Every Sunday I leave the comfort of my deluxe double on College Road, make the trek to Fulton, and take a seat in Fulton 511. I’m not doing homework, even though that’s what Sundays are for, but rather I’m getting settled in for meetings. In case you didn’t know, I am one of the senators for the College of Arts and Sciences, and am always available if you have any concerns or suggestions for me. Our UGBC meeting consists of the 5 other branches. That’s followed by Student Assembly meeting with the other 49 senators, with Executive Vice-President Chris Marchese overseeing it.
That changed this past Sunday, when Chris announced that he was stepping down from his post for personal reasons; [UGBC Vice-President of Student Initiatives] Connor Bourff will take his place to finish out the semester. This came as a shock to me personally, and to the entire UGBC body. Chris has been an extremely influential guiding force this year, both in shaping policy as well as helping the new senators adapt to the demands of UGBC.
Hearing that he was no longer going to be there every Sunday was an intimidating prospect for me. Who would I turn to for help? Could I fully assimilate into my position? Many other questions were on my mind. But Chris was extremely forthright and honest with us about the circumstances that led to him stepping down, as well as his plans on staying involved with UGBC going forward. He also left open the possibility of returning in some capacity in the spring semester.
Even though Chris is unable to see out his term as VP, the good work that he and this current administration has done should not be overlooked because of the events that happened this past Sunday. This is the administration that took mental health as a serious campus-wide issue that needed to be addressed, and has subsequently acted with numerous talks and seminars, as well as a push to de-stigmatize University Counseling Services.
This is also the administration that gave up programming as a major component of its mission, instead opting to focus more on student needs and ways that UGBC as a whole can better serve the student body. These are the people that have been putting in 20+ hours a week in meetings with administrators, planning events, publicizing numerous student initiatives, and much more.
We should all thank Chris and the entire Executive Council for the past years of service that they have put into UGBC, as well as the many other members who give up countless hours of their time to improve the quality and condition of student life here at BC.
Moving forward, things will be different: not seeing Chris leading the meetings and being sassy with all of us on Sunday evenings. But it will not be a major change, as Connor Bourff is extremely qualified and a proven leader and mentor. UGBC will still be devoted to making student life better, and if you haven’t, you should totally try attending a Mix-It-Up lunch in Mac on Wednesdays. Even with Chris no longer in the capacity that he once was, UGBC is still going to be stronger than ever. So #thanksBC for being awesome. Looking forward to serving you for another semester and hopefully many more to come.