Ebrahim-Cao Seek To Build A More Social Campus

Gregory B. Johnston

Senan Ebrahim ’12 (right) and his vice presidential candidate Bonnie Cao ’12 listen during a UC presidential debate held last night in Annenberg.

Laughing together across a table at the Greenhouse Café, Senan Ebrahim ’12 and Bonnie Cao ’12, who are running for Undergraduate Council President and Vice President respectively, come across as lifelong friends. Few would guess that they have only known each other since their sophomore year. The duo, elaborating on their personal experiences in the Undergraduate Council, are just as at ease discussing UC politics as their run-in with a four-year-old in a “Where the Wild Things Are” costume.

The duo have already garnered the majority of student group endorsements, including the Harvard College Democrats, the Harvard Republican Club, the Black Students Association, and the Queer Students and Allies.

Ebrahim and Cao have worked together on the UC’s Student Life Committee for the past year. They say their time on the committee has imbued them with a greater understanding of social needs on campus.

They say they hope to facilitate collaboration across the University to supplement social programming on campus—a platform echoed in their slogan: “Your vision. Your voice. Your solutions.”

“We are basically running on a vision of partnering with students, student groups, and faculty to improve the Harvard social experience,” their campaign site reads.


Ebrahim, a neurobiology concentrator in Quincy House, and Cao, a government concentrator in Pforzheimer, attribute the strength of their candidacy to their complementary experiences at Harvard.

A member of the UC since his freshman year, Ebrahim possesses the savvy of a veteran insider and says he has the experience to implement his proposals.

“I’ve worked so much with the administration,” Ebrahim says. “I’ve built the relationships that matter to actually get these things done.”

Cao, a UC representative since her sophomore year, actively participates in a slew of student activities on campus, including the Harvard-Radcliffe Chinese Students Association, the sorority Delta Gamma, and the Institute of Politics.

She has also moderated the anonymous confessional website HarvardFML, an experience that she reflects upon fondly as “the worst form of procrastination.”

The pair say that though they come from different backgrounds on campus, their goals are the same.

They hope to revitalize the relationship between students, administrators, and faculty members.

“The UC isn’t great at planning a lot of stuff on its own,” Ebrahim says of the Council’s attempts at organizing social events, “but we want to partner with student groups.”

Providing money and support to student groups, they say, will spark the creation of new and exciting events such as a massive end-of-the-year party and a cultural week that brings together the talents of various ethnic clubs on campus.