The inauguration of Undergraduate Council President Catherine L. Zhang ’19 and Vice President Nicholas D. Boucher ’19 came hand-in-hand with the end of their predecessors’ tenures. In that vein, we wish to thank former UC President Yasmin Z. Sachee ’18 and former UC Vice President Cameron K. Khansarinia ’18 for their dedicated service to the undergraduate community over the course of the past year.
In the past, we have been critical of some of their actions. We’ve questioned the statistical methodology behind their polling the College on unrecognized social organizations, and we’ve highlighted the ways in which Sachee could have better handled her dual role as UC President and final club member. We’ve also challenged the effectiveness of Sachee and Khansarinia’s application of the Q Guide to on-campus organizations. In fact, its low participation rate seems to have confirmed our suspicions in that regard, and we once again express our hope that the UC will find a stronger way for students to truly learn about on-campus organizations they’re considering joining.
More generally, Khansarinia’s acknowledgment that it would be “impossible to accomplish” all of their goals speaks to a trend—which is not limited to the outgoing administration—of UC leadership campaigns promising more than they can feasibly complete in a year. Future UC leaders, and the undergraduate student body as a whole, would be better served by breaking this cycle, which would also allow for students to more fairly evaluate their tenures. It is not immediately clear to the student body how best to judge its outgoing leaders when it’s a given that not everything they claim that they aim to do is realistic. We hope that future UC leadership tickets can keep feasibility as a priority when crafting their platforms.
Yet, while we stand by our critiques, no reflection on Sachee and Khansarinia’s term would be complete without recognizing, and expressing gratitude for, their successes. Their collaboration with the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations to fund events during Opening Days to make the College more welcoming brought tangible good to the Class of 2021. Additionally, we hope Khansarinia’s assertion that he and Sachee have “set the stage” for a long-term revamping of House-based social life will come to fruition, and we look forward to seeing its results and the results of other initiatives Sachee and Khansarinia undertook that will affect the campus community over a longer time scale.
We appreciate and respect the stronger aspects of their performance, as well as express our hope that Zhang and Boucher will pick up where Sachee and Khansarinia left off in fulfilling their own campaign promises. With the implementation of their first initiative already underway—a “matchmaking grant” intended to fund social events between on-campus organizations—we’re glad to see that they’re well on their way to doing so.
This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Crimson Editorial Board. It is the product of discussions at regular Editorial Board meetings. In order to ensure the impartiality of our journalism, Crimson editors who choose to opine and vote at these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on similar topics.