU, not just as an academic institution, but as a community they appreciate and want to see excel. Every member of BeLoudBU is highly involved in a diverse range of activities on campus, despite also committing themselves to Student Government. However, our conversation with BeLoudBU confirmed that it is not just a group of devoted students.
First and foremost, out of all the slates the editorial board interviewed, BeLoudBU easily had the best team dynamic. Not only could all of its members speak to our concerns, but they did so in a collaborative manner that highlighted each member’s tangible contributions to the overarching goals. It is not difficult to envision this executive board becoming a very well-oiled machine with little to no infighting.
Secondly, this slate is not acting solely — or at all — on its ambitions to win the election. Rather, as said in their own words, BeLoudBU aims to be a megaphone amplifying student voices to the administration. This team has made and continues to make enormous strides to become familiar with individual students and student organizations in order to fully grasp their concerns.
Student Government’s efforts cannot actually improve BU if its leadership is ill-informed about what the student body wants to see changed. BeLoudBU’s approach of finding solutions in conjunction with students, rather than as if it knows best, corroborates our belief that it will be an e-board that cares deeply about all student concerns equally.
This compassion is an indispensable component of effective leadership. When the administration first set into motion its COVID-19 action plan, BeLoudBU halted its campaign and acted as a source of information to protect student safety and wellbeing.
This slate’s thoughtfulness is especially pronounced in its unique policy initiatives, which form the foundation of a platform that not only facilitates community building, but is highly utilitarian. After all, the chief function of Student Government is to augment all student lives in real ways and on a daily basis.
Their Chosen Name policy initiative is the perfect example of this. Some students, such as trans and international students, use names other than those given to them at birth that are critical to their identities on and off campus. Without visibility in an official capacity, this reality creates an unwelcoming environment, whether that is the intent or not. Clearly, BeLoudBU intends to use its capabilities in Student Government as a force for good, ensuring that these students feel that BU is as much theirs to claim as anyone else.
For all students, though, this slate intends to reform health on campus and shed light on mental and sexual health. In particular, they aim to standardize Student Health Services’ hours, implement a 24/7 nurse advice line, and make sexual and mental health resources more widely available. This is only one initiative in a highly achievable set of goals that will undoubtedly improve student wellbeing. It can be difficult to rise to the task of becoming the “next generation of leaders,” let alone making it through a week of midterms and projects, but BeLoudBU will put us on the right track.
There are a number of other impressive and plausible initiatives on its platform, much in the same fashion as the other slates. Yet, we have chosen to endorse BeLoudBU because this team has a clear and palpable passion for the student body, not Student Government. We are confident in this slate’s abilities to translate student concerns into actionable initiatives and utilize administration for student benefit. We are confident that this slate will move swiftly to help us transition back onto campus after a tumultuous semester, and will do everything in their power to improve the lives of students. Most of all, we are confident that these individuals love BU.