Rare Occassion Brings New Questions: Should Two UGBC Candidacies Be Allowed?

Current UGBC Senate vice president and UGBC presidential candidate Vanessa Gomez, A&S ’13, was also on the ballot in hopes of being a UGBC senator for the class of 2013 next year. Though she lost the election for president, Vanessa won a senate seat for the class of 2013.

Many students have raised concerns that Gomez’s double candidacy could result in an unfair election due to her increased name visibility and publicity campaigns. Gomez has maintained that her decision to run for both positions was not made with bad intentions.

Patrick Gladstone, co-chair of the Elections Committee and A&S ’12, commented on the situation’s rarity and pointed out that there is no precedent for such a case.

“This was the first year that this situation arose,” Gladstone said in an e-mail. “We also looked through the code and there is nothing that says a student cannot run for president and Senate at the same time. Because it was not in the code we decided that we did not have grounds for withholding a candidates name from either ballot for that reason.”

Gladstone explained that although the Elections Committee understood student’s concerns about increased name visibility, “[The committee] has decided the argument is not justification for excluding a candidate from either ballot.”

Gomez, who has served as vice president of Senate for the last year, has also served on the Senate Budget Committee.

“My reason for running for both positions is because I truly love Boston College and I’m very passionate about working to bring positive change for our student body,” Gomez said. “I have devoted a lot of time to UGBC and would like to continue to do so regardless of the outcome of the presidential race.”

“If elected to the presidency and the senate, Vanessa would not be able to hold both spots and her senate seat would go to the 6th place finisher in the class of 2013,” Gladstone said. “Every year new things similar to this come up we must make neutral decisions based on the code and the circumstances presented to us. Just as with every post-election season, we evaluate the things that came up, hear the candidates’ input, and decide if we need to alter our policy or amend the code. That being said, all the candidates on the ballot this year are valid and we wish all the candidates the best of luck.”

Gomez emphasized her hope to bring positive change to BC in the next year, regardless of the outcome of her presidential run.

“I apologize if anyone took this in a negative manner. This was obviously not my intention,” Gomez said. “I am simply a student who is dedicated to Boston College and wants to work to make it a better place. I’ve always wanted to make this institution better than way I found it, and this is the most effective forum to do so. I wish all of the other 2013 Senatorial candidates the best of luck.”

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