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Petersen , Sundquist to Lead Council

By Alexandra Hiatt and Rachel B Nolan, Contributing Writerss

Ryan A. Petersen ’08 and running mate Matthew L. Sundquist ’09 were elected president and vice president of the Undergraduate Council (UC) tonight.

The pair received 1,314 votes out of 3,519 total votes cast, taking 37.5 percent of first-place votes cast.

Petersen-Sundquist had been projected as one of this year’s frontrunners, pitted against the Hadfield-Goldenberg ticket who received 1,025 votes. Ali Zaidi '08 and Edward Y. Lee '08 took 592 first-place votes.

Fewer votes were cast this year than the 3,896 cast in last year’s election.

The Environmental Action Referendum received 88.3 percent of the votes, according to Election Commission Chair Joshua G. Allen '09.
Petersen, who is currently the chair of the UC’s Student Affairs Committee (SAC), received support from current UC President John S. Haddock ’07 and Vice President Annie R. Riley ’07, as well as an endorsement from the Harvard College Democrats.

He is the fifth SAC chair to be elected in the last seven presidential elections, according to UC Treasurer Ben W. Milder ’08.

Sundquist was the only sophomore to run for office this year. He, like Petersen, has served on the UC since his freshman year. He is vice chair for College Life on SAC.

During their campaign, Petersen and Sundquist emphasized a return to student advocacy. Their slogan, “It’s about students,” reflected a shift away from UC restructuring, the overarching theme of last year's election.   

Petersen's election also marks a win for Haddock. Petersen's vision for the UC closely models Haddock's.

The ticket may also have benefited from an announcement by Dean of College Benedict H. Gross ’71 earlier this week that the administration would reimburse student groups for losses due to the gift tax. Petersen actively lobbied for the measure and has said he would continue to lobby until the tax is repealed.

—Check for updates throughout the night.

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