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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Seniors Elect Class Marshals

By Joshua P. Rogers, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

By vote of the senior class, Shaka J. Bahadu ’04 and seven others have been selected to lead the Class of 2004 through events ranging from the infamous “booze cruise” to the hunt for a Class Day speaker.

Last year’s class leadership came under fire after a soggy and sparse Senior Soiree and a lottery of Red Sox tickets that some seniors claimed was unfair, this year’s marshals vowed to take things up a notch.

Bahadu, who said he was surprised to finish first, said he and the other marshals hope to introduce new events to this year’s senior class festivities.

“We want to make sure that the senior class will never forget their second semester at Harvard,” said Bahadu, whose previous experience in social planning includes co-chairing Dunster’s House Committee. “I am really excited about getting together with these seven other cats, what we’ve already generated thus far will make this year very memorable, and not just for the seniors.”

The other marshals are Zachary A. Corker ’04, Elizabeth C, Drummond ’04, John Paul M. Fox ’04, Benita T. Liao ’04, Shira S. Simon ’04, Jessica J. Tang ’04 and Katherine S. Zacarian ’04.

Bahadu said he would not reveal any new plans although they were already afoot.

“I cannot divulge that information just yet, but people will be blown away, definitely,” Bahadu said.

Zacarian echoed Bahadu’s remarks.

“I’m looking to forward to bringing everything from a J.V. to a varsity level,” said Zacarian, who is a goalkeeper on the varsity field hockey team.

Many seniors complained that last year’s soiree—the first one that Radcliffe didn’t throw for the senior class—lacked the elegant details of soirees past, and Simon said she hoped to make this year an improvement.

“I’m sure all of us...want the soiree to be a much bigger success,” she said. “There are a lot of details that this class is excited about paying attention to.”

Zacarian said that she does not know how this year’s senior class will top Will Ferrell, last year’s Class Day speaker.

Class marshals are traditionally responsible for coordinating senior bar, Class Day, the senior soiree and later, reunion events.

“I am excited to be involved with Harvard after I graduate,” Zacarian said of the reunions. “I have bartended at the reunions and I know that they are lots of fun.

The original pool of 75 applicants was narrowed to 16 finalists last Monday.

The final eight were chosen in voting that concluded last Thursday.

“I screamed and jumped up and down in my room, and ran to tell my roommates,” said Zacarian, describing her reaction to news that she had been elected. “It’s such an honor to be chosen.”

This year was the first time the elections were held online.

In the past, candidates were elected as finalists through Houses committees and written ballots.

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