The results of the UGBC presidential primary have been released, cutting the five remaining teams down to two. Chris Osnato and Kudzai Taziva, both A&S ’13, won the primary with 38 percent of the student vote. Vanessa Gomez and Jen Wanandi, both A&S ’13, will also advance to the final round of voting with 30 percent of the votes.
Only approximately 20 percent of the undergraduate student body voted, totaling 1,990 votes. Last year, 3,284 votes were cast in the primary election.
Conor Sullivan, LSOE ’13, and Daniel Tonkovich, CSOM ’13, earned 23 percent of the vote, coming in third place. The final two teams, Robert Veiga aand Jeff Colonnese, both CSOM ’13, and Michael Salerni and Benjamin Donovan, both A&S ’13, received 8 and 1 percent of the vote, respectively.
Osnato and Taziva earned 749 total votes.
“We are happy with the results, and we would like to thank our team so far, but there is a lot of work to do ahead of us,” Osnato said. “We hope we can count on continued support from everyone, so that we may enact the change we want to see at BC.”
Gomez and Wanandi also spoke about their hopes for the future.
“First, we would really like to thank those who have supported us thus far,” Wanandi said by e-mail. “We hope to continue seeing the excitement that elections bring to a part of the student body and this year would like to take the time get more students involved. In this way, we believe the undergraduate population can take control of the spirit of what is Boston College and truly bring us To New Heights. At the end of the day the elections are not about Vanessa and I or even UGBC, but rather about giving all 9,100 students an opportunity to empower themselves and voice what truly matters to them.”
Tonkovich and Sullivan commented on their loss in an e-mail.
“While the primary results are unfortunate, Conor and I conducted our campaign with the utmost integrity and honesty,” Tonkovich said. “Our platform reflected common student concerns and desires expressed to us through our leadership positions on campus for the past two and a half years, as well as through the grassroots, peer-to-peer interaction that took place during the campaigning season. From those interactions, we came to understand that the most pressing issue facing UGBC is student engagement. We encourage the remaining teams to reevaluate their platforms and judge whether their plans for office fully address the issue of student engagement. Similarly, we encourage the student body to review the platforms critically, questioning candidates hard for specifics on how to make UGBC more responsive the concerns of the entire student body.”
“We encourage the student body to continue to be a part of progressive action by reviewing the platforms critically and questioning candidates for specifics on how they plan to make UGBC more responsive to the concerns of the entire student body,” Sullivan said.
Salerni and Donovan stayed true to their campaign platform, remaining heavily critical of the election process.
“Unfortunately we were not able to accomplish our goal of pushing the UGBC election process in a more substantive, open, and meaningful direction,” the two said in a statement. “The results of the primary merely perpetuate the correct perception that the UGBC is an elitist, esoteric, self-serving clique that is not in sync with the sensibilities of the average BC student. Much of the election process, namely the debate, was (mis)guided by an obsession with insignificant nonissues and attention to campaign minutia. There is obviously still a great deal of reform that the UGBC, the elections committee, and all prospective candidates must consider. We therefore do not endorse any of the remaining candidates and instead only hope that in the upcoming years real positive change will be brought to the UGBC election process, ultimately rendering it more open, fair, substantive, and democratic.”
Campaigning for the final round will begin Saturday, and will run through the final elections on Feb. 20 and 21.