This year, two well-equipped slates are running for Student Government Executive Board: EmpowerBU and YourBU. The elected slate will serve as the student body’s voice for the 2019-20 academic year.
We believe YourBU is more likely to affect real change in an executive position on Student Government. Augustine Jimenez and Mercedes Muñoz, YourBU’s candidates for Student Body President and Executive Vice President, will both provide effective leadership.
Both slates wish to give voice to underrepresented communities, support mental health initiatives and improve community on BU’s campus. YourBU has focused its platform on realistic, tangible goals that will better increase students’ awareness of the programming, events and resources available on campus.
“A Day at the Beach,” YourBU’s proposal to bring a barbecue, games and student groups together on the BU Beach at the beginning of the year, is a great idea. If implemented, it will help supplement SPLASH as a way for incoming students to get a better grasp of BU student life.
YourBU’s proposed “Club Collisions” are a great idea to foster community among the school’s most involved students. This would involve bringing two clubs who would not normally interact together into the same room for conversations and to find common ground.
At the same time, this initiative won’t help students who don’t already participate in clubs. When pressed on this issue, Muñoz admitted that while YourBU is concerned about increasing community among all students, they cannot force students to be involved.
YourBU promises to represent underrepresented communities. The slate focuses on offering more spaces to first-generation students, such as by promoting FY101 and holding open meetings to discuss the issues first-gen students face.
EmpowerBU’s candidates have important connections within SG and with the BU administration that could help expand current successful initiatives, such as access to menstrual products and the spring concert.
EmpowerBU’s platform is lengthy at eight pages long, but, at the same time, only includes two detailed measures that describe how and what they would do for students.
They propose a textbook initiative that, if implemented, would oblige the university to provide a few copies of all required textbooks at the library. This would save students hundreds of dollars, but even the slate themselves admitted it would be highly unlikely for the policy to be implemented by the end of next year.
EmpowerBU also wishes to push the BU Community Service Center to create an Alternative Service Break program in Boston during Spring Break. This would provide international students the opportunity to make connections with the greater Boston community, as they cannot participate in FYSOP.
This is a fantastic idea. However, given the resources and time required to implement FYSOP every summer and the fact the university closes most of its services over Spring Break, such as the BU Shuttle and dining halls, this is probably unrealistic.
YourBU expressed while they cannot speak for every community on campus, they will speak with them to discover and provide for their needs. This gets at the heart of why we think they would be a better choice for executive board — unlike EmpowerBU, YourBU recognizes the limits of the position to which they aspire.
Boston University’s Student Government needs to do a better job at making itself an accessible, approachable and representative student government. The institution feels beyond the grasp of many students, and what’s more, there are many students who are totally unaware of SG and its events.
Given that the incoming SG executive board will start with such low recognition, though through little fault of their own, it is critical they understand that some ideas are simply not possible. YourBU expressed to us, in plain and simple terms, that they know some initiatives — like free textbooks — are unfeasible and very unlikely to happen.
Whichever slate is elected must ensure they listen to students who aren’t currently involved in clubs and who, therefore, may lack ears for their voice. The new executive board must help these students find their place at Boston University.
YourBU is likely to do a better job implementing real change and expanding the awareness and availability of resources BU offers its students. Their platform is aware of its limitations, and for that very reason, would excel in affecting real change.
This endorsement represents the majority opinion of the editorial board.