With their right hands resting on an iPad displaying the Undergraduate Council constitution, Tara Raghuveer ’14 and Jen Q. Y. Zhu ’14 were sworn in as UC president and vice president at Sunday night’s general meeting.
After taking the oath of office, the duo expressed their gratitude to outgoing President Danny P. Bicknell ’13 and Vice President Pratyusha Yalamanchi ’13.
“Danny and Pratyusha built a lot of amazing relationships with the administration this year,” Raghuveer said. “They also really expanded the student voice, as evidenced by this year’s referenda.”
Zhu echoed Raghuveer’s statement of gratitude.
“You don’t know how much time they’ve put in behind the scenes,” Zhu said. “Tara and I are going to try so hard to fill those shoes.”
Also at Sunday’s meeting, the UC passed three policy papers affirming the Council’s support of the three student-led referenda.
The referenda—calling for Harvard to divest from fossil fuel companies, to change its sexual assault policies by adopting affirmative consent, and to create a fund dedicated to responsible investment—passed in November with robust student support.
Before passing the divestment and social choice fund policy papers, representatives debated whether the amendment questions students voted on in the election were written with biased phrasing.
“I think everything is biased,” said Jimmy P. Biblarz ’14, who argued that there was no way for the Council to judge the extent to which questions exhibit partial wording.
Ultimately, the UC added wording to the legislation that recognized biased phrasing in the referenda questions.
UC representatives approved the creation of three task forces, assigned to each referendum. The groups, consisting of members appointed by the UC president, will listen to student opinion, report back to the Council, and work toward enacting the results of the referenda.
Also at Sunday’s meeting, the UC passed a final fall grants pack, approved funding for Cabot Cafe and Quincy Grill giveaways, voiced their support for the addition of American Sign Language courses, and voted to disband a sub-committee on publicity.
—Staff writer Quinn D. Hatoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.