As we opined in September, the Undergraduate Council performs an often thankless, but nonetheless important job. We sat down with representatives from each of the three tickets vying to lead the UC, and only one seemed capable of rising to that task. We endorse C.C. Gong ’15 and Sietse Goffard ’15.
After speaking with the candidates, we are convinced that Gong and Goffard are best equipped to handle the UC’s day-to-day business. Gong and Goffard present themselves as the most experienced ticket, and the two of them have put in the hours on bread-and-butter issues to back that claim up. Gong has proven an effective administrator of funds and is working to achieve better mental health services for students—an issue on which administration has already shown a willingness to heed student voices. Goffard has been instrumental in improving our dining experience and is working for better shuttle services. These specific and practical measures form the backbone of the Gong and Goffard campaign, and suggest that the ticket is more than prepared to lead the UC in its day-to-day business.
Chika-Dike Nwokike ’15 and Una Kim ’15—running against Gong and Goffard—fail to emphasize practical issues. In our conversation with them, they presented themselves as the “more relatable” ticket, neglecting to satisfactorily explain how that will create an improved experience for students. When asked what differentiated their ticket, Nwokike and Kim cited their ability to engage with a diverse array of students—again, without really explaining how or to what end. Gong’s and Goffard’s website bios cite examples of substantive work they have done. Nwokike, on the other hand, speaks of “[fostering] inclusion and strong dialogue” and Kim emphasizes her “unparalleled knowledge of the Council’s infrastructure.” These are, no doubt, good things—but it tells us little about their ability to wrestle with the day-to-day administrative issues facing the UC.
We believe that the UC needs practical leadership to fulfill its day-to-day duties—from funding student organizations to managing the room reservation site—while increasing the pressure on Harvard to listen to student voices. Rhetoric about enhanced communication does nothing to further that goal.
In terms of larger vision, little distinguishes the two serious tickets. Both advocate for dining services during longer breaks, both call for an increase in funding for undergraduate activities, and both want to revamp freshmen opening days programs. Tellingly, both tickets promise to work toward a Latino and Latin American Studies degree program—the same exact promise made by current President Tara Raghuveer ’14 and Jen Zhu ’14 last year. In our conversations with them, both tickets stress the importance of influencing campus-wide policy through student referenda, but neither has outlined a clear vision of how to do so. In light of the Harvard’s recent refusal to divest from fossil fuels, we doubt the UC’s ability to influence campus-wide policy under any leadership team. Neither serious ticket convinces us otherwise.
While neither vision inspires us, Gong and Goffard impress us with their concrete experience and their earnest desire to unify and represent students. We believe that they alone have potential to fulfill the UC’s administrative tasks while pressuring the University to give greater weight to student concerns. For a more effective and representative UC, our endorsement goes to C.C. Gong ’15 and Sietse Goffard ’15.
Shit Harvard Students Say
The High TableCAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom—At the back of the dining hall of Trinity College, Cambridge (we just call it “hall,” with no article—as in, “I’m going to hall for dinner!”) there’s a raised platform. Unlike the raised part of Quincy dining hall, the tables on this platform face the rest of the tables in the dining hall at a right angle.
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Gong and Goffard Seek To 'Go Forward'
Endorsements of Gong-Goffard Double Total of Both Nwokike-Kim and Clark-MayopoulousSince voting opened for the Undergraduate Council elections on Monday, the C.C. Gong ’15 and Sietse K. Goffard ’15 campaign has earned more endorsement from student groups than the other two tickets--Chika-Dike Nwokike ’15 and Una Kim ’15 and Samuel B. Clark ’15 and Gus A. Mayopoulous ’15--combined.