Andrea R. Flores ’10 and Kia J. McLeod ’10 won the Undergraduate Council election last night by just 157 votes out of 3,425 cast in a race that featured increased turnout, rule violations, and comedy.
Election Commission declared Flores, the first Latina president in UC history, the winner less than a day after
suspending her campaign for forging a signature on a list of
campaign staff members.
According to Election Commissioner
Steven T. Cupps ’09, student voting rose to 3,642 students from 2,181
last year, when turnout was unusually low.
Flores and McLeod
received nearly 41 percent of first-place votes, with 1,493, slightly
over 39 per cent and 1,427 votes for rivals Benjamin P. Schwartz ’10
and Alnead D. Biggers ’10. After votes were redistributed according to
the UC’s system, known as Hare-Clark, in which students cast single
transferable votes, the Flores ticket had 1,791 votes compared to 1,634
While Schwartz and Biggers held a lead in Facebook
group members, Flores and McLeod won crucial endorsements from student
groups like the Harvard College Democrats and the Harvard Republican
Club. The Dems have now endorsed the winning candidate for the sixth consecutive year.
The victory for Flores, the UC Finance
Committee chair, ends a spell of winners from the UC’s advocacy wing,
the Student Affairs Committee, on which Schwartz serves as a vice-chair.
Additionally, the road to electoral success has been difficult for UC
presidential and vice-presidential candidates with male final club
affiliations. Tickets boasting final club ties have had their ambitions
dashed in each of the last five years, falling to opponents with no
such affiliation. Throughout this campaign, Flores taunted Schwartz for
his membership in the Fly, saying that he should open up final club
space to all students if his plans for improving student space fall
Flores and McLeod campaigned under the banner of “Students
Together,” promising to improve social events on and off campus and
give undergraduates greater academic flexibility.
has served on the UC for five semesters, McLeod is a new representative
and has been involved with student groups, including serving as the
financial director for the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club.
campaigned on his ticket’s experience with both advocacy and student
groups. Besides serving on SAC, Schwartz is also the vice-chair of the
College Events Board, known for planning the recent Girl Talk concert,
which was canceled shortly after it began. Biggers is the CEB secretary
and the president of the Association of Black Harvard Women.
The race took a turn late last night when Flores' campaign was suspended for the rest of the election—which ended at noon today—for forging a signature on its staff list. But the Flores campaign responded in a heated statement that the student whose signature was forged, Black Men’s Forum President Sangu J. Delle ’10, had given electronic permission for someone else to sign for him since he was out of the country and that this represented a "good faith" effort.
Though Schwartz had said yesterday that "all Harvard students should have the chance to recast their ballot with this new information," Schwartz campaign manager William V. Leiter ’10 said in a phone interview that the campaign would not pursue a revote.
T. James ’09-’10 was the third UC representative to run for president.
He and running mate Max H. Y. Wong ’10 campaigned to increase student
The two other losing tickets ran more on humor than ideas. The
antics of Michael C. Koenigs ’09 and Aneliese K. Palmer ’12 included a
mock assassination attempt at a UC debate. Roger G. Waite ’10 and
Alexandra A. Petri ’10 put forward a satirical platform calling for the
installation of a Hapsburg prince as UC president.
—Staff writer Alex M. McLeese can be reached at email@example.com.