Quinn-Dowden Team Has Plans For U.G.B.C.

By Sandra Howe
Staff Writer

Undergraduate Government of Boston College President-elect Mea Quinn '97, and Vice President-elect James Dowden '97, consider themselves an odd couple, but they view their complementary styles as a strength that will benefit student government at BC in the coming year.

Dowden describes Quinn as a visionary who looks at the big picture and does not let details bog her down. If Dowden is less venturesome, Quinn says with a smile, he knows how to get things done. Last month, the pair won the closest race in recent UGBC history, beating out juniors Michael O'Brien and Edwin Madera by 106 votes. Quinn, current UGBC vice-president, will succeed UGBC President William Lyons '96, on April 17.

UGBC President-elect Mea Quinn and Vice President-elect James Dowden will take office next month. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)

For all their differences, one thing Quinn and Dowden have in common is leadership in UGBC.

"We have the experience, so this year Jim and I can build on the foundation we've laid over the past few years," said Quinn, the second UGBC vice president to win the presidential race in a decade.

Foremost on their agenda is enhancing students' academic experience and day-to-day campus life, they said, focusing on areas such as environmental concerns and computer availability.

As vice president, Quinn said she has spent the last year building relationships with administrators, the Board of Trustees, and, most recently, with Boston College President-elect William Leahy, SJ.

Quinn said she and Dowden - who was UGBC Finance Department vice president - aspire to be "the student voice for academics this year," having spent a great deal of their campaign listening to concerns and suggestions from the general student population. In the academic area, Quinn and Dowden would like students to be able to choose minors in English, communication and marketing, subject areas now available only as majors. They favor more core courses promoting cultural diversity and they plan to address student views about the forthcoming University Academic Planning Council report on long-term academic goals, especially with regard to balancing research and teaching.

Improving Boston College students' day-to-day experience, a main theme of their campaign, is also a priority for the duo. Their suggestions for the University include extending O'Neill Computing Facility hours, allowing students to use their ID cards to pay for operating laundry and copy machines and, to demonstrate concern for the environment, substituting waxed paper for plastic containers in the Eagle's Nest. They also plan to initiate a student-run, book buy-back program and organize a day of peer advisement on the Campus Green during course registration.

"The programming and special events are going to happen," stated Quinn, "so we are focusing on specific goals because it's the small things that count."

Dowden said he is confident Quinn will come up with many more ideas in the coming year, while Quinn said she is glad to have her "detail-oriented" partner by her side to help make those ideas realities.

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