Beating Expectations Is Victory for Grimeland

Meghan T. Purdy

Supporters toast Magnus Grimeland ’07 last night after gathering in Mather House to celebrate his unexpected second-place finish in the Undergraduate Council elections.

Fittingly foreign-manufactured beer bottles were raised in an ecstatic cheer as the vote totals were announced at the Grimeland-Hadfield campaign party yesterday night.

The 912 votes that Magnus Grimeland ’07 and Thomas D. Hadfield ’08 earned in the Undergraduate Council (UC) presidential election secured them an unexpected second-place finish.

Grimeland, a Norwegian native, and Hadfield, a 23-year-old student from Britain, claim to be the first international ticket ever to run for UC leadership.

Grimeland and Hadfield, who are also the least-seasoned campaign ticket, entered the UC race as the underdog.

Before the results were announced, Hadfield had said that his ideal target would be 600 votes or 15 percent of the vote.

Entering the race as the outsider ticket with considerably less name recognition than their opponents, Grimeland-Hadfield said they were proud of how far their campaign had expanded.

“I think on Sunday we had 40 to 50 votes. Haddock-Riley had 500,” said Grimeland in a speech to his campaign staff following the announcement of the results. Grimeland went on to congratulate his supporters for building a strong voter base and for going door-to-door to convince additional voters to support his campaign.

“We think going from zero votes to 1000 votes is amazing,” said Grimeland. “Ten days ago I don’t think we had a single vote except for close friends.”

Grimeland and Hadfield cited the Harvard Republican Club’s (HRC) endorsement as a turning point in their campaign. Although they both identify themselves as liberal, Grimeland-Hadfield had the full support of the HRC.

“I think Magnus and Tom have exceeded expectations, established themselves as a strong and credible ticket and as great leaders on this campus,” said outgoing HRC president Matthew P. Downer ’07.

Party-goers were primarily affiliated with the HRC—including Downer and president-elect Stephen E. Dewey ’07—or were international students.

Grimeland and Hadfield said they were happy with the results of both the campaign and the election.

“No regrets,” said Hadfield.

The pair, who have been working almost nonstop since the campaign kicked off, say that the long hours have been worthwhile.

Both estimate that they have been logging less than four hours of sleep a night.

“Best week of my life,” said Hadfield. “But I feel like I’ve been running a marathon for 10 days.”

Grimeland, who has also run on a similarly hectic schedule, actually fit in the time to run a marathon. Grimeland showed up for an endorsement meeting with the Harvard College Democracts after running 26 miles for ski practice, Hadfield said. Grimeland is on the Nordic ski team.

Grimeland and Hadfield said they hope their strong showing will allow portions of their platform to be enacted even without being in office.

“Tom and I are going to write a position paper on each pledge and send them to the UC and The Crimson,” said Grimeland. Both say they hope that their second-place finish will give them more credibility and recognition.

Grimeland showed no hard feelings toward his opponents, eagerly accepting calls from the other tickets during his speech to his campaign staff.

The UC candidates were all planning to go out for dinner over the weekend, Grimeland said.

Gabe M. Scheinmann ’08, one of the campaign managers, hinted that this election isn’t the last for Hadfield, at least, who is only a sophomore.

“We got 25 percent [of the vote] for this year. Don’t count Tom out for next year,” he said.