The Gavel has chosen to endorse Russell Simons, MCAS ’17, and Meredith McCaffrey, MCAS ’17, for UGBC president and vice-president due to their robust and comprehensive platform, which aims to improve resources for mental health, advocate for issues of race and LGBTQ rights, and create transparency.
The two candidates have had extensive exposure to UGBC procedures, happenings, and policies in their time at Boston College. Simons most recently served as the vice president of student organizations, while McCaffrey is an experienced senator in the student assembly.
Their campaign slogan, “Strength in Unity,” reflects their goal not only to increase UGBC’s presence, but also to enable it to be more collaborative and accessible for the collective Boston College population.
With a cohesive and thoughtful platform, a wealth of experience, and a high level of ambition, Simons and McCaffrey will be best equipped to take on the roles that the current UGBC president and vice president—Thomas Napoli, MCAS ’16 and Olivia Hussey, MCAS ’17—will hand over.
Their platform contains innovative goals that include expanding the uses of Eagle IDs, increasing Gold Pass points for female sporting events, and developing a conduct audit that will allow students to get a clear picture of how they stand in the eyes of the University.
When posed with the question of which initiative they are most likely to see through to the end (based on passion and the likelihood of it being passed), McCaffrey answered, “the conduct audit—we think it is very realistic and would have an impact that everyone could see. We don’t want to promise anything that isn’t going to happen.” Simons added, however, that their platform was designed around a collection of attainable goals, not around one attractive, but ultimately unfeasible, focus.
The other two pairs of candidates—Matthew Ulrich, MCAS ’17 / John Miotti, MCAS’ 17, and Nikita Patel, CSOM '17 / Joseph Arquillo, LSOE ’17—exhibited an astounding sense of passion and drive to improve UGBC.
Ulrich and Miotti displayed an authentic desire to increase school spirit at Boston College. Their platform aims to rejuvenate the student body, foster a community-oriented environment, and make campus life more exciting.
Patel and Arquillo showcased an extensive platform that included (but was not limited to) improving financial aid, making degree audits easier to understand across all schools, strengthening AHANA- and LGBTQ-related entities, and making Boston College more environmentally sustainable.
Though both pairs of candidates established strong platforms and displayed a profound sense of devotion to the students of Boston College, The Gavel believes that Simons and McCaffrey will be in the best position to execute the points of their platform and advocate for genuine change.
Speaking about the feasibility of their goals, Simons and McCaffrey expressed a refreshingly realistic view. “You’re not always going to get specifically what you want from the administration, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to stop there and end the conversation,” McCaffrey said.