Members of the slates BU Recharged, Clean Slate and NewBU presented their campaign platforms Monday during a reception dinner hosted by the Student Election Commission to kick off the voting period of the Boston University Student Government Executive Board election.
Approximately 15 students attended the gathering held in the Back Court of the George Sherman Union, where the slates were each given eight minutes to talk about their backgrounds and the policies they proposed.
SEC Chair Grace Cusick said the reception gave slate members the chance to describe their platforms now that voting has officially begun. The SEC, which oversees the E-board election, encouraged BU students to vote for the slate candidates.
“[The reception was] just a chance for [the slates] to talk … and get their platform out there,” said Cusick, a sophomore in the College of General Studies. “[The SEC] holds a voting booth in the GSU from 11 [a.m.] to 2 [p.m.] every day, and we are also having voting booths in the dining halls on Saturday.”
Louis Vitti, who is running for president with the slate BU Recharged, reiterated the main points of their platform that includes initiatives for SG Senate to include more cultural groups and increase BU Shuttle hours on Sunday.
“Our platforms revolve around three main ideas, which are community, inclusivity and improving the student experience,” Vitti, a junior in the Questrom School of Business, said in his speech. “‘Community’ means building a stronger community inside Student Government and outside of it as well.”
Clean Slate spoke second during the reception, and its members reiterated the important parts of their platform while commenting on a number of issues they see in the other running slates. Clean Slate Presidential candidate Jake Brewer addressed his concerns over some members from the other slates and the work they have “failed” to do as previous members of SG.
“My concerns, despite the qualities and experiences of the other slates, is that they are not committed to really bringing change to the university and taking on administration the way they need to be taken on,” said Brewer, a junior in CAS.
After the gathering, Clean Slate’s candidate for Vice President of Internal Affairs, CAS sophomore Jane Dimnwaobi, said the slate will reach out to different student groups throughout the voting period as part of their grassroots campaigning.
During NewBU’s allotted time, the slate members spoke about their personal backgrounds and how their prior experiences will help them if they are elected as E-board. Nadia Asif, who is running as the slate’s presidential candidate, told the audience about her life as a child of Indian immigrants who arrived in Canada with only $200.
“This is why race, religion, awareness and acceptance are issues that mean so much to me,” said Asif, a sophomore in the School of Engineering and current ENG senator. “This is why I think I can build a better BU and make it a new BU.”
Several students who attended the reception said they hope the slates will avoid talking negatively of the other slates and expressed which slates they are interested in voting for.
Yasmin Gentry, the current VP of Internal Affairs, said she doesn’t want the slates to become negative toward each other, because it would reflect on E-board.
“There’s no need to be negative,” said Gentry, a senior in the College of Communication. “So far, I don’t believe anyone has been too much. But at the same time, I think negative points really stand out and reflect the character of BU slates in general, and I hope everyone continues to have a clean campaign.”
Joshua Mosby, a junior in CAS, said his experience being VP of SG two years ago makes him believe that Clean Slate is the only slate that can make a real difference.
“I was on a slate very similar to BU Recharged, and they are both very similar,” Mosby said. “And after my time, I saw that’s not really the right way to approach Student Government. BU really needs a fresh start, and [Clean Slate] supports the values of building real student power and addressing real issues.”
Akiko Endo, the current VP of Finance, said she hopes that the slates remain clean and positive in their campaigning.
“At the end of the day, we all want the same thing — to make BU better,” said Endo, a junior in CAS. “This reception was good because all of the candidates were able to share their platforms and personal stories. I just wish that all of the slates kept it positive and about their own platforms, since it isn’t a discussion.”