‘Just Cut Corners’

Seniors Halprin and Palmer plan to dissolve UC upon leaving Harvard

Melody Y. Hu

Undergraduate Council presidential candidate Ryan P. Halprin ’12 communicates telepathically with his running mate Aneliese K. Palmer ’12—an ability the two say will benefit them in the election.

It was all because of a lost game of Kings. At least that’s how Vice Presidential Candidate Aneliese K. Palmer ’12 explains how she and running mate Ryan P. Halprin ’12 became the last-minute addition to the Undergraduate Council ballot.

“We were playing Kings Cup, and one of the cards was ‘the last two people to put their hands in the air have to run for UC.’ So Ryan and I were the lucky winners,” deadpans Palmer.

Despite some initial hesitation to run, Palmer says, “we have always had secret ambitions to become president of America—but we only want to be president if we can be president together.”

Of course, neither presidency nor co-presidency are likely in the cards for Halprin and Palmer, the latest in a long line of “joke” tickets for the UC presidency, particularly as the two seniors would be graduating halfway through their terms.

True to the “joke” candidate tradition, though, the presidential aspirants insist their campaign is no laughing matter.

In fact, if they’re elected, the two say they’ve already devised a solution to the graduation problem: When they leave Harvard, they’ll just dissolve the UC.

“If we’re elected, the UC can go on sabbatical when we take over, and then in the fall semester, everyone gets a break, because there will be no UC,” she says.


In the café of the Science Center, it was almost as if both candidates had shown up to the interview. Interviewing Palmer with Halprin piping in via G-chat, the two candidates completed each other’s sentences, even though Halprin was across campus in lecture at the time.

Palmer says that she attributes this unique skill set to her deep connection with Halprin. “We can speak without using words,” she says. “We’re telekinetic, and that’s a really special element of our ticket that neither of the other tickets can bring.”

Palmer says she would be willing to challenge her opponents on this front. “If they think they are telekinetic, we challenge them to a battle,” she says.

Given this competitive edge and their busy schedules, Halprin and Palmer say that they do not plan to go to great lengths to win votes. However, “people are free to endorse us,” Palmer says.

Palmer says they hope to spend their $400 campaign allotment on a party recreating Harvard’s 375th anniversary celebration in October.

“We will have HUDS instead of a cake, and it will be mostly Ranger cookies, since that’s usually a Wednesday dessert,” she says. “And instead of Yo-Yo Ma, my roommate, Molly, will play the harp.”

Palmer also says she would like for the open bar to serve only Rubinoff and Franzia. “I have it on good authority that [University President] Drew Faust will slap the bag,” she claims.