UGBC Needs to Unify the Student Body
As the year came to a close last year, a bitter-sweet taste was left in the mouth of many Patriot staff members. In our eyes, no event represented the student body of Boston College better than the "rally" and "strike for equality," an event in which about twenty to twenty-five percent of the student population participated in. No sooner than the strike ended, however, was there disconcerting news for the progressive community at Boston College. Undergraduate President Luke Howe and Vice President Ben Nauman had nominated controversial and, in many cases, unqualified conservatives to the positions of power within the student government. Even though Luke and Ben retracted the nominations of Chris Pizzo as Chief of Staff and Doug Bush as Executive Director of the Social and Cultural Department—moving them to Executive Staff before the UGBC Senate hearing on the matter-the UGBC Cabinet remains overwhelmingly conservative. In addition, Pizzo has been unconstitutionally named head of executive staff despite not being confirmed to the Cabinet under that title. These developments are not shocking, as it remained certain last year that Pizzo would be functioning as Chief of Staff this year regardless of his title.
Of much more concern is that there is talk within the Administration of cutting the AHANA Leadership Council's (ALC) budget. Multiple members of The Patriot staff sat and watched as Ben, in his role as Senator, refused to vote for a bill that would have guaranteed ALC a minimum of $50,000 and the newly formed GLBT Leadership Council a minimum of 15,000 every year. After killing the bill, Ben and Luke promised leaders of ALC and GLC that there was no reason for concern, as they would never cut the organizations' budget below $50,000 and $15,000, respectively. According to various sources, however, there is a possibility that Luke and Ben will break their promises to both organizations this year. In addition, there are rumors that the Social and Cultural Department's budget will be slashed in an attempt to undermine the department's biggest recipient, the Global Justice Project (GJP). The final budget, barring a setback, will be presented to the UGBC senate this upcoming weekend.
Make no mistake about it, The Patriot, has every intention of giving this administration the benefit of the doubt. We are hopeful that Luke and Ben will stick to the agenda that they promised in their campaign and not the radical right-wing agenda that some members of their cabinet adhere to. Our belief is that they are in a unique position to unify the campus after what—for many of us—was a divisive election. If they do not come through on their promises to ALC and GLC, however, they will immediately polarize the school. And, as witnessed last year, liberal and progressive activists will not hesitate to rise and fight for an agenda that truly pushes Boston College further on its path to excellence.
Front Page (September 14, 2005)
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