In Annual Elections, Graduate Student Council Retains Many Officers

UPDATED: April 11, 2014, at 2:51 p.m.

At the Graduate Student Council’s annual elections on Wednesday, many students involved with the Harvard Teaching Campaign were among the candidates elected as GSC officers.

GSC President Summer A. Shafer and Secretary Darcy Frear were elected once more to thier executive positions. At-large represetnative for Social Sciences John Gee was elected vice president.

Elaine F. Stranahan, Rachel Poser, and John M. Nicoludis were all elected for the first time as the at-large representatives for Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary Students, and Natural Sciences, respectively. Meanwhile, Caley C. Smith maintained his position as at-large representatives of Humanities.

A new treasurer was elected, with Jordan Smith replacing Janis V. Calleja, while current vice president Shelley H. Liu lost her bid for president.

Five international graduate students, including Jae-hyun Lee, the GSC’s former publicity manager who was removed from his post in the days before the election, ran for the role as at-large representative for international students, with Rachel H. Y. Leng ultimately securing the position.

“I think everyone was very surprised and enthused to see that there were five write-in candidates for the position of international students at-large representative,” Leng said. “This indicates that we certainly have a diverse population of international students on campus who are vested in their peers' experience at Harvard.”

Leng hopes to improve the involvement of the GSC in regards to the needs of internationals students. In particular, she aims to provide further support for those adjusting to life in the U.S., both in and out of the classroom, as well as with individualized support for filing tax returns in greater cooperation with the Harvard International Office.

During the meeting, the GSC also discussed a proposal to set a limit on section sizes for classes. Five of the elected officers are active in the Harvard Teaching Campaign, a movement of graduate students seeking to cap section sizes.

The general consensus among the graduate students was the desire to change the Faculty of Arts and Sciences current policy so that teaching fellows can teach smaller sections, receive pay on time, and establish a more stable pre-enrollment system, according to Shafer.

“We will organize to accomplish those goals, regardless of administration policy,” Shafer said.

—Staff writer Callie H. Gilbert can be reached at callie.gilbert@thecrimson.com. Follow her on twitter @calliegilbert95

This article has been revised to reflect the following corrections:

CORRECTIONS: April 11, 2014

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the incumbency status of several newly elected members of the Council. In fact, John Gee, Elaine F. Stranahan, Rachel Poser, and John M. Nicoludis were all elected to their positions for the first time this year. The earlier version also incorrectly stated presidential candidate Shelley H. Liu’s current position on the Council. In fact, she is currently vice president. The earlier version also incorrectly stated when and why Jae-hyun Lee, a write-in candidate for representative at-large of international students, was removed from his earlier post as Council publicity manager. In fact, Lee was removed before the election for not fulfilling the roles of his position. Finally, the article incorrectly stated that there is currently no at-large representative of international students. In fact, Lilei Xu currently holds that position.

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