UC Elects 43 New Members

The results of the Undergraduate Council General Election, announced Friday night, reveal an increase in female representation and the faltering of the newly formed Crimson Coalition.

In all, 43 candidates—representing the 12 residential Houses, four freshman districts, and Dudley House—were elected to the UC. This year, 90 candidates filed campaign declarations to run for one of the 43 open seats.

Of the 43 newly elected members, 18—or roughly 42 percent—are female. In last year’s election, only 33 percent of elected members were female. This year and last year’s results reveal substantial progress from 2010, when only nine female candidates were elected to the UC.

This fall, the UC launched initiatives aimed at increasing female participation. One of these efforts included the release of a YouTube video by UC Vice President Pratyusha Yalamanchi ’13 encouraging women to run.

“We did see a higher percentage of females elected, which I’m happy to see,” Yalamanchi said. “I think we’re starting to see some of our gender parity efforts come to fruition. I think it’s important we do see many different perspectives on the Council.”

UC President Danny P. Bicknell ’13 and Yalamanchi both noted that despite there still being a gender gap amongst elected candidates, this year represented the first time in UC history that the number of female candidates equaled the number of male candidates.

“The number of female candidates has jumped from 35% last year to 50% this year,” according to an e-mail sent to students from the duo. “This year’s candidate pool is reflective of our student body.”

Gender parity was not the only issue to come up in this year’s election. The Crimson Coalition, a group that aims to increase student power and reform the UC, made noise earlier this month when they began organizing a UC takeover.

The Coalition learned Friday night that only four of their candidates were elected to the Council. The group had originally intended to win a 25-seat majority in order to enact their platform of reform, but only 12 candidates ran under the Coalition name.

In preparation for the new term, representatives elected in last week’s election underwent leadership training Saturday. The leadership intensive aims to orient the newly elected members to the Harvard administration, past UC initiatives, and the UC structure, according to Bicknell.

“It’s going to be a really transformative time for the Council as we implement new initiatives and galvanize student support,” Bicknell said. “We’re really excited.”

—Staff writer Quinn Hatoff can be reached at quinnhatoff@college.harvard.edu.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: Sept. 24

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that 37 percent of the UC representatives elected last fall were female. In fact, 33 percent were female.

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