LTE: A Response to the Election Committee’s Decision

UGBC President

Although the Elections Committee (EC) claims to be an unbiased, nonpartisan group, its decision to limit the UGBC election to two teams is clearly inspired by Bernie Sanders’ argument that “you don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants.” This may seem absurd but consider this: both candidates and deodorants tend to be white, and when offered in many choices, both can confuse the student body. (Does one go with Old Spice Fresh or Sport? What about Fiji? That sounds exotic! Do I vote for the “insiders” or “outsiders”? I just don’t know.) Noting this reality, I applaud the EC for its second stellar decision this election cycle. (The first, you’ll recall, was ensuring a fair election by aggrandizing for itself the power to craft debate questions.)

For those that would condemn this decision as undemocratic, let me assure you that you don’t want competition. Two fateful years ago, I was a candidate for UGBC. At the time, my running mate and I were the only team competing, so the EC declared us winners by default. Worried our uncontested victory would undermine UGBC’s legitimacy and hurt the student body, we refused to be coronated and instead worked with the EC to reopen the election. The result was horrible! Suddenly there were two other teams running, and I was forced to respond to questions about festering campus issues like, What are my thoughts on campus vegetation? (Dodged that one.) Why doesn’t our platform promise vacuum cleaners in dorms and an abundance of staplers on campus? (We just didn’t think of it.) All I wanted was to talk about free speech, dammit!

The fact that we were ultimately victorious proves competition is futile. It’s not as if one of the other candidates went on to serve in a managerial role in our administration or that the team of sophomores helped break the mold of only juniors running. And it’s definitely not the case that the election saw the highest voter turnout in UGBC’s history.

Keeping this comprehensive history of UGBC elections in mind, I have a suggestion for the EC: abolish elections. Seriously. You guys are The Chosen Few; YOU should be leading UGBC. You’re two for two this campaign season and that record of leadership would surely benefit the student body. Plus, you’d be doing the entire campus community a huge favor. Writers for campus publications would no longer have to rely on trite labels for campaign teams, and students would be spared cliche slogans and an inundation of false promises on social media. Democracy is wicked overrated.

In the meantime, since there are two teams running, here’s my advice: avoid discussing campus issues. Talk about building walls around BU instead. It’s not that students don’t care per se, but it’s hard for them to pay attention when choosing the right deodorant is just so much more important.

Chris Marchese

UGBC Executive Vice President, 2014

Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor