Haddock Captures Presidency in Landslide

Winners endorse plan to reform social planning

Kara A. Culligan

A champagne-soaked John S. Haddock ‘07 and running mate Annie R. Riley ‘07 celebrate their victory as Undergraduate Council president and vice president last night in Currier’s Tuchman Living Room. Haddock and Riley took the election with more first-place

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 this year.

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 the campaign.

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 ablankf@fas.harvard.edu.

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