In light of the fast-approaching Undergraduate Council Presidential Elections, UC insiders have confirmed the two leading tickets. But this year, they say, will be a bit different. Entering the race from a variety of backgrounds, the candidates will face new institutional challenges in light of budget cuts and a restructured UC.
The two primary lineups are drawn from all areas of student life. UC Budget Cuts Task Force Chair Johnny F. Bowman ’11 confirmed that he intends to run for UC president with Rules Committee Chair Eric N. Hysen ’11 as his vice-president. Education Committee Vice Chair George J.J. Hayward ’11, a Crimson editor, is another major contender who confirmed his candidacy alongside UC representative Felix M. Zhang ’11 as his vice president.
Each of the candidates brings a unique perspective and background.
Bowman, a Pforzheimer House resident, has been one of the most prominent student advocates in budget-cut related issues over the last year, involved with groups ranging from the Student Labor Action Movement to the Restructuring Student Life student-faculty working group.
Hysen, who is running as Bowman’s vice president, has had a long history on the UC. Elected his freshman year, the Mather House rep is considered by many UC members to be one of the most knowledgeable reps.
Hayward, who is running against Bowman, has spent much of his time on the UC involved in advocacy projects, notably issues affecting Quad life, including his own Currier House. He is also a member of the Black Students Association and the Veritas Financial Group.
Hayward’s vice-presidential candidate, Zhang, has also been heavily involved in student groups. Currently, he is co-vice president of the Chinese Students Association and a director in the Veritas Financial Group. A Cabot resident, he has also been involved in organizations such as the Asian American Association and the Institute of Politics.
“It’s an even match,” said current UC President Andrea R. Flores ’10 of the two tickets. “I don’t think [an election] has ever been so hard to predict.”
UC insider Harry T. Rimalower ’10 said he thinks the tickets plan to focus on different issues—Hayward and Zhang on student groups, and Bowman and Hysen on budget cuts.
“Budget cuts are going to cast a shadow over everything,” Rimalower said. “It’s going to be question of how much [Hayward and Zhang] can draw attention to student groups.”
A ‘FASCINATING’ ELECTION
“The UC is at a really important time now, a really fragile time,” said Flores.
In the past year, the UC has experienced drastic constitutional change, resulting in a larger Council with three more committees.
One side effect of the changes, according to Flores, is that the candidates coming from the “inside” no longer have a significant advantage because the structure is so new.
“It’s highly unusual that one of the presidential candidates does not come from the executive board,” Flores said. “[Furthermore] there’s no women, there’s two social club candidates [Bowman and Zhang], no one’s really an insider except [Hysen], and there are two first semester UC candidates. It should be a fascinating election.”
UC members also predict that the political atmosphere of the election will be much less charged than last year.
“Legislation couldn’t get passed [last year] because there was a political agenda behind every vote,” Rimalower said. “[Hayward and Bowman] actually like each other.”
—Staff writer Melody Y. Hu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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