Campaigning Begins, Teams Release Plans

Candidates for UGBC president and vice president began campaigning in earnest yesterday, releasing their platform information and recruiting supporters in their quest to lead the Boston College undergraduate body. Campaign t-shirts of various colors filled classrooms and the Quad, and hand shaking and door holding will undoubtedly continue throughout the month.

In the early excitement of elections, many campaign teams have worked hard to introduce themselves to the student body and emphasize their key campaign points.

Candidates Robert Veiga and Jeff Colonnese, both CSOM ’13, emphasized fiscal responsibility in this earliest stage of the campaign.

“It is central to our campaign strategy that we excite the student population with our innovative ideas while maintaining a strict adherence to fiscal responsibility,” Veiga and Colonnese said. “This directly reflects our views on leadership, and one can correctly surmise that this will carry over with our actions once elected.”

Conor Sullivan, LSOE ’13 and Daniel Tonkovich, CSOM ’13, are running under the slogan “Including U in UGBC,” a phrase that they say reflects their hope to involve more students in UGBC.

“Our campaign plans and platform reflect our mantra of ‘including U in UGBC’–with ‘U’ referring to the individual and the undergraduate population as a whole,” Sullivan said. “Our platform touches upon every aspect of life at BC–academics, student life, and mission and ministry. It is results-oriented and increases opportunities for involvement and for undergraduates to put their dreams into action to advance BC. Ultimately, we desire for all students to feel they are a part of UGBC.”

“Conor and I put people before politics,” Tonkovich said. “Our campaign will be one of grassroots, face-to-face, and person-to-person interaction to build relationships and establish trust so that we can continue to listen attentively to the needs and desires of the undergraduate population. We have, through our involvement on campus and during this campaign, incorporated the needs and desires we heard into an action plan for positive change.”

Vanessa Gomez and Jennifer Wanandi, both A&S ’13, emphasized that their experience in UGBC has given them perspective that can lead to good results and a successful administration.

“Given our past experiences as class senator and unity director to now being in our current positions as Vice President and Budget Committee Chair of the Senate and Cabinet Chief Advisor, we have had the ability to gain a good perspective on the UGBC as a whole,” Gomez said. “We believe that it is having this perspective and expertise when it comes to the duties of the [president and vice president] that will enable us to go ‘To New Heights.'”

On the other hand, candidates Mike Salerni and Ben Donovan, both A&S ’13, spoke rather critically about the traditional UGBC election process, and hope to improve it this year.

“Put simply, we’re looking to change the whole dynamic of the UGBC election process: making it more substantive, but at the same time more fun, interesting, and simple,” the two said. “We have no intention of participating in the popularity contest and beauty pageant that these elections always end up being.”

Furthermore, Salerni and Donovan have adopted a rather unique campaign strategy.

“It is our goal to spend as little money as possible on banners, posters, ads, etc.,” Salerni and Donovan said. “If it were feasible, we would spend absolutely zero money, and devote all of our time and resources to talking to students about substantive issues. We want to have meaningful and fruitful conversation with the student population on an incredibly individual and personal level.”

By emphasizing their “outsider” UGBC status and focusing on concrete and real issues, Salerni and Donovan hope to stay true to their “Real People, Real Solutions” campaign slogan and secure the vote of those who are disillusioned with UGBC.

Chris Osnato and Kudzai Taziva, both A&S ’13, running under the slogan “Because You Matter,” hope to reinvigorate spirit into the BC campus.

“My strongest desire over the course of this campaign season is to enlighten the student body to all of the good that is being done at BC, even when people may not realize it,” Osnato said.

Osnato also emphasized his hope that he and his running mate can increase the scope and effectiveness of UGBC as a whole.

“Kudzai and I are striving to make UGBC relevant again,” Osnato said. “We feel as though the undergraduate government should inform and serve the undergraduates. We want students to take the enthusiasm that they have at football games, and apply it to all aspects of BC life.”

The final candidate pair of Matthew Flynn, CSOM ’13, and Jack Walsh, A&S ’13, has removed their names from the ballot, cutting the number of teams down to five.

“While we would like to run, we lack the time and experience right now,” Flynn said by e-mail.


About David Cote 134 Articles
David Cote was Editor-in-Chief of The Heights in 2013, graduating with a degree in chemistry and theology. Follow him on Twitter @djcote15.