Campus, News

BU Student Government candidates discuss platforms ahead of elections

With the Boston University Student Government elections voting period starting on March 27, the three candidate groups, Fight 2 BU, Unleash BU and To Infinity and BU-yond, spoke about their experience and initiatives for BU.

Stugov election debate 2023
Representatives from all three slates Fight 2 BU, Unleash BU and To Infinity and BU-Yond. The Boston University Student Government election’s voting period will start on March 27. HUI-EN LIN/DFP STAFF

Fight 2 BU is running for re-election with President Dhruv Kapadia, a junior in College of Arts and Sciences, Executive Vice President Navya Kotturu, a junior in CAS, Vice President of Finance Lauren Kong, a sophomore in Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and Vice President of Internal Affairs Laney Broussard, a junior in College of Communication.

Kapadia said “continuity” is the central reason why they are seeking re-election.

“There was a sense of continuity coming into this year because myself and Navya have worked in this organization since our freshman year,” Kapadia said. “Ultimately, some of the initiatives we started this year, some of the substantial systemic changes we’ve been able to implement, we want to see through.”

Fight 2 BU initiatives included StuGov continuing planning the Winter Week of Welcome, the Spring Concert, which was brought back after a four-year hiatus, the College Conversation program, where BU students speak directly with students of Boston Public Schools about the college application process, and more.

If re-elected, Fight 2 BU plans to introduce new initiatives and collaborations, such as working more with the Howard Thurman Center.

“We hope to work with the HTC to increase accessibility to student groups on campus and create a space where students can discover their own identities as well as explore others,” their website wrote.

The UnleashBU slate includes President Michael Arellano, a junior in CAS, Executive Vice President Cindy Frempong, a freshman in CAS, Vice President of Finance Yash Patel, a sophomore in CAS and Vice President of Internal Affairs Ella Donahue, a sophomore in CAS.

Arellano is returning to BU after taking a gap year due to a mental health crisis and attributes the lack of support they found at the University as their motivation to run for President.

“I was trying to figure out who I am and have ownership over my life, my identity and my future, and I could not find that support at Boston University from an institutional level.” Arellano said. “I came to the realization that I wouldn’t have had to take a gap year if I went to any other school.”

UnleashBU created a LGBTQIA+ Student Task Force, an Asian Student Task Force, a Latinx Student Task Force, a Black Student Task Force and the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention Task Force (S.H.A.R.P).

“Everybody that we’ve talked to about these student center initiatives [has] glowing eyes, everyone wants it, it’s clear that there is a need,” Arellano said. “When we see the news of the LGBTQIA+ Center opened up, we look at that and we say ‘job’s not finished, the job just got started.’”

To Infinity and BU-yond slate includes President Jason Wexler, a sophomore in COM, Executive Vice President Fabian Agostini-Ruiz, a sophomore in CAS, Vice President of Finance Nick Kulda, a sophomore in College of General Studies and Vice President of Internal Affairs Grace Choi, a sophomore in COM.

“What ultimately led me to run is me hearing from a lot of my friends in Student Government that they are currently not enjoying the vibe within Student Government,” Wexler said. “If you create an environment where people genuinely want to be there and are super excited about what’s going on … everyone is going to want to be active and create some sort of change.”

The three pillars of To Infinity and BU-yond’s platform are “getting an education not just a degree,” “getting the experience you expected” and “taking your experience beyond the BU community.”

“We’re here on campus to learn and grow, not just to walk away with a degree,” Wexler said. “So some initiatives that we want to implement, for example, are creating educational partnerships across campus, looking for better advising opportunities.

Their initiatives include creating a rate my advisor system that would keep advisors accountable, creating educational partnerships with Harvard and MIT, implementing the Questrom Mentor and Mentee program across the different colleges and advocating for smaller class sizes.

The teams will campaign until the end of the month, and the vote will be open for a week, according to Kapadia. The announcement dinner will take place on April 2.


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