Three days into the campaign for the leadership of the Undergraduate Council, presidential candidate Danny P. Bicknell ’13 and his running mate Pratyusha Yalamanchi ’13 have taken the lead in garnering the endorsements of major student groups.
The two tickets from within the UC—Bicknell and Yalamanchi and their main challengers Crystal D. Trejo ’13 and David H.A. LeBoeuf ’13, a former Crimson news writer—have come to dominate the competition for campus-wide support.
Bicknell and Yalamanchi—considered to be the more experienced pair, each having served on the Council since their freshman years—captured seven endorsements in the first three days of campaigning.
Most notable among these was the Harvard College Democrats, who announced their official endorsement Tuesday evening. Having chosen the winning candidate in each of the previous eight elections, the Dems are a traditionally sought-after group and, according to Bicknell, he and Yalamanchi were “ecstatic” to gain their support.
As of Wednesday night, Trejo and LeBoeuf have been notified of three official endorsements—Candela Salsa, the Harvard Latter-day Saint Student Association, and the Harvard Photography Club—but have said that many others are in the works.
“We are running a campaign that is not necessarily the politicized one you usually see and, instead, we are campaigning more on advocacy and accessibility,” LeBoeuf said.
Aside from reaching out to student groups, both tickets have devoted special attention to winning over freshmen voters.
“We are really focusing on freshmen outreach because they have a lot of great ideas about what they would like to see happen and they have a very innovative approach,” Bicknell said. “This is important because our platform is definitely a working document that is open to new ideas and suggestions and we hope to have it that way up to last day of our UC presidency if we win.”
Overall, both tickets expressed optimism when reflecting on the first days of the campaign.
“Many people see us as the ‘newer’ or ‘outside’ ticket because we got into the race later than Danny and Pratyusha, but this has been resonating well,” LeBoeuf said. “It allows people to see our sincerity and that we don’t just want this because of the position but because we care about the issues and accountability.”
Bicknell echoed these positive sentiments, and expressed excitement about the days ahead.
“It has been a positive and clean campaign since launching,” he said. “We are excited to continue to demonstrate to students how passionate we are and how we are the best ticket to generally reflect their needs and carry out on every single thing on our platform.”
Despite the visible presence of their competition in campaigning at student group meetings and outside the Science Center, the UC outsider ticket—consisting of Ryan P. Halprin ’12 and Aneliese K. Palmer ’12—has been largely absent from any campaign activities this week.
—Staff writer Rachael E. Apfel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org