Olivia Hussey, current Undergraduate Government of Boston College executive vice president and MCAS ’17, and Meredith McCaffrey, MCAS ’17, dropped out of the UGBC presidential race Saturday. After the earlier dropout of Elizabeth Foley, MCAS ’17, and Joseph McCarthy, CSOM ’17, this leaves only one team of candidates remaining: Anthony Perasso, LSOE ’17, and Rachel Loos, MCAS ’18. These dropouts and the subsequent postponement of the elections kickoff illustrate a problem inherent in the current UGBC presidential elections process. By setting the election date before Spring Break and having such early deadlines, the Elections Committee does not properly allow candidates to prepare for the process or wholly understand the level of commitment.
Perasso has stated that he wants the Elections Committee to open the race up to more candidates. In 2014, when Nanci Fiore-Chettiar, GSSW ’16, and Chris Marchese, BC ’15, were initially going to run unopposed, they also encouraged an opening up of the race and the Elections Committee followed suit, and another team entered the race. With only one team remaining, the Elections Committee should consider Perasso’s opinion on this matter. If it decides to open the elections, it should also ensure that candidates looking to enter the race have met the same high standard that was set earlier by holding them to the same number of signatures and other requirements that were met by the other candidates. It is essential that standards are not lowered in this unexpected situation, and that every candidate undergoes the same rigorous process.
A better way to handle the process of elections would be to extend the deadline to potentially hold the election after Spring Break. There are less than two weeks until the originally planned election, not nearly enough time for another campaign to mount a fully prepared competition. Extending the deadline is something that should be done for future elections as well, not just in this particular situation. Holding the elections this early does not allow candidates to fully consider what they are entering into, as recent dropouts could indicate, and also diminishes the visibility of the current UGBC leadership. As UGBC attempts to achieve various changes, like modifying the Student Guide, the focus has shifted entirely to elections and to what will happen next year, while there are still important things to accomplish this semester.
When the Elections Committee makes its decision, it should remember how it handled the Fiore-Chettiar and Marchese situation and take Perasso and Loos’ opinion into consideration. The committee should also initiate a change in the date of elections, allowing more time and ensuring fairness among campaigns. This change would create a better atmosphere and allow for more preparation in future UGBC presidential elections.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor