The two major tickets in this year’s Undergraduate Council presidential election—George J.J. Hayward ’11-Felix M. Zhang ’11 and John F. Bowman ’11-Eric N. Hysen ’11—have obstacles to overcome before they can develop a better rapport with top University administrators.
Both tickets agree that they will have to work with deans and administrators throughout Harvard if they want to accomplish their agendas.
In the case of Hayward, Hammonds told The Crimson in an interview last Thursday that she did not know who he was.
“I only know Johnny because he’s on one of the College’s working groups, but I don’t know the other candidate,” Hammonds said. “I don’t even know the other person’s name. Who’s the candidate?”
Hayward said he has in fact met Hammonds but only as a student attending public meetings in which she was in attendance.
“She meets a lot of students. I’ve raised a lot of points and have gotten feedback from her,” Hayward said. “I think the big thing is it’s not how many times you’ve met with the dean or the deans you meet with, but the tangible results you can get.”
While Bowman and Hysen have both sat down with Hammonds, Bowman said that he may have antagonized some administrators during his time with the Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM) last year.
“I did push their buttons a lot,” he said in an interview yesterday.
SLAM’s slogan last year was “Greed is the New Crimson”—a motto that did not sit well with some Harvard administrators.
“If I could do it all over again I would have a much more positive message and as a leader on the UC, I would make absolutely certain that the message of whatever advocacy campaign I led would be positive,” Bowman said.
SLAM’s slogan on its Web site is now “Community Equals.”
Bowman is still a member of the organization—which campaigns against layoffs at Harvard—but he said he has spent most of his energy this semester as a first-term member of the Council.
Bowman said he has worked to rebuild relationships by meeting with Hammonds and University President Drew G. Faust.
“I’ve proven to [Hammonds] that I am a reasonable person,” he said. “I’m trying to improve Harvard’s community.”
While UC representatives meet with lower-level deans and administrators, the Council’s president and vice president meet with Hammonds and Smith on a regular basis throughout their term.
Both Hammonds and Smith spoke positively of their time spent with outgoing UC President Andrea R. Flores ’10 and Vice President Kia J. McLeod ’10.
“I think we’ve had a great relationship. I mean we’ve had lots of conversations. We’ve talked a lot. We listened to their ideas,” Hammonds said. We provided support when we could. I think they were great to work for and I think they were great advocates for the students.”
—Staff writer Eric P. Newcomer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.