John S. Haddock ’07 and running-mate Annie R. Riley ’07 won the
Undergraduate Council’s (UC) top two positions in a landslide victory.
In the election that ended yesterday, Haddock and Riley
received 59 percent of the first-place votes cast, the Election
Commission announced. Their ticket received 2,308 votes out of 3,896
cast, while Magnus Grimeland ’07 and Tom D. Hadfield ’08 received 912
first-place votes and John F. Voith ’07 and Tara Gadgil ’07 received
664 first-place votes.
Slightly fewer votes were cast this year, compared with last year’s record-breaking 3,985 votes.
The campaign was marked by several flashes of controversy that
marred the Voith-Gadgil ticket—which, composed of two committee chairs,
was considered the front-runner coming into the race.
While issues like social-life planning and student-group
funding dominated discourse during the campaign’s first week, the
second week was overshadowed by several heavily criticized incidents.
Yesterday, the mood was ebullient in Currier House, where
Haddock, Riley, and members of their campaign staff had gathered to
await the news.
“John and I want to thank you guys for being so amazing,” said
Riley to campaign staffers and friends who had convened in Currier to
celebrate the win. “You are the ones who made this happen.”
Haddock echoed the tone, adding that he was grateful for the chance to interact with undergraduates every day of the campaign.
“This has been an incredible experience,” said Haddock. “We’ve had such an amazing opportunity to talk to students.”
Grimeland and Hadfield’s second-place to many who have followed this year’s election.
Labeled the “outsider” ticket, Grimeland and Hadfield
campaigned on a platform that emphasized several bold ideas, including
an endowment to fund student events and a $10-million investment plan.
Unlike the other candidates, Grimeland and Hadfield had little
experience on the council—Grimeland is in the midst of his first
semester on the council’s Finance Committee, and Hadfield lost an
unsuccessful bid for a seat on the council from Eliot House earlier
Despite their loss, Grimeland and Hadfield said that they were thrilled with their second-place finish.
“We’re declaring the biggest victory, if not the overall victory,” said Hadfield.
“I must say—with the momentum that we gained today, if the
voting had started today, we would have had the advantage,” Grimeland
said. “So many people want change, are fed up with the UC.”
Voith and Gadgil’s third-place finish came at the end of a difficult week for their campaign.
“I am disappointed, of course I am disappointed,” said Voith last night. “I have a lot of respect for John Haddock.”
While Voith and Gadgil—as Campus Life Committee (CLC) chair and
Student Activities Committee (SAC) chair, respectively—were the insider
ticket, the team lost momentum after a series of damaging stumbles
became public earlier this week.
On Sunday night, The Crimson obtained an e-mail from a
Voith-Gadgil staffer to a member of the Grimeland-Hadfield campaign,
asking Grimeland and Hadfield to drop out of the race and “join forces”
against Haddock and Riley.
Then, on Monday, the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and
Supporters Alliance and the Harvard Republican Club issued a joint
statement condemning Voith and Gadgil for making contradictory
statements to their groups about the role of the Reserve Officers’
Training Corps on campus.
The Crimson endorsed Voith and Gadgil Sunday evening, but then rescinded that endorsement Tuesday.
“We made mistakes in the campaign,” Voith said yesterday.
HARVARD UNDER HADDOCK
Haddock’s election could signal a new direction for the
council in planning campus-wide social events, a central issue during
Debate during the election centered on a constitutional
amendment under consideration in the UC that would dissolve the CLC and
replace it with an autonomous, directly-elected Social Events Committee
(SEC) to plan campus-wide social events.
The proposed SEC would technically be a part of the UC,
falling under the UC president’s purview, and would receive funding out
of the UC termbill fee. But UC representatives would have no
institutional involvement in debating or shaping social events.
Although Haddock originally advocated a student referendum on
the council’s role in campus-wide social events, he has argued since
the beginning of the campaign that the UC should not have any
involvement in campus social programming.
Haddock has more recently said that he would support a
separate programming board—something that he did not explicitly
advocate at the beginning of his campaign.
Last night, Riley called the SEC amendment a step in the “right direction,” but added that it was not sufficient.
“I think the SEC is putting a small bandage over a big wound,” said Riley, adding that there needed to be more debate.
Haddock was less explicit about the future of the amendment,
but noted that the days after the election presented a unique
opportunity to engage the student body.
“We want to initiate a very strong and comprehensive
discussion about social programming,” said Haddock. “There has been so
much positive dialogue about our options.”
Discussion of the amendment in UC meetings was suspended until
the end of the campaign, and it is unclear what the amendment’s fate
will be when it is raised again.
Current UC President Matthew J. Glazer ’06 said that does not
think Haddock and Riley’s election will doom the proposed amendment.
“Clay and I, and John and Annie, agree on so many things that
I think we will be able to work together over these next two months,”
said Glazer. “I am confident that it will be fine and we will all be
able to work together well.”
Former SAC Chair Aaron D. Chadbourne ’06 said he was confident
in Haddock and Riley’s ability to bring positive change to the council.
“I’ve seen them both do great things,” Chadbourne said. “Their win makes me excited in the future of the UC.”
—Staff writer Alexander D. Blankfein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.